Strategies to Evaluate the Necessity of Motivation in an ESL Setting
Nowadays students and people, in general, are surrounded by social media, they are immersed in the internet, have international job opportunities, multiple career choices, and the possibility to easily travel to many English language speaking countries all this means that people are dealing with the English language more and more.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Elisabeth A. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
English in Communication
English is a tool of communication in so many different situations, so most students in an EFL environment will already be stimulated to learn.
Our job as a teacher is to maintain, nurture and motivate their interest to learn.
Internal and External Motivation
Motivation should be found inside and outside the classroom, in the classroom teachers have to try to create a communicative environment to keep the interest level high and the students engaged.
For this essay, I will not be talking about young language learners, but adults and teenagers. This is because children are motivated in different ways compared to adults and adolescents. Adults and teenagers already know the benefits of speaking English fluently or at least being able to understand and be understood.
In a classroom, the lessons need to be planned in such a way as to captivate and encourage the students helping them put into practice what they have learned, so, within a very short time, they can see for themselves an improvement in their linguistic skills.
A TEFL teacher should be constantly aware of the changing use of the language, and the lessons should reflect this, for example, the fact that nowadays everyone has a smartphone with a GPS means that lessons teaching directions might not hold the same interest for students as they did before the invention of smartphones.
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Role-playing is an essential part of motivation but as a TEFL teacher, you need to be constantly updating what kind of role play you should be incorporating in the lesson. Having said that a successful role-play gives great satisfaction to the students. They feel they are communicating and this motivates them to continue.
Grammar is still a fundamental part of the language learning process, but nothing kills motivation quicker than spending an entire lesson getting students to complete written grammar exercises on the difference between the present perfect simple, and the present perfect continuous!!
Sure, teach the structure, let them see how it’s formed but get them to practice it immediately.
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Vocabulary is essential when learning any language, students are motivated when they begin to understand what is being said in the new language.
Games and Activities
Apart from role-playing teachers need to use many games and activities in the lessons, having fun ensures the students will continue to participate.
Teachers will come across difficulties in keeping motivation high.
For example in a TEFL environment students probably have limited daily contact with the language, so to keep students motivated you have to think how to keep them practicing it outside the classroom, encourage them to listen to music whilst reading/studying the song lyrics, recommend they watch films in the English language, persuade them to subscribe to a daily podcast or find a penfriend on internet.
All of these activities help maintain motivation and encourage the students to want to improve their language skills, to question, to want to know more.
Inside the classroom there are a lot of ways to keep them engaged, making the lesson pertinent, something students can relate to, activity is key.
Do you want to teach English abroad? Take a TEFL course!
English is a developing language and as a teacher, we are obliged to keep up. A teacher must always be aware of who the students are and what they need English for.
Keep your lesson material appropriate and you will keep motivation high.
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