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Motivating Students In An ESL Classroom

Motivating Students In An ESL Classroom | ITTT | TEFL Blog

Motivation is a crucial part of learning and it has grave importance especially in an ESL classroom. Language teachers should be aware of their role in motivating their students and take responsibility while teaching. Students tend to get easily demotivated while they are learning a new language since it involves making many mistakes and devoting a lot of time and effort. Teachers should help their students to keep their motivation level high. There are three main steps for motivating learners. Teachers should start with setting attainable goals, blend their needs and interests while teaching and acknowledge their accomplishments.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Jairo G. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.

Challenging Goals

Setting goals is important for learners since they decide where they want to see themselves in the future and this raises their motivation. However, learners are very likely to set unreachable goals and failing to reach those goals demotivates them. Thus teachers need to lead their students for setting attainable goals. To help the learners set attainable goals, teachers should assess the readiness and the needs of the students by observing them or by using assessment tools. Later, teachers should compare their findings with the goals students have set for themselves. If the goals they have set are unreachable, teachers should discuss the learning process with those students and reach a common ground with them. There might be situations where some students set easily achievable goals that would not challenge them enough. In those cases, teachers should lead those students to set more challenging goals.

Also Read: How long does it take to get a TEFL job?

Inclusive Lesson Planning

Teachers plan their lessons or units according to the needs of their students. However, the interests of the students should be also a part of their learning process to keep their motivation level high. Teachers should observe their students and give them freedom of choice while learning. Being able to choose what and how they learn makes them take responsibility for their own learning and this motivates them to learn. Teachers can let the students decide on the method they will learn, the resources they will use and how they demonstrate what they have learned. If the students have the option to build their own path of learning, they will construct it according to their individual interest thus stay motivated along the way.

Also Read: 3 Reasons We Can’t Learn Languages Without Grammar

Giving a feedback

Teachers should provide sufficient feedback to the students to acknowledge their accomplishments. After every assessment, assignment, project, and presentation or even after a simple discussion, teachers should provide constructive feedback on the goals that they have achieved, the things they did correctly and what they should work on. Teachers should also create chances of producing language with project-based assignments for the students to see how they acquired language and how they are able to use it in a meaningful context.

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Students can learn better when they are motivated and they need their teachers’ help with keeping their motivation level high. Learners need the guidance of the teachers since learning; especially learning a new language can be easily demotivating. Teachers can keep the motivation level of their students high by setting goals that they can achieve, keeping the interests of the students in mind while planning their lesson and letting the students be aware of their achievements.

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