Useful Ways to Motivate TEFL Students
Motivation has proven to be one of the major challenges teachers face in the classroom, where he/she must, however, engage the students. No matter how you see it, a teacher's personality matters so much in the classroom. Now the question is, how will a teacher improve his student's motivation in the classroom.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Nwanekezie Adaeze E. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Get to know your students well
motivation relates to personality, interpretation, and ethics. That is to say that we do not analyze or see things the same way the, do not withdraw the same lessons, do not transform ourselves in contact with it in the same way. That's why it's important to know your students.
The first hours of the beginning of the year should be developed for this task. Try to find out what motivates them, what activities do they like to practice (sport, art, games, etc.)? What do they like about these activities? What are they looking for? What profession do they want to practice? Why ? how do they choose their friends (on what criteria)? how do they do their homework? As soon as possible? At the last moment? Several times? If so, how often do they stop? For what reasons? Does this apply to all subjects? Are they capable of sustainably sustaining efforts? For which activity (not only school)? Do they give up early enough in the face of difficulty? Why do they believe in their abilities or skills? In what areas (not just school) do they think they can succeed or fail? For what reasons?
Do they act only when they perceive interest, utility, and importance, or even outside of it? How much affectivity do they attribute to the task at hand or to the people who work with them? Do they believe in destiny or, on the contrary, in free will?
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The use of the game
Some students are in systematic opposition, so games can lead them to be more motivated to learn by taking on the role of mediator. When I think of the game, think of the board game, but it forgets all the narrative games, riddles, and competitions, etc.
For example, we have invited particularly weak and uninspired students to open their books to extract information that can be transformed into questions for their classmates, like the game show "Questions for a Champion". however, changing some rules to form groups.
The use of feedback and the good attributive cause:
Education and training leave too little room for feedback, which is essential for progress. Learners (students, students, and adults in training) have too little feedback on what they did. A copy with a small annotation is insufficient, especially if it is not corrected and returned within 48 hours, time for the student to feel still concerned by what he has produced. Beyond, his memory will not have retained how he realized his copy, the cognitive strategies that he used.
The control of oneself and one's environment:
The use of feedback offers teachers the possibility to lead the learner to improve the control of oneself and one's environment.
To do this, the teacher or will be well advised to provide clear and detailed guides and methodologies on: the use of resources to mobilize (knowledge, materials, etc.) to make the activity successful; the purpose of the activity, not forgetting to relate it to concrete situations as to other disciplines; the process to use (inductive, deductive, chronological, etc.)
To have the feeling of being able to control one's environment as oneself does not belong to the innate but of the acquired one. Students should, therefore, be explicitly taught that there is a correlation between their behavior and the effects it induces.
When we see little correlation, we are invariably confronted with anxiety and passivity and we then experience less success.
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From the feeling of being able to control one's person and one's environment, that is, to explicitly establish correlations between individual behavior and the result it induces, gives rise to confidence in its effectiveness.
Unfortunately, this trust is limited to certain areas and excludes others, either because we have experienced failure, or because we have received a negative image, or because we have given credit to some popular beliefs like the impossibility of being good at math or English. Fortunately, if a computer is multitasking, so is the brain. It is not registered in any constitution, that one can not excel in maths as in English especially since the first is a language!
It has been proven that students who trust them intuitively develop better strategies for success and practice metacognition more than others. Metacognition here is the introspection of his way of learning and the projection into the future.
Being able to choose an activity mechanically increases self-confidence and motivation.
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If the teacher succeeds in leading the learner to take on the task at hand, then he or she can arouse great motivation. How?
- By leaving him the choice among predetermined options;
- Emphasizing the importance and interest of the task for personal projects or self-construction;
- Presenting the task in a catchy way.
Competition can have a positive effect on some individuals, but completely demotivate others.
Also, learners (students, students, or adults in training) who want to be better than their peers are more easily subject to negative emotions, anxiety, and may behave irrationally. Their attention will be more on the other than on themselves. On the other hand, a learner who tries to improve his results for himself, disregarding others, will maintain confidence in him when encountering a failure. This will be much less the case of the competitor.
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However, if it is formally and not advisable to reward a student with money or with a property with market value, on the other hand, other forms of reward may be appropriate: pause, recognition, games, etc.
If you have a reward system in place and you want to stop it, you have to do it gradually, at the risk of the learners taking it as a punishment.
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