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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:
Motivation in the classroomWhen a class is in progress, it is important that the teacher and the student are motivated. If the teacher appears to be unmotivated then immediately the students will become disengaged. If the students become disengaged they have the potential to become disruptive which can lead to further problems down the line and as a consequence other members of the class losing their confidence in the teacher’s ability. Students’ confidence in a teacher is an essential part of motivation in the classroom.
If a teacher enters a classroom bright , bubbly, punctual and acknowledging the students with a positive greeting then this immediately is going to have a more positive impact than a teacher entering a class solemn faced and possibly late, and starting the lesson without really acknowledging the class.
When delivering a lesson firstly a teacher needs to be aware of their own body language and voice tone. It is important that students know what is expected of them and the lessons learning objectives also the boundaries. children
especially work better if they know what is and isn’t expected of them. Also with ESL student’s language barriers need to be considered, as do local customs. Showing respect for their country and customs is very important.
When planning a session it is essential that the teacher considers the classes ability and offers differentiated tasks if the group is mixed ability. A struggling student will not be motivated, neither will a student who finds the work too easy, stimulating the student is essential in the process of motivation. Also clear instructions will help motivate student, as ambiguity can often cause confusion and lead to some students giving up before they have really started.
Praise can also help motivate a student, providing the praise is believable, as opposed to congratulating the student for everything. Having said that when offering constructive critism it is a good idea to be able to balance out the feedback with what the student is doing well, so that they don’t leave the session feeling negative and return next time motivated to learn.
When teaching students it is important to consider the learners, as nursery rhymes may motivate and engage youngsters but are unlikely to motivate business learners. Curiosity can certainly motivate children and to a certain extent adults here activities involve them doing some form of investigation, e.g., questionnaire activities.
Many students are motivated by activities which involve interaction with others whether it be paired work, group work, role plays or questionnaires.
As a student I am always motivated when a teacher shows a belief and an interest in me as a person, which is why it is important as a teacher to learn student’s names as soon as possible and some information about them; failing that a seating plan so you can use students first names, knowing a student’s identity can also quell potential behaviour problems.
If students are motivated then it is a lot easier for teacher to do her job, but motivation does come from taking time to plan, using different learning strategies and activities, considering different learning styles and including them in the plan. Preparation is essential, resource must be prepared in advance and the teacher must me organised, aware of potential problems and be clear and concise with instructions. A motivated teacher can motivate a class and a motivated class can give a teacher even more motivation to improve.