Setting out some ideas for developing and maintaining motivation in either young children or teenagers

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The teacher’s skills in motivating young children should be seen as central to teaching effectiveness. This means motivating them to learn and acquire new skills. Finding what interests these learners is the way to inspire them to learn. Interest is an intrinsic motivator. These engaged children are more likely to employ a deeper level of study if the teacher can provide opportunities for likable learning. All young children are motivated by different reasons to learn to which the teacher has to recognise. It is the teacher’s attitudes to perform these tasks in learning that affect learners’ attitudes. Furthermore, while they are learning, the teacher has to maintain the learners’ interest. The learners have to feel that the teacher respects and accepts them for who they are and allows them to express themselves without the worry of criticism for honest errors. This is why young people need a lot of support and time.

The teacher’s teaching methodology should be to sustain learners’ motivation and engage in activities that lead to learning. There is no point in playing games that are fun and exciting if the learner is missing out on chances to learn new vocabulary and absorb and use new phrases. The teacher has to realize that the holistic development of the children is not only their language development but also in their social, cognitive, and emotional growth. For example, lessons that have an activity-based approach in which children engage in meaningful tasks and activities elevate learning. The children can use English genuinely, learn something new, and develop as whole individuals as well. Lessons should also be varied; drama and role play can be a good platform for motivating children, especially if costumes and props are involved. This should promote interaction among students. So, in these respects, the teacher has a broader educational role in their relationship with their learners. This entails the teacher being aware that each child is at a developmental stage and some tasks can be impossible for them. Learners all have motivation but on what level. It is the teacher’s job to put this to learning where their lesson has clarity and purpose. Moreover, the syllabus has to take in the fact of age, cultural and social background of the children to be taught. A teacher can personalize teaching if the children are allowed to talk about their own interests and families. The teacher could well have to adapt the syllabus to address particular students or groups of students.

A look at teaching methodology over the last 30 years

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Second language teaching can be employed in many ways and is born from many theories hypothesizing how we acquire language through the process of first or second language acquisition. Central to these theories of language acquisition was the emergence of the concept of “methods” of language teaching. It is this language teaching coupled with its methodology I will discuss in this paper notwithstanding that teaching methods can not be applied if we do not understand how students gather all the information for their language acquisition. Methodology can be fundamentally sound but if we (the teachers) do not understand the minds of our students that much clearer, all the hard teaching work will be fruitless. Methodology in teaching in all it forms originates from questions the teacher asks himself about the students and learning environment such as: Who are the learners? What exactly do they do? For what purpose are the students learning the language? In what setting are the students learning?,  With what kinds of language?, In what patterns of social interaction? , and also what are the particular outcomes in terms of quantity/quality of language use, attitudes, and motivation? This is not forgetting the teacher who must consider the design features of his lesson that might include such points as: stated objectives, syllabus specifications, and type of activities, roles of teachers, learners, and materials. These are the sort of questions and ideas that are congruent with referring to a methodology for teaching and will help with answering the question for this paper; what is teaching methodology? I will also generally try to focus on teaching methodology over the last thirty years.

To begin with, teaching methodology in all its forms helps the students in their acquisition of language. Our knowledge of the student and his learning is fundamental with respect to a proficient teaching method. We only need to look at one of the most influential researchers in the language field of developmental psychology. [1]Jean Piaget (1896-1980) explains this point a bit more. He helped posit many theories (which are discussed later in this paper). Piaget became interested in how children think. He recognised that the children’s answers were qualitatively different from the older children’s. This, of course, he recognised, did not mean the younger ones were less smart. The children answered the questions differently because they thought differently. Influential research like Piaget’s is the kind of recognition of students’ learning and capabilities that a teaching methodology has to adapt to. It is a focus like this, that I hope to put across in this paper. Teaching methodology works in many ways and has to deal with a myriad of learning styles and ages.

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