MOTIVATION IN THE CLASSROOMMotivation in the classroom is something that no teacher should take for granted. Expecting that all students
will be eager to receive the knowledge that the teacher is going to provide is a positive thought, although incorrect. From my experience and the contests learned during the tefl course
, in order to keep the motivation high, some factor must be taken into consideration:
? Age and circumstances of the students
: young learners
are usually not very motivated to study English: they don?t quite understand the relevance of learning this language and even if they do, they?d rather be playing videogames or with their friends. But, for example, if they are preparing their first certifications (Flyers, Starters, etc.), they might be really motivated. The motivation in adult students
may vary depending on their circumstances. Are they unemployed workers looking to get some formation and therefore, better opportunities? Are they forced by their bosses to attend an English course they feel they don?t need? The circumstances of the students
are as important, if not more, than their age; consequently, is very important to know them well in order to prepare suitable short-term goals (how are you going to get their motivation going?) and mid-term goals (how are you going to maintain that motivation throughout the course).
? Goals and targets: Nothing erodes motivation faster than a teacher or a course that don?t suit the goals and objectives of the class. Do they want to prepare for a specific exam? Do they want to pass the evaluation at their schools? Do they want to be proficient in business English or develop their conversation skills? The teacher?s duty is to provide what their students
need. Of course, sometimes the teacher can identify the needs of the learners better than the learners themselves, but when a certain goal is shared by the whole class the teacher should help all of them achieve that goal while improving the overall knowledge of English.
During my first lessons I made the statement that the teacher must know as much as possible about his or her learners in order to adapt the contents of the course, the materials and even his or her way of teaching to the circumstances and needs of the students
. Now that I?m working in an academy, I realize how important this point is not only to establish the goals of the teacher, developing solid lesson plans
or knowing which materials to use, but also to keep the students
motivated, happy and with the feeling that they are doing something really productive with their time.
Other ways of enhancing motivation in the class include:
? Use of varied, interesting, attractive materials related to the goals of the students
? Interaction between students
, active participation in the development of the class.
? Correct methodology by the teacher, as studied in several lessons of the course.
? For adult students
, solid lesson plans
in which progression is easy to track.
? For young learners
, some improvisation, variety and creativity.
Motivation has a plethora of positive repercussions: enhances participation (fundamental not only to clear any doubts, but also for interactive activities such as role-playing and conversations), creates a great atmosphere of teamwork and respect towards the teacher, and has a significant effect on the student
?s marks. To sum it up, is one of the key components of building a successful class in which both students
and teacher have a good, productive and prolific time.