Rod Ellis defines motivation as referring to “the efforts which learners put into learning an L2 as a result of their need or desire to learn” (1995).
The two main types of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic, can affect the learning process. Intrinsic motivation is task motivation that derives from an inherent interest in the learning tasks while extrinsic motivation refers to the external influences that affect the strength of learner’s motivation such as that which comes from teachers and parents.
While some students have their own intrinsic motivation or external motivation, other students need to be motivated to learn. There are many things that you can do as a teacher in order to motivate students to learn. These strategies are based on various articles I have read below.
Students are more likely to want to learn when they appreciate the value of the classroom activities, and when they believe that they will succeed if they apply reasonable effort. Hence, “student motivation to learn is an acquired competence developed through general experiences but stimulated most directly through modeling, communication of expectations, and direct instruction or socialization by significant others – especially teachers and parents” (Brophy, p.40) When it comes to lower performing learners, teachers realize that such learners are accustomed to experiencing failure, hence, the teacher’s task is to help them experience success.
Here are some strategies and tips that may motivate students and stimulate them to learn.
- Provide a supportive environment and establish a trusting bond. “Motivation is the feeling nurtured primarily by the teacher in the learning situation” (Ellis, 1994). Greet your students, interact with them, indicate a personal concern about them as individuals.
- Cater levels of activity to students’ level – try and make sure that the learning tasks pose a reasonable challenge to the students – neither too difficult nor too easy.
- Help students recognize links between effort outcome – learning is a long term plan of effort and investment.
- Break down learning steps into digestable pieces.
- Minimize student’s performance anxiety during learning activities.
Articles on Motivating Students
Brophy, J. Synthesis of Research for Motivating Students to Learn. Educational Leadership, Oct. 1987. p.40-48. (article summary)
Ellis, R. (1994) The Study of Second Language Acquisition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
If English is your second language, there are many factors that may stop you from mastering it but similarly, there are many ways to help you improve English. Here are a few tips that might help you to learn English.
Just do it and speak out without anxiety
The major problem many people encounter in mastering a new language is their own worry. They always concentrate on negative things. They worry too much that they will not say things appropriately, or that they will look silly, so they do not talk at all. The most effective way to master anything is to do it repeatedly until you obtain it right. Practice makes perfect! Similar to anything mastering, English involves practice. You should not allow fear cease you from acquiring what you want. Set a goal and go for it. You are bigger than yourself.
Learn English through Movies
I enjoy learning English by watching movie or television. This is not only a fun approach to learn, but it is also very powerful. By watching English videos you can broaden your vocabulary and hear the flow of conversation from the stars. Pick your favorite film, memories the dialogues and study how the way the actor converse, rehearsing it repeatedly. If you like to listen to news, you may give yourself chance to listen to English news, note down useful phrases that you wish to learn, you can also hear various accents. You can also improve your listening skill by watching news.
Learning English by Listening to English Music
Music is another very helpful way of learning English. Truthfully, it is usually utilized as a way of strengthening comprehension and vocabulary. The best way to learn though is to get the lyrics (words) to the songs you are listening to. Read the lyrics first and try to understand them. There are quite a number good websites where one can obtain the words for most songs. This way you can practice your listening and reading at the same time. And if you like to sing, fine.
Record Your Voice
No one like to listen to their own tone of voice on recording but like tests, it is excellent to compare your recording from time to time. You may be so amazed with the improvement you are creating that you may not mind the sound of your voice as much.
Many of us are not lucky enough to get an opportunity to learn the English language. While a lot of us graduate from well-known universities, still our grasp on the verse is not up to the mark. Different reasons stop us from learning English properly. No matter, whatever be the reason, if a person is determined to learn it, then the sky is the limit. With a positive attitude and a zeal to master the skill you can even conquer the odds and learning a new language is just a petty thing. Hard work and continuous practice are the keys to crack the deal.
Here are a few pointers highlighting the factors that contribute to the fluency of an individual:
- The first thing that you should do in the morning is to read a newspaper. A newspaper is one of the most abundant sources of knowledge as well as vocabulary. There are many news publications you can subscribe to, as all of them are equally useful.
- Give a thought to reading books and start with primary level story books. These books contain simple vocabulary and are easy to read and understand. Gradually, switch to short story books by the renowned linguist authors and then further jump to English novels. The process of developing an understanding of the language may be slow, but after all, slow and steady wins the race.
- Having access to a pocket dictionary is a wonderful way to enhance the skills. Always look for the meanings of the words that you get through on a daily basis. It helps to explore the connotation of the word on the spot so that you can remember it.
- Apart from the above practices, do not hesitate to make use of the sophisticated words while conversing. Overcoming the hesitation will contribute to your ability to speak well.
- Always make it a point to talk in English with your friends. It is an excellent strategy to improve one’s language skills.
- English channels are a fantastic platform to learn the language. Try to watch English news and movie channels every day for about an hour or a half and listen to the orator carefully for developing an understanding for his vocabulary and pronunciation. These people are very fluent in their verse. It will help to build your fluency in the language.
- Proverbs and phrases are an essential addition to the verse and having a know-how of these magical terminologies prove to be beneficial in one’s journey of English learning and further adds to fluency.
- One of the reliable methods to master the language is by joining spoken English tutorial classes for developing a better understanding of the same under the expert guidance. Guess what? You don’t need to go to a traditional language learning institute. Just register with any of the renowned online tutorial websites that offer online classes and other material online. Without a doubt, these platforms provide an opportunity to learn the same within the comforts of your home.
These are a few sure shot tips for the learners to speak the language fluently. Just give a try, and you will observe that the things have already started to work.