Why should we worry about motivation?$
Motivation is somethin$g that causes a person to act in a certain way which, mostly deals with the behaviour of that person. What is the role of motivation in classroom life of the children? Why do children choose to work on one task and not another? Why do some children dropout even before they really start? Why do some children exhibit less energy on pursuit of the task? The answer is lack of motivation. Who is responsible for this? It is really frustrating and p$ity to know that some of the students who do not perform very well and being distracted in class for not doing what they are supposed to, are always known as 'trouble makers' of the group. Why do the educators fail to accept that these children experience a sort of low moments, psychological or emotional disorders due to family problems or financial issues which result poor performance and misbehaviour?
Student motivation and managing a classroom are difficult issues for a teacher in her career. The teacher plays different roles in the classroom; one of her important roles is a 'Manager' in her own room. Effective teachings will not take place if the$ children are managed poorly or no classroom rules constructed for them and if they are disrespectful. When I started my career as a teacher I felt like I was left alone in the middle of a jungle not knowing where to go, to be honest I did not perform as a good teacher as I was unable to control the children in my classroom due to lack of knowledge I had about managing them. I was struggling to teach, both students and I suffered and the students learning were likely to be very less. I wanted to perform well but, did not know how, later I understood a well managed classroom should be vital for a teacher if she really needs to prove $herself though it will not appear out of nowhere rather create it. I wanted to create a perfect well managed classroom as the way I wanted as I realized a child's learning is affected by teachers only. Effective teachers always know how to construct interesting lessons in order.
$Motivating students is the key to make them engaged on learning$. Motivation is directing the learners' positive behaviour towards a goal. I as an educator who dealt with those children, who suffer from lack of motivation factor, often complained that it was becoming increasingly tough for me to understand the problems of my children as they do not express their emotions to me. In fact we need to find ways in order to motivate them and create positive learning atmosphere for which classroom management is a strategy that controls student motivation, behaviour, time, involvement in learning and communication.
The teacher aims to have a well managed classroom.
Motivating Primary-aged Learners
In my experience as a teacher of young learners, they need stimulation from the st$art of the lesson to the final minute. From the moment they enter the classroom, to the minute they leave, something needs to be happening. This is partly because at this age (3-11 years) our students tend not to be goal orientated. There is no ability to see the future or to understand whether their English is or is not improving. At this age level, young learners are generally unable to see past the activity they are engaged in, so as teachers we $need to encourage immediate motivation. This motivation must come from the task we as a class are doing at the present time. So it is crucial that we incorporate a fun element into our lessons, so that learners at this level enjoy what they are doing. As we said in o$ur analysis of young learners earlier, young learners will enjoy being challenged within their ability range, but they will learn more if they are enjoying what they are doing. So remember to not let your students get bored. They need to be engaged and active. A tip here is to have lots of activities prepared and not make them too long – long enough for them to be interesting but not so long that students lose intere$st. Vary your tasks too. For example, don’t make them all ‘drawing’ activities. Students who don’t like drawing will soon latch on to the fact that in Ms. X’s lesson ‘all we do is drawing’. The dislike of the method of learning will quickly develop into dislike of the subject itself. But it is not all about having fun in the classroom. Having lots of activities up our sleeves is not going to work all by itself. Yes, we can reward our students when they do well, and indeed we should. But there are more effective motivational strategies that we can employ to be successful at this level as well. So here we look at five key elements that will help to keep our $young learners interested in the lesson.
1. The Importance of Planning$
Planning is crucial to successful motivation. When$ you are planning, think about what your young learners will be interested in doing. Where possible, use a young learner course book at a targeted age level for your class. Build your lesson around part of the book, but remember to think about what we have said regarding attention span. We need to understand and accept how quickly your young learners will lose interest in what they are doing and how easily they may become distracted.
MAKE LESSONS FUN!
$Tips from the Top Motivating Young Learners
$Planning for motivation
The secret of good motivation is planning.
$Remember the old saying:
'If you fail to plan, you should plan for failure.'
