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

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(409 Words)

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.

How do you deal with student behaviour?

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(Words 1304)

Teachers can face many different types of students. Mostly students are respectful and good learners, but occasionally, there are students that persist in making the teacher’s life hard work. These are the times when the teacher must use classroom management to overcome any such problems. A teacher can deal with difficulty, but these issues must be dealt with sufficiently without disruption to the other students who are willing learners. A teacher studies how to teach and be proficient in their profession but can easily come undone by a disruptive student. This is where the rest of the class can be disturbed and all the teachers’ quality lesson planning comes to an abrupt delay in proceedings. In this essay, I will highlight problems in the classroom and provide ideas to help minimize bad discipline.

To begin with, it is important for the teacher to instill good discipline in the class. They must start off by getting to know the students. The teacher can greet the students as they come in; this may spot potential trouble makers. The teacher must learn all students’ names as soon as possible – within the first three days of school. The teacher needs to establish a routine in his classroom as soon as possible. The teacher should have a plan that incorporates what they expect from the students as well as expectations of themselves. The teacher should have a few (three to five) basic overarching rules in place to help govern student behavior in the classroom. The students should know and understand the rules. These must be taught and reinforced as if they were curriculum, repeating them often as needed. All of these rules should be practiced from the off. From day one, the teacher should have a classroom management plan and stick to it. The teacher can not have double standards, what the teacher says, they should maintain. The teacher when possible could even involve their students in developing the rules. Above all, the teacher needs to be regimented if they are to make sure each lesson is not inhibited by any disruptive students. They can set homework and check to see who has done it. This will show who is willing to learn. All work must be checked thoroughly. If the students see that they can get away with poor behaviour they will do it. For example, if a student’s behaviour steadily gets worse and worse, with no discipline given by the teacher, the one time the teacher has reached their perceived limit, the teacher may have a hard task of trying to stop the behaviour which should not have been allowed to reach this level in the first place. The teacher should be aware of problem students and situations that may disrupt the class and put a stop to it before it escalates. 

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“The better the learning strategy adapted the better will the outcome be” – the contrast of strategies used by the good learners and poor learners

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Explaining this concept by contrasting the strategies used by the good learners and poor learners

There are many factors involved in a learner succeeding in a language. Above all, the student has to have a learning strategy and an efficient one that suits his or her strengths which will help him or her succeed even better. Strategies are tools for the self-directed involvement necessary for developing communicative ability. Active learners will succeed better than passive students and become more autonomous. In this essay, I will talk about the good learner contrasting with the poor learner who both have their own ways which are for better or worse. One major factor is of teacher-dependence and towards an assumption of greater responsibility for and control of their learning. Students need the enthusiasm to learn, they can get bored very quickly. Students need to install in themselves that the learning is done for a reason. In this essay, I will discuss the factors that help students develop a good language learning strategy while contrasting them with the ambivalence of some students may have about learning a new language. This is notwithstanding that on the whole learning a new language is not easy even though it can be made to be more difficult.

To begin with, I must mention motivation. Motivation involves people learning a language for many reasons. Good learners can see an end result so they cannot be motivated to learn. It is beneficial for the learner to have goals. Those can be goals for each class as well as the term. Good learners will not be disheartened if they do not succeed one time. There must be a sense of self-reinforcement. Good learners will give themselves rewards for success. Good learners are aware of their learning strategy and if it is working. Their meta-cognitive awareness allows them to re-evaluate, focus, and arrange their learning. They will have a learning strategy that suits them. They will read up or ask the teacher questions referring to the topic in hand. This then refers to the student being able to ask questions not feeling shy to try. Weinstein and Mayer (1986) defined learning strategies (LS) broadly as “behaviours and thoughts that a learner engages in during learning” which are “intended to influence the learner’s encoding process” (p. 315). Of course, poor students just take it that the learning process is too hard. Poor students will tell themselves that this is too difficult and not relate their level of language with their actual stage of learning. A good learner can control their feelings and attitudes. A poor learner will turn up to the lesson without preparation. Above all, it is easy to think you should be better at a language without realising that the learning process will take time. The poor learner can not see the future for his or her language.

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Teaching Young Learners – Games and Puzzles

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Choose a language item from the list below and design a simple lesson plan using one of the games to teach/practice the item.

Student Vocabulary Game

Number of players: 2-6

Age: 6+

Materials: A score/category sheet per group, a deck of alphabet cards and a pencil

Object of the game: To name objects beginning with the chosen alphabet card and to be the first person to get rid of his/her alphabet cards.

