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The Two Main Factors That Are Responsible For Motivating Young Learners

motivating young learners

The complex question that most teachers often ask themselves is: Should we educate to motivate or motivate to educate?

In other words: Which comes first; education or motivation?

When motivating young learners, we are paving the way for their education and this applies to teaching in general.

A lot has been said about the importance of motivating learners in order to achieve good results in class but doing what we say is not so easy as saying it.

But one thing is clear: it is the teacher’s responsibility to make that motivation happens and grows.

The questions to ask right now:

  • How does motivation happen?
  • What helps the teacher to motivate young learners?

There are many complex factors that intervene in the process of increasing young learners’ motivation in class.

I’m going to concentrate here on the two main factors that are responsible for motivating young learners: the motivating teacher and the motivating materials.

1. The Motivating Teacher

When dealing with young learners, the teacher becomes the key motivating factor that can make education and motivation very closely linked.

The personality of the teacher is very important for motivating young learners at all levels.

A motivating teacher is a normal person having feelings and shares them with others, accepts criticism, and always tries to improve himself/herself.

But there are some features that differentiate the motivating teacher from other teachers.

Here are some of these features that are responsible for motivating learners.

The motivating teachers are always:

  • Friendly

They always create a good atmosphere in the classroom, listen openly to the learners’ and have a sense of humor.

  • Positive

They always see the positive side of all situations and try to find a solution and alternative solutions to difficult situations.

  • Helpful

They like their job and are always ready to help their learners grow personally. They care for their personal circumstances and know their psychology. They try their best to be fair in all situations and care for the different needs, abilities, and capabilities of their learners.

  • Professional

They make their explanations easy to follow and understand. They use language that is accessible to all learners. They use all kinds of materials and resources to make input comprehensible to all learners.

  • Leaders Rather Than Teachers

They consider organization, discipline, and mutual respect in their classes. They speak in a clear voice presenting topics and activities that are accessible and adequate to their learners’ interests but challenging as well.

2. The Motivating Materials

The materials used in the class play an essential role in increasing learners’ motivation. Whatever materials teachers choose for a particular lesson, project, teaching unit, term, or school year, those materials must be:

  • Varied.
  • Attractive.
  • Interesting.
  • Accessible.
  • Challenging.
  • Encouraging.
  • Surprising.
  • Leading learners to achieve some kind of outcome.

Only by accomplishing all these requisites, materials will be motivating and therefore successful in a class of young learners.

Besides, in order to be both educational and motivating, materials must:

  • Foster creativity and imagination.
  • Cater for different needs, abilities, and capabilities,
  • Help to develop general learning skills as well as social skills.
  • Present good models of behavior.

We could say that ANY materials can be used in class as long as they are carefully chosen and used with a clear purpose.

Among the most successful materials and activities with young learners we should mention:

  • TPR activities.
  • Stories.
  • Games
  • Songs, chants, and rhymes.
  • Poems.
  • Puppets, arts and crafts.
  • Drama activities.
  • Puzzles and problem-solving activities.

Final Word

To sum up, teaching young learners must always be a joyful, memorable, and a motivating experience for the learners. Teachers must become a key motivating element and always use materials that make education and motivation very closely linked.

Thanks for reading

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