$• Plan for the learners' activities, not for the teacher's activities. • Plan for an average of 5 minutes for each activity. • Remember that children can't sit still being passive for more than two or three minutes. • Activities where children are actively involved can be longer than five minutes. • Be careful to sequence the activities so children do not become over- excited or excessively bored. • Stirrers are activities that excite children. Any activities that involve singing or moving around the classroom will be stirrers. • Settlers are activities that calm children down. Most 'paper and pencil' activities - writing, copying, colouring, drawing - will be settlers. • Don't imagine you can have a quiet classroom by using only settlers. The children will quickly become frustrated and de-motivated. • Remember to balance head-up activities and head-down $activities. Head-up activities are when children are looking at the teacher, the board or at other children. Head-down activities are when children have their eyes on a book or a piece of paper. • Remember to balance individual, pair, small group and whole class activities. Children need to learn to operate in many different social situations. • Finally, plan for time. Remember that in a large clas$s, distributing papers, cards, coloured pencils or books takes time. Think carefully about how you will organise these administrative things because they can turn a good plan into an unsuccessful lesson.
• Share your plans with the children. Tell them what they are going to do during each lesson. You will get better co-operation.
$If we get our planning right, this can go quite a long way to helping us become successful YL teachers. We hope that this article has given you a flavour of what is a very important area – one which we will come back to and deal with in more depth later in the course. But there are several other ways in which we can help to generate high levels of motivation in our young learner classrooms. Here are just a few of our suggestions:
$2. Giving Praise
Young learners really respond well to praise when they have done something well, o$r made an effort to try something new or something that they find particularly challenging. If you can reward this then you will see motivation levels increase. One way to achieve this is through a Star chart. It is really simple and easy to set up.
$Draw up a chart with all your students’ names down one side. Explain to students how you are going to award stars and what you are going to award them for. At the end of each activity or task, or at relevant points during the class, mark a smiley face or a star on the chart for your special performers. Remember to reward with consistency, while taking time to support those who may not be able to achieve quite so well. Getting a star can really be a great motivator for younger learners – you’ll see the results in beaming faces and renewed efforts in future activities.
$3. Reinforce and Repeat with Fun Activities
$Young learners like familiarity, so if you find a popular game or activity that your youngsters enjoy, don’t be afraid to use it frequently. For example, you can use a game format to revise new vocabulary and/or grammar from the previous lesson. This will help to ensure that the$re is some continuation from lesson to lesson, and you will be able to see if students have learnt the work.
4. Vary your material
Even though students do like familiar activities, it is still important to vary your material. After all, students will get bored with doing the same type of activity day in day out. So use a variety of different materials: TV/video programmes for visual stimulation, games for active participation, an overhead projector to display something or tape recorder to tape your younger learners spe$aking English. Alternatively, use colourful images from the internet or use paints and colouring pens/pencils to get students doing interesting activities in English. Try to introduce new ways of doing things – in this way you will be able to re-present material or learning points that you have covered before in a way that seems new and exciting for your students.
5. $Be consistent in your Approach
At this age, students like secure surroundings – and routines can help the learning process. As with the idea in number 2 (above), think abou$t ending your lessons with something which is familiar to them. This will let them know that the lesson is coming to an end – indeed it may give them that final push and lead to you leaving on a positive note. Some ideas that we have used before including finishing lessons with a song, or if they have been really well behaved and tried hard to$ learn what you have been teaching, you might choose to reward students with a favourite game.
It is also important for you to be consistent. If the lesson aim has been achieved, let them know that you are pleased with their progress. Praise is a wonderful stimulator and can really help to encourage your young learners.
$ Again, these are just a few ideas and later in the course you will find more, when we take a closer look at material for these students. However, it is now time to turn our attention to our ‘older’ young learners, so find out if we can see what makes teens tick!
There are several factors educators must consider in managing the classroom and motivating the young learners. The role of the teacher, the needs of the learner and developing a child-centred teaching are crucial for planning, preparation, de$velopment and motivation. Facilitating young learners requires an understanding and acknowledging of needs of the learner, learning styles, and factors that motivate them.
Educators can find ways to minimize resistance and maximize performance through involvement in the classroom through knowledge and application of various techniques like motivation and classroom management and practices that encourage and promote positive learning experience. Motivating young learners help teachers to encourage children to be self sufficient, have well established classroom routines, establish high standard of presentation and evaluate teaching and learning environment. Thus the teachers meeting the challenges of motivating and managing young learners enriched and rewarded through the learners' knowledge, skills and a$ttitudes.