Class Distance TESOL

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This is how our TEFL graduates feel they have gained from their course, and how they plan to put into action what they learned:

J.C. - Japan said:
Motivating students
Motivating students can be one of the most challenging and difficult tasks a teacher might encounter. This particularly refers to students who are not too interested in attaining new knowledge and feel rather reluctant to actively participate in lesson. Understanding student motivation can greatly enhance the teaching methods and student performance. We can talk about two types of motivations: intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. The former refers to motivation that comes from inside an individual (pleasure that one gets from task itself; feeling of satisfaction for completing or working on a task), whereas the latter considers the motivation that comes from the outside an individual (rewards, money, grades etc…). Whether our students are intrinsically or extrinsically motivated, we as teachers have to do all what’s in our power to keep involving them in the lesson, therefore motivating them further. First and foremost we should make sure our students understand what to do and why they should do it. Clear explanations and instructions will not only help them follow the lesson, but also increase their participation and productivity. While explaining tasks and topics we want our students to be interested in, we should show our own enthusiasm as well, because some of it will be definitely transmitted to them. Further, using extrinsic motivators in a form of rewards, no matter how small they are, can make them feel proud and recognized. These motivators can, over a brief period of time, produce intrinsic motivation too. Another important factor is how much we as teachers care about our students. By sharing our own personal stories and problems, we will look as approachable human beings to our students. And this will definitely make student-teacher relationship much more personalized. If we show our interest in students’ concerns and goals, they will respect and trust us more. Participation is the core of student motivation. Having our students participate actively in their own learning is the most important key for enhancing their motivation. Therefore, we have to get them involved in every lesson segment. Students should be given chance to solve problems, to work in groups or pairs, to be able to decide what to do, to help us in the classroom, to feel needed and as an important part of the class. If we manage to give them these opportunities during the lesson, their self-esteem will be boosted and consequently their motivation will be higher. Also, letting them draw the conclusion and figure out the solution of a problem on their own, can be a great motivation booster. We should do our best to teach inductively. Meaning, we should give our students examples, hints and prompts and encourage them to enjoy in discovering the right answers. If the conclusions are served from the very start, they will be deprived of the joy of discovery, which will lead to losing interest, and motivation along with it. Not all of our students will have same expectations and needs. Different needs come with various personalities. Thus, our attending to students’ needs is one of the most essential methods of keeping them happy and interested in our lesson. Our activities and lesson planning should be designed in a way which can fulfill students’ needs. We must not ignore, avoid or try to suppress their needs. If students can see that the lesson meets their needs, they will be more devoted to a learning activity. In order to make our approach and teaching methods more appealing to our students, we always have to strive for the most enjoyable and amusing ways to present new vocabulary, grammar, idioms etc… That’s why, using visuals and realia, are one of the best way of conveying a message without wasting our time on tedious and long litany. These can be such a great stimulus for our students, as they anchor the new word to an image, and with minimum effort attain new knowledge. Visual images are fun, amusing, relaxing and give our student sense of fast and creative learning. And last but not the least; we should take positive attitude at all times. Using positive emotions will help our students learn more readily and their knowledge will last longer.

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