PRELIM 3 — How to motivate our students in the class?

PRELIM 3 — How to motivate our students in the class?

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Whether it is in a private language school or a public school, motivating students is vital. Although it would be argued that in a private language school students are self-motivated: they want to be there. However, some students are sent to private language schools as they have to follow their parents’ will. Whereas in public school they may not want to learn a language, but they have no choice because it is a part of the compulsory school curriculum. So, how can we motivate our students?

Firstly, we need to create a positive learning environment in the classroom. The class is supportive, and students feel comfortable practicing and speaking English without fear of judgment or ridicule. The teacher also needs to praise students for their efforts and achievements and provide constructive feedback which is a big motivation booster.

Secondly, what we are teaching needs to be relevant to the students. Relevant could mean many things to different students, so it is important to be acutely aware of your student’s interests to tailor classes occasionally to their interests. Therefore, personalise the activities to their hobbies, interests, and pastimes by allowing students to select topics that interest them can make the material more relevant and engaging. 

Furthermore, it is important to have activities that have some real-world use, such as role-playing buying train tickets or buying a coffee. Next, incorporating technology into your classroom and gamifying the learning process will help with student engagement, such as Duolingo for schools, online resources, and interactive multimedia such as Kahoot to make classes more fun for students. Technology also offers a welcome change of pace, not only for the student but also for the teacher to vary their teaching styles. To read more speaking activities that we created please visit our website.

Next, foster peer or small group working among your students. Working in groups can make the language learning process more enjoyable, and speaking English in a small group is less threatening than in front of the whole class.

Finally, set clear achievable goals. Identifying your class’s lesson objectives makes it easier for your students to concentrate on the task. Of course, all students and classes are different, but these are some of the techniques that have worked for us, and hope will be valuable for you too. Have fun!

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