Teach English in XinzhuAng Gongyequ [Shenzhuang Industrial Zone] - Shanghai Shi

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Motivation in the ClassroomMotivation of both students and teachers is the most important factor in any learning situation. There are of course many different types of learners, with different needs and learning styles, and they have to be approached differently. However, I believe that the most important factors in increasing motivation in the classroom are related to students? goals, their engagement and classroom environment. Regardless whether they are young or older, students should be made aware of what their specific goals are for learning the language. They need to feel that these goals, when achieved, will help them in the future in some practical way and that everything they are doing in the classroom is related to achieving these goals. This seems very simple but in fact it is easy for teachers to forget to stress this link and for students to be so frustrated with grammar that they forget why they are studying it. The goals must be realistic, otherwise students will be disappointed and will stop making an effort. In addition, students need to be shown their progress towards achieving the goals. Instructors should talk about students? strengths and weaknesses from the point of view of reaching their specific objectives. For example, if at the beginning of the course a student says she wants to work in a travel agency, she should be helped to understand what she needs in terms of language skills to be successful and how to get there. Stressing the relationship between classroom activities and future real life situations also helps to make students more active. If they understand why they have to do something and have some choice, students feel that they are in control. If the instructor allows students to choose between two discussion topics, two activities or two readings, students? motivation will improve a lot and they will try harder to do a good job. Finally, in order to improve students? motivation, instructors need to provide a good learning environment. When students are afraid, ashamed or bored, they do not learn much, if anything. It is important to encourage and include everybody and give feedback in a way that does not embarrass or frighten. Some students need to be pushed to participate actively, others need to be told to wait to take a turn, but nobody wants to feel a looser. This is also related to using different types of activities (group work, pair work, games, etc.) so that everybody has a fair chance to contribute in a variety of ways). To maintain interest and make learning fun it is necessary to provide a variety of materials (supplementary materials in addition to the course book, authentic materials) and teaching aids (computers, films, recordings, cameras). It is probably easier to encourage motivation for speaking and listening than for reading and writing but again making assignments close to real life tasks will be very helpful. If possible, instructors should try to learn as much as possible about their students, their personalities, interests or likes and dislikes. They should also establish a good relationship with their students by showing that they care about them. We all try a little bit harder for a person we like and on a task we think is relevant - it?s human nature. To conclude, motivating learners is a difficult but necessary task for teachers. Some students start out motivated but lose their enthusiasm, others have little motivation at the beginning and need to develop it. Instructors need to remember that engaging and activating learners are the only keys to success.