Player name:
1, Toys:  
2. Fruits and Vegetables:
3. The Classroom:  
4. Things in the home:
5. The Body:
6. Boy’s and Girl’s Names:
7. Sports and Hobbies
8. Animals/Pets  

1) A Student shuffles the cards and deals 5 alphabet cards. The cards are laid face down in front of each player.

2) The remaining alphabet cards are laid face down on the table in front of the group.

3) Alternate people start but the first player to the dealer’s left starts play by turning over their alphabet card, and then naming something from the first category on the sheet beginning with his letter.  Once the learner has said a word they must write it on their sheet. Their go is over.

4) They have 10 seconds to think of an answer, if they do not have an answer in the allotted time they must pick up an extra card from the middle of the table and place it face down in front of them. Their go is over.

5) Each student takes turns to turn an alphabet card from their pile and naming an item in the first category.  Examples are not allowed to be repeated.

6) The round ends when someone has picked up all their cards and named something from the category each time.

7) The other students must add up how many remaining cards they have, and write that number on their score sheet,  e.g. 3 cards remaining = 3 points

8) The process is repeated with the person to the left of the dealer being the new dealer and the person to their left starting the new game. The game continues with objects from the second category.

9) The games continue until all the 8 categories have been completed

10) The person with the lowest score is the winner.


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Essay # 1 – Focus on Learning

(814 words)

For this essay, I would like to focus on my experience so far on the TESOL course. Our TESOL group of students have so far been shown many different techniques and been made to feel like students as a way of letting us learners get to see it from the student’s perspective. The crux of my ideas and formulation for future actions with regard to teaching, the TESOL student has to know how it feels to be a learner to understand how they feel and take in the lesson. This of course will relate to the soon-to-be teacher’s future benefit of becoming as valuable a teacher as possible. In relation to this, I will further refer to my SIT course and focus on the learner.  

Referring to my language learning first as a supposed language student, I can fairly say that it wasn’t a breeze. You have to write words down, memorize, ask your peers, organize information, play an active part and downright do more, which is hard if you really want to be a successful and competent language learner. I had a few times when I wasn’t really involved and missed a few points, but at those times the auditory experience was enough, I enjoyed sitting back. On the flip side to this experience, I had many times when I sailed through everything because I put the work in and got the benefit out. I suppose that for a language learner it is hard to be attentive all the time and at times the students would just prefer to be looking at the class happening and not playing an active part.

With reference to the ‘Learners Are Individuals’ handout that I have read, it alludes to this point that there are many different styles of learning, you can not have a class of 20 students all with exactly the same way of learning. I empathize with this as I sometimes hear my peers speak and they have a lot more to say or they explain a point better than the way you thought. My reaction to this is that we are all the class together and it should be a shared experience and that everyone should benefit from everyone although there are some students more salient.

Everyone in the class I have found is a vital part of having the successful ambiance that will bring successful lessons. I found that my peers were very helpful, funny at times, and really people who wanted to learn. This made for a worthwhile lesson. The people, my fellow peers, on the course are from a diversity of backgrounds. It is funny really there are people on the course who every morning say they have done the homework and others that say they are going to leave it for another day. Some people just do their writing in note form and those that write full essays. I think this shows that people have their own way of processing information and dealing with set projects to do. I am sure everyone will hand his or her work in on time but not everyone follows the same learning path to the end.

What I have learned from the perspective of a student is that it is hard and materials have to be explained and modeled properly. Students have got to be kept amused and clear instruction has to be given. Now that I am further into the course and having been shown constructional ways of making and doing lesson plans I have noticed the techniques you, the teacher, are using to get the students to reach their goals. An example would be (the instructor) Fran’s class on ‘problems and advice’. The step-by-step process using PPU (presentation / practice / use) allowed the students to learn about giving advice. It basically followed a course of Fran explaining first then some manipulated practice and then the students using their learned language on advice. I think this method helps all individual members of the group who are all of a different aptitude. We worked as a group with Fran making sure everybody had a chance and I felt as though the group moved along nicely if I were that ESL student the class would have instilled that knowledge of giving advice because of the systematic way of keeping the students attentive with varying teaching techniques. 

To conclude the focus on learning and In relation to bringing this learning experience to my teaching. I think it gives me a broader perspective to look at the fact that there are many facets to a learning classroom experience and what you take from it is to try and apply these to your classroom. What you are left with a feeling that you can emphasize with the students’ needs and thus you be able to bring that something that will help the students to achieve.