Motivation in the Classroom: What?, Why? And How?

motivation: what?, why?, and how?

What is Motivation?

  • Motivation is a kind of enthusiasm within an individual that arouses and maintains behavior towards a goal. That is to say: motivation is goal-directed behavior.
  • Motivation is a kind of energy within an individual that determines to what extent he/she will involve in a task and how long he/she will keep concentrated.

What Are the Two Main Kinds of Motivation?

1. Intrinsic Motivation:

It comes from an internal force such as interest in language learning or the desire for further personal development in general.

2. Extrinsic Motivation:

It comes from external pressures such as the need to speak English for work or because a parent has sent a learner to class.

Why is Motivation Important?

  • Highly motivated students learn faster and better.
  • Motivation facilitates the learning process.
  • It creates a desire to learn the subject matter.
  • It arouses the students’ interest and participation.

How Can You Motivate Your Students?

  • Divide them into pairs or groups.
  • Seat a high-level student beside a lower-level one.
  • Use supportive techniques when correcting errors.
  • Use the role-playing strategy.
  • Use realia, flashcards, stories and songs in teaching
  • Use audiovisual materials, e.g. cassette player, video, computer… etc.
  • Create a supportive environment where students are respected and feel a sense of belonging.
  • Believe in the ability of each student to learn.
  • Set up clear classroom rules from the very beginning and appreciate who follow them.
  • Be aware of the strengths of each student and focus on them, not on their weaknesses.
  • Use your students’ interests, talents and goals to encourage them to learn.
  • Maintain a disciplined, organized and calm classroom to increase your students’ concentration.
  • Vary your teaching methods and make the lessons interesting and enjoyable.
  • Adapt your lessons to your students’ lives and needs.
  • Let students be aware of the objectives of each lesson so that they can realize the feeling of achievement.
  • Teach your students how to prepare and study their lessons, help them acquire good study habits at home.
  • Always provide positive feedback. Never embarrass or ridicule a student.
  • Assign homework that is specific and clearly related to the objectives of each lesson.
  • Emphasize cooperation rather than competition; support pair work and group work to create opportunities for students to help each other.
  • Teach students how to find solutions to the problems they may face.
  • Avoid practices or exercises that can cause frustration, instead adapt them to students’ level.
  • Provide rewards for unusual effort and success.
  • Establish a close relationship with students’ parents to assist their children in forming good habits at home so that they will be ready to learn at school.
  • Give your students the chance to lead a classroom activity.
  • Treat each student fairly, show no favoritism.
  • Discover your strengths, learn from mistakes and concentrate on doing your best.

What else do you suggest to motivate students in the classroom? Leave your reply in the comment box below.

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