What is a Driving Engine of EFL Students’ Motivation?
The most difficult and important aspects of becoming a teacher are learning how to motivate your students. Students who are not motivated will not learn effectively. They will not absorb the information, they will not participate and some of them may even become disruptive.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Vagia Nikoletta K. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Reasons for the lack of motivation
A student may be unmotivated for many reasons. Some of those reasons might be that they have no interest in the subject, find the teacher’s methods un-engaging or be distracted by external forces. Also, a student who appeared unmotivated he/she might have difficulty learning and is need of special attention. Probably motivating students can be very difficult but the rewards are more than worth it. Some students are excited to learn and participate. Teaching a class with motivated students is enjoyable for teachers and students alike. A great teacher can make learning fun and inspire even the most difficult.
There are some effective ways to get students excited
Firstly, the teacher should encourage the students. Students look for teachers’ approval and positive reinforcement, in this way students are more enthusiastic about learning because they will feel that their work is recognized and valued. Teachers should encourage open communication and free thinking with students to make them feel important. It is important to recognize them for their contributions and the ways they try. When a classroom is a friendly place where students feel heard and respected, they will be more interested to learn.
Secondly, it is significant to get the students involved. One way to encourage students to be responsible is to get them involved in the classroom, by giving each student a job to do. For example, giving students the responsibility of tidying up or decorating the classroom. Assign a student to erase the blackboard or pass out materials. If a teacher is tired of reading in class, students can take turns reading sections out loud. Making students work in groups and giving each a task or role. When students have a sense of ownership allows them to feel accomplished and encourages active participation in class.
Also read: How TEFL Course Inspired Me in My Teaching
Thirdly, teachers should offer incentives. Such as setting expectations and making reasonable demands encourages students to participate, but sometimes students need an extra push in the right direction. That would make learning fun and motivates students to push themselves. Rewards give students a sense of accomplishment and encourage them to work with a goal in mind.
Finally, teachers should be creative with their lessons. Teaching through games and discussions instead of lectures, encourage students to debate and enrich the subject matter with visual aids, like colorful charts, diagrams, and videos. The classroom should never be boring. It can be easily decorated by posters, models, student projects and seasonal themes to create a warm and stimulating environment.
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Motivation is a tricky topic. Many things could influence the student’s motivation. There are aspects outside the classroom that the teacher cannot change and there are aspects where the teacher can help motivate the student. For example, encouraging students, involving them to participate, giving rewards and making the lessons creative and fun. In general, it is important to enjoy teaching. Sometimes teachers should think ‘outside the box’ and not taking everything personally.
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