What is the Most Important Thing Nowadays?
During times like these, nothing is more important than our health and our students, that’s why I want to reassure that you should do everything you can to support them.
One important thing you should do is to present visualized lessons for your students and encourage them to go online to learn. E-learning when used properly, will be efficient and students will get many benefits from it. On the contrary, if you ignore the English levels and the situations of your students, and just use traditional methods, the teaching will be less efficient and students will feel bored deciding not to learn English whether online or offline.
What is the Most Important Aspect of Online Learning?
The most important aspect of online learning is motivation. Motivation has been widely accepted by teachers and researchers as one of the key factors that can influence the rate and success of foreign language learning. That’s why I want to discuss what language teachers should do to increase and maintain their students’ motivation to go learning online.
What Influences Motivation?
There are many aspects that can influence the students’ motivation to learn online such as proper presentation, the art of evaluating, the relationship between the teacher and the students, acknowledging and understanding students, and having clear and SMART objectives for each online lesson.
What is Motivation?
Motivation is defined in different ways by different researchers, but they seem to agree that motivation is what energizes the human behavior and gives it direction.
What are the Types of Motivation?
There are two main types of motivation; intrinsic and extrinsic.
Intrinsic motivation deals with behavior performed for its own sake, in order to experience pleasure, satisfaction such as the joy of doing a particular activity or satisfying one’s curiosity.
Extrinsic motivation deals with behavior performed to meet some extrinsic requirements or rewards.
In language learning, motivation usually refers to students’ desires and efforts to learn a foreign language. Most students are affected by some extrinsic motivators such as graduation, getting high scores in exams or being able to get better job opportunities after graduation. These factors can increase the level of motivation that is desired in the language class but the true motivation to learn the language can be described as it is because of the learners’ desire to do so and the satisfaction experienced in this activity.
It is important for the online language teacher to put in mind the significance of the two types of motivation and make good use of them in teaching practice so that students will promote favorable attitudes towards language learning.
The Process of Online Learning
The process of online learning is just like someone eating something. If he has no desire to eat, and others just force him to do so, how can he eat it? Even if he has eaten it, how can he absorb it? This is the same as English language learning online. If the students are forced to learn it online and they themselves have no desire or interest in it, they can‘t learn it well.
Without a personal desire to learn something, real learning can’t take place. So, for the online language teacher, the most important thing is how to increase students’ motivation and make use of the proper teaching and interesting presentation.
Things to Do to Stimulate Students to Learn Online
1. Having Clear and SMART Objectives for Each Online Class
Once the teacher has clear, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed objectives for each English class, students will have confidence in their ability to succeed and the language teacher will be able to continue to strengthen the students’ motivation by providing online activities that aim ultimately to:
- Encourage students to use the language to communicate their own experiences about their current lives and dreams.
- Talk about topics that they are interested in and like.
- Share knowledge with each other.
2. Using the Proper Methods of Presentation
The proper methods of the presentation can increase students’ motivation. The teacher should be aware that the methods he employs to present the lesson will have some effect on the students’ motivation.
For example, using a variety of interesting and challenging learning tasks that require speaking, listening, reading, writing and thinking and that involve students in cooperative learning can increase students’ motivation to the highest level.
When the teacher avoids being just a lecturer but being a facilitator helps students in the way that motivates them to learn online. However, if the teacher is very talkative, and ignores the students’ levels and other factors, students will find the class tedious and boring, and this will demotivate them to continue in the class.
3. Using Exciting Visual Materials
The materials which the teacher decides to use should include a lot of interesting visual elements used in authentic contexts. These materials will attract students to read hard and will be easy to remember and everyone will like to talk about them.
English language learning has the purpose of communication. If the students can communicate with each other about the materials you are presenting, they will be more delighted. So these materials, such as the famous footballers’ photos, the policies of the government, the stock market and so on, are very attractive for the students. This can stimulate their motivation to read and learn.
Furthermore, local or international news in the target language is very helpful to arouse the students’ interest to learn a foreign language well. It is much better if the learners already know the information or at least understand the headlines because it is possible to introduce some lexical items whose meanings may be inferred from the context.
4. Creating a Rapport with the Students
Good rapport between the teacher and the students is very important. If the students love you, they love your teaching whether offline or online, and they want to learn from you. This means that their motivation will increase. On the contrary, if they hate you, they will have no interest in your online lessons, and even refuse to attend your online sessions. This creates a psychological resistance. So the teacher should set a good example for the students and get along well with them. You should do the following to create a rapport with your students so that you will increase their motivation to come online to learn from you.
- Caring for everything in their lives and making friends with them.
- Facilitating your teaching making the classes interesting and vivid.
- Being fair treating all students equally.
- Understanding them and acting on their aspirations.
- Being a model speaker of the target language.
- Being a skillful organizer and stimulating the students into doing the activities of the target language.
5. Getting Students to Experience Challenge and Success
In the language learning situation, nothing succeeds like success. Success or lack of success plays a vital role in the motivational drive of a student. Both complete failure and complete success may be demotivating. So in the English learning online class, the goals and tasks should be set not too difficult or too easy and most of the students can be successful through their hard-working. The activities which are beyond their abilities may have a negative effect on their motivation. It is also true that activities aimed below the level of the students are demotivating. So there is much work to do to select activities which will challenge the students at the proper level.
6. Understanding and Acknowledging Students
When students are acknowledged in the online class and feel understood by their teacher, their level of motivation will increase. Teachers can create a similar classroom environment by:
- Calling on students by name. Knowing the students’ names can be a powerful motivator for them to be more attentive.
- Making efforts to understand the students understanding their interests, learning styles, language level. The more you know about your students, the easier your teaching will be.
- Creating a classroom environment where students are valued when expressing their opinions.
- Asking about their feelings or perspectives. This can not only provide you with helpful information to organize and plan future activities but also can motivate the students. Allowing learners to bring their own knowledge and perspectives into the learning process is one of the most significant ways to increase students’ motivation. This can make the online class truly learner-centered.
If you do the things above well, you will be a competent teacher and your students will respect you and learn from you wherever you are.
Next Week, I’m Going to Launch a Resource Guide for Online Teachers
This guide is coming next week including all possible workable links to useful websites, Youtube videos, ppt slides, and other valuable online resources that all online teachers need so that they will learn more about:
- Their English language level (links to the best placement tests).
- The best apps for language learning.
- Links to a lot of English courses that meet different English levels.
- How to practice speaking English with native speakers.
- Methods and approaches to teaching English.
- Lesson planning and assessment.
- How to teach English to young learners.
- How to teach the four English skills; reading, listening, speaking and writing.
- Valuable resources for teaching English for academic purposes and business.
- Using visual aids and technology in teaching English.
Are You Interested?!
If you are interested in getting this resource guide, email me at (email@example.com) with just “Interested” in the subject line so that I will notify you when I have already launched this guide telling you how to get it and how much it costs.