Shaping Success in the ESL Classroom
One of the fulfilling thoughts on teaching English as a foreign language is that generally, the students are very self-motivated as most of the students have taken up learning English as a second or foreign language due to personal requirements; either they need to up-skill themselves for work opportunities or a possible relocation to an English speaking country, or possibly purely for personal fulfillment. Whatever the reason, the students will be eager and self-motivated to learn. The students understand the purpose of their work and have a sense of responsibility for their learning and achievement. However, that should not stop a teacher from doing their best to encourage and motivate his or her students, so that they not only have a good and enjoyable learning experience but walk out of that class knowing they accomplished what they set out to.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Clifford C. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Ultimately, success in the classroom can be formed in many ways, but there are a few necessary points.
Attitude and Relations
The teacher needs to get to know their students, whether it is an adult or a child. This will enable the teacher to identify the areas in the students that may hinder the student from doing well. This will enable the teacher to accommodate those needs into their lessons. This adds to the student’s feelings of self-worth and will motivate them into doing the best they can.
The perception of a student about his or her teacher is critical and will play a major role in whether the student will be successful. The expectations that an educator places on their students will in many ways shape the way the class will learn, even from the very first lesson. A good and strong teacher is one that will provide the students with discipline as well as compassion. He or she will be a leader, but not afraid to listen to and understand the needs of the students and adapt to those specific needs when applicable.
Lesson planning is key to having motivated students in the classroom. The teacher needs to prepare lessons that are fun, mentally stimulating and interesting as well as covering the necessary information that the students need to learn in that lesson. When a student enjoys completing a task you have assigned, he or she will strive for greatness. Having an effective and motivated classroom brings about benefits to the classroom’s operations. Making sure you are teaching to all the learning styles in your classrooms is another way to motivate your students.
Students Level of Anticipation
One of the profound impacts of having a motivated classroom is the higher morale the students would have. This higher morale would, therefore, give a greater level of productivity since students are enjoying their assignments. The motivated classroom would then enjoy their studies and would achieve higher grades. The attitude of the classroom would be more positive. Another advantage of having a motivated classroom is low absenteeism rates. The students have incentives to attend class punctually and promptly ready to learn and participate. Relations among students are usually good and there are fewer chances of conflict in the classroom.
Downsides of the Motivation Lack
Nevertheless, the poor motivation of the classroom has serious drawbacks. The classroom will have high absenteeism rates with most absences being unexcused. Increasing tardiness is also another sign of poor motivation. Disciplinary problems increase and the teacher must waste time to deal with these problems. Productivity levels of students and the grades also go down due to their poor morale and demotivation. The students are not enthusiastic about the topics discussed in class.
Students are often faced with tasks that seem daunting to them, and without a support system, it would be very easy to see how a student could lose belief in his or her ability to face a challenge. Therefore, it is important to group students with similar levels or capabilities. In doing so, no student will feel incompetent, but rather will be able to take solace in the fact that he or she is not alone and can call on his or her classmates or the teacher for assistance.
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As a teacher, one needs to strive to keep their class and students motivated, focused during lessons and teambuilding exercises so that the student will do well in their studies and walk away from each lesson, as well as at the end of the course, having successfully learned what they had initially set out to learn.
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