Setting out some ideas for developing and maintaining motivation in either young children or teenagers
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.
For this writing task, I was asked two questions about using stories and speaking activities to encourage learning.
- Which of the activities could be used or adapted for both young learners and teenagers?
I think the shopping activities would certainly allow the learners to express themselves in different ways relating to one subject matter ‘shopping’. I think it is important for the learners to be able to absorb all knowledge of one subject by completing different tasks. The learner can approach the task of learning about shops and shopping by understanding the subject from different angles. I feel this gives the learners various opportunities for learning. The learners can complete the tasks using their existing skills while learning new ones. Individual learners can show their recognition of certain tasks and show their ability to perform. Initially, the learners have to find magazines. This gives them the chance to talk with their parents, prepare and complete the task of finding magazines for their class project. These magazines are a great visual aid. Once in class, they have to think about different shops and what they sell. This highlights the learner’s ability to create mental images and work on their ideas. Then they have to express their knowledge and those ideas. The learners have to cut out pictures from their magazines and stick them onto cardboard. This is a hands-on activity and a task to be completed by the learners. This allows them to show their practical skills. At this stage, the teacher can introduce a range of vocabulary which is an initial vocal outlet for the learners’ thoughts and knowledge of the subject of shops. In groups, the learners have to fill their imaginary shops with goods. This is a great exercise that highlights their visual spatial skills within a cooperative learning experience. This is another good chance for the teacher to talk more to the group/learners about their task and what they are making while trying to expand their learning. The teacher can expand the exercise by getting the learners to put prices on the goods and create their own shop ready for a role-play and even drawing some money. The teacher can easily photocopy this money to have enough for everybody. The learners can, after setting up an imaginary street, go and buy goods with the money they have and see how much they can buy with the amount they were given.
2. Describe an activity which would practice comparatives/superlatives using old magazines for either young learners or teenagers.
A good activity which could be used from old magazines is “My Favourite Things”.
The objective of this activity is to practice using comparatives/superlatives. Initially, the students are asked to bring in old magazines because they have been told they are going to do an activity with them relating to their ‘Favourite Thing’. The lesson starts with the students getting into groups. They look through the magazines and find four favourite things and cut them out. These are then stuck on a large sheet of paper. The teacher then shows the learners her favourite things. She explains that she likes them, for example, because they are beautiful (rose), expensive (gold watch), fast (Ferrari), and big (plane). The teacher then hands out some more adjectives and some more pictures. She asks the learners to put the adjectives on the pictures she has just given. Each group has the same adjectives. Once they have gone somewhere near finishing or finish this exercise, the teacher lets them know the answers. The teacher now asks the students to choose and place some of the teacher’s adjectives or their own by their pictures. The teacher then gets them to write their adjective next to their picture. The students have to show that they can talk about their pictures (This car is fast). This is done in groups. Each student can describe their pictures in the group. The teacher can now show a few examples of comparatives showing that ‘one is bigger than the other’ or ‘one is faster than the other’. The teacher models a few examples of comparatives from the students and then gets them to find at least three students with the same adjectives. The teacher goes around the class helping. The teacher then gets the students to write their three sentences on the bottom of their sheet. The teacher checks the work and then gets the pairs of students with the same adjectives to get up in front of the class with their pictures and show comparatives.
TASK: design two listening activities for beginner young learners or teenagers
1. Airport announcements
Aim: Practice listening to schedules
Practice listening for times, cites, airlines (airport information)
Preparation: Collect some pictures of the cities mentioned in the announcement
- The teacher put up pictures on the white board (kangaroos, beach, hotel, Big Ben, Mickey Mouse, Suitcase, airplane).
- The students make educated guesses for what the pictures are. And what the subject is.
- The teachers explains the subject is ‘holidays’
- The teacher gives an example ‘I go on holiday to Madrid in Spain’ then gets the students to ask each other ‘where do you go on holiday?’
- The teacher gets feedback from the students trying to elicit cites
- The teacher puts up pictures of cities on the board.
- Students look at them in groups and try to work out which cities they are.
- The students or teacher writes up the names of the cities on board.
- Each student has to choose one city she would like to visit. Why? Give three reasons. This can be done in pairs.
10. The teacher puts a picture of an airport departure board on the whiteboard and tells the students that they are going on holiday. The teachers can elicit some times from the pictures as an example.
11. Then the teacher gives each learner a form and gets them to write the name of the city on the form (below)
12. The teacher pre-teaches airline names
13. Students listen and complete the information they hear in the departure lounge announcement on the form.
14. Feedback. The teacher can get the students to find out who has the earliest flight and the latest.
2. Sports and Numbers
Aim: Practice listening for numbers
Practice: Years, facts, times
Preparation: Pictures of sports and famous sports stars
- The teacher shows pictures of sports. This introduction gives some idea of the context that they are going to listen to.
- The teacher asks ‘what sports do you like?’ Personalisation of the activities is very important here. A pair-work discussion about the sports they play or watch, and why, will bring them into the topic, and make them more willing to listen.
- The teacher then explains that each sports has its stars and produces a picture of David Beckham as an example of someone who is associated with football..
- The teacher then produces some more photos of famous people eliciting their name and putting them on the board.
- The teacher now spends a little time establishing some ideas of the famous people to transfer or activate their knowledge.
- The teacher writes on the board. 1) How old are they? 2) When did they start playing? 3) When were they born? 4) How many years have they played? 5) How many competitions have they won? 6) How much do they earn a year?
- The teacher then allows the learners to predict possible content. The teacher gives the learner a choice of things that they may or may not expect to hear. This is done by the use of card with the answers plus additional wrong answers to make it a little more difficult.
- The teacher asks them to choose those they think will be mentioned. (All the potential answers are laid on the groups table.
- The teacher plays the tape them get them to grab the right answer
- The teacher plays the tape again.
- The teacher gives them a sheet to fill in the correct answers
12. The teacher reviews the answers.
13. The teacher has a feedback session and sees if anybody knows about other sport stars.