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The Crucial Role of Motivation in Student Learning

The Crucial Role of Motivation in Student Learning | ITTT | TEFL Blog

Apart from cognitive development, there is the moral and social development which are very important as well. Because, very young children do not understand that people have different feelings and experiences, but these perspective-taking abilities develop over time until it is quite sophisticated in adults. Kohlberg’s divided it into three levels. The first one is the conventional moral reasoning which is based on personal needs and determination and other rules to avoid punishments. The second’s called the conventional Moral Reasoning which is based on the family’s expectation, traditional values, the laws of society and loyalty to the country. The third is called the post-conventional moral reasoning is based on the universal ethical principle orientation. As a future teacher must be sensitive to the possibility that students may have a different meaning for the same word or different words for the same meaning.

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

Teachers’ Awareness

As moving forward a teacher must be aware of the differences and multiple Intelligences of human abilities that each of individuals might have, to be able to figure out the student's weaknesses and strengths. According to H. Gardner, there are eight kinds of intelligence. Logical-mathematical is the capacity and ability to handle long chains of reasoning. Linguistic that could be sensitive to different functions of language. The musical got the ability to produce and appreciate different forms of musical expressiveness. Spatial is the capacity to perceive and perform visual-spatial. Bodily-Kinesthetic is the ability to control one’s body movements. Interpersonal which is responding appropriately to the moods, temperaments. Intrapersonal can access one’s feelings with accurate self-knowledge. The naturalist is to make distinctions in the natural world. All of these are important to know to imply it when teaching the language by using several ways of teaching to target each student’s intelligence.

secondary school students

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Encouragement and Praise

Indeed, the ways teachers treat individual students affect other students in the class. Therefore, the behaviorism consists of actions and reactions of an individual, instead of looking at the mind. According to skinner behavior is strengthened or weakened by consequences and antecedents, which called Positive reinforcement and Negative reinforcement.

Behavior Management

A teacher must use this reinforcement effectively such as specify desired behaviors at the beginning, choose an appropriate reinforcer for different students, make reinforcers contingent and timely, select the best schedule of reinforcement, use prompts and shaping and use negative reinforcement effectively. In general, teachers should communicate the desired or undesired behaviors expected of students and the rewards and penalties for each.

As Schunk mentioned; It places too much emphasis on external control of students ‘behavior’. A better strategy might be to help students to control their behavior and become internally motivated. It does not reward or punishment that changes behavior, but the belief or expectation that certain actions will be rewarded or punished.

attentive students

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The Importance of Motivation

​​Motivating students are is one of the critical tasks of teaching. There are two kinds of motivation. The first one is intrinsic motivation is the natural tendency to seek out challenges as we pursue personal interests and exercise capabilities. When we are intrinsically motivated, we do not need punishment, because the activity itself is rewarding, like Raffini states ‘what motivates us to do something when we do not have to do anything. In contrast, when we do something to earn a grade to avoid punishment, please teacher, or for some other reason that has to do a little with the task itself. When we are motivated extrinsically, we are interested in the activity for its own sake and we care only about what we will gain. So as teachers must encourage intrinsic motivation while making sure that extrinsic motivation is supplementary by using an attractive object supplied as a consequence of a behavior and an incentive which is an event that encourages or discourages the behavior.

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To conclude, by being aware of all these theories and aspects which are behaviorism, motivation, cognitive development, and social development… A teacher should combine and make in use all these theories by taking into consideration different levels of the students, culture, intelligence, behavior, to figure out and bring about a way or different style to deal with each student. Also, an environment that is full of motivation and encouragement for the student to transfer a desire to learn, and acceptance of error correction, and ability to think about their learning process and methods, a willingness to ask a question and to listen to the language. Therefore, these elements required from the teacher to have good subject knowledge, good rapport and interaction, involving all students equally by taking into consideration their levels and by knowing their weaknesses and trying to give help and individual attention where it is necessary.

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