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The Dependence of Teaching on Students Motivation

The Dependence of Teaching on Students Motivation | ITTT | TEFL Blog

A highly motivated student is one who is goal-oriented, driven by passion and focused. He/she does things from the bottom of the heart. Motivation can be viewed as an internal impulse that brings us to complete an action. Without motivation, there is no action. Motivation is what moves or inspires the learner to achieve set objectives. It's the motor that drives the student to achieve pedagogical objectives. Hence it's an essential tool to equip students with, so that whatever they do it effectively and with perfection.

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

Behavior and Motivation

Behavior can be a very close barometer to see if students are motivated. Emotional indicators as well play a big role in identifying student’s motivation level, for example frowning, being sad, grumpiness, speaking slowly, or even not participating. When a student is highly motivated this can be seen when one likes or enjoy what he/she does. Sometimes when the motivation is not there we see that students turn up late for class, won't do homework but the same students won't find it boring to play Fifa 19 the whole day.

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Efforts and Motivation

Motivating students improves the student’s persistence and effort, for example, a student can use pocket money that was intended for buying lunch to photocopy resource materials or syllabus, they won't give any excuse, they will sacrifice for school objectives. It's also important to know that motivating students bring high grades as students work extra hard without coercion. Motivation improves initiative and cognitive processing skills, this can be seen when a student finds time for research in the library or doing projects, the student will go out of his/her normal stipulated education time to accomplish things. Teachers should motivate students because it helps them achieve educational goals on time. A highly motivated student does research ahead of the teacher’s lecture such that they already understand some of the concepts hence the teacher uses minimum effort to explain things and rarely repeat things.

Get to Know Your Students

There are several ways to motivate students, some teachers use recognition as a tool to motivate learners. An example can be getting to know every student by name and calling them by name in class, this increases motivation as the student feel loved, important and worthy such that they refuse to disappoint. Another way is offering incentives or exemptions from duties, this makes learning fun and motivates students to push themselves. Examples include putting positive comments on marked work, exemption from classroom cleaning, stickers wrote well done, access to a pizza party and praising them more often. Rewards assist in learning as they give students a sense of accomplishment and encourage them to work with a purpose in mind.

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Get Your Students Involved

Another way to motivate students is by getting them involved, the more we lessen teacher-talk time in the classroom, the more we increase student-talk time, which will increase responsibility and participation. If its a reading session, ask students to take turns reading out loud or make them work in groups and then present in front of the class afterward. This approach gives students a sense of ownership and encourages active participation in class. The teacher should avoid too much correcting on group work and classroom presentations as this intimidates the learner and thwarts initiative and motivation. If there is a need for correction it can be done tactfully with polite words like “Not quite”, “Almost”.

Vary Your Activities

Another way to motivate students is by avoiding monotony, there are many fun ways of imparting knowledge to the learner and a variety of those methods will make the learner more interested in the subject. For example games, discussions and debates or even teaching aides like videos using a projector. More creativity will create a warm stimulating environment. Another way to motivate students is by to be real. Drawing connections to real-life helps in making the students believe what they are learning and how it helps in real-life situations. For example a teacher teaching algebra, research how it is utilized practically e.g. in engineering and share your findings with students. This will motivate them as they will know they are being taught something they will need in the future.

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Choose The Best Strategy

Motivation also depends on the technique the teacher is using to teach. Teachers should now resort to straight forward ESA ( Engage, Study and Activate) method. This method propounded by Jeremy Harmer promotes motivation as all factors come into play and ensure flexibility in the classroom. It has three stages. The first stage is the Elicitation stage, the teacher asks thought-provoking questions by prompting the students which promote student involvement and gets them warmed up.

Find Perfect Materials

The teacher makes use of flashcards, pictures, drawings, gap fill and follows on questions to elicit. The second stage is the study stage where worksheets are given out, exercises done, group work as well. In the final stage, the activate stage include role-plays, games, debates, and drills. The ESA technique is pro motivation because of its richness in the variety of educational activities and carefully planned the sequence of events. The ESA stages can be varied as well to suit the audience and nature of subject content being taught forming something called ESA boomerang and ESA patchwork.

However motivating students is important but is not a walk in the park, the motivational theories by Maslow with his hierarchy of needs and Herzberg's two-factor theory tells us there are other factors beyond the teacher’s control important when motivating students. For example, Maslow put human needs in a hierarchy with physiological needs being the basic and most dominant and the first to be attained for other needs to follow. These include shelter, food, water, and sleep. We find that no matter how much the teacher tries to motivate the student at school as long as the student is facing difficulties at home and come hungry at school, it's hard to achieve our goal of motivation. Even from Herzberg’s theory, we derive that if hygiene factors like learning conditions are not up to the standard the student is not motivated.

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