lunes, 6 de agosto de 2007


Learning English always raises the question of motivation or interest. (Motivation is defined as the learner's orientation with regard to the goal of learning a second language). The question of motivation in general may lose some of its significance, but in a classroom it is a very crucial and important factor, moreover I think every teacher must have this compromise and constantly do the following questions: Why is so frequently seen the lack or motivations in our students?, Why learners aren´t interested in learning English?, even if we can establish the importance of the communicative goals, to converse with outsiders, to read books, to understand television programs. Also, the fact that people who know English may be able to get better jobs and to improve the economic situation, (because they look money as the best and attractive thing they can have.)is still so remote from immediate interest of young students, this fact can not be used as a goal because they don´t have a defined life´s project.
In my case the opportunity to compare the motivation between younger´s motivation and adult´s motivation is clear. I work with these two types of students (daily and Saturday shifts) and I took note of the following situations:
Both young and adult students face a different situation if the learning process takes place within an English speaking environment, both need the new language in order to communicate with other people but the adult needs are specific: to know new people, enrolling in higher education, to find a job, go shopping, chat with friends, travel other places or by the simple reason they want to improve their knowledges and they go to school by their own free choice; while the young students wants to make friends in a quick manner, understand the jokes that other laughs, play a game, learn a song, watch a movie and they are affected by the pressures from the outside or the things proper to the age and the most common circumstance, their parents force them in a away the learning process is not a voluntary experience. These pressures can either stimulate or impede their success in the classroom.
In both cases setting short and long terms goals, getting each learner be involved in the activities , pacing the action to make the time spend in class seem to pass quickly includes a series of techniques that make possible to arise the interest or motivation in the learners. The consideration of motivation and interest should be closely linked with the consideration of students ´span attention, it´s important to vary constantly the activities in the classroom (warms ups, visual aids, inductive or deductive approaches ,etc.) and it is indispensable the constant reinforcement of self-worth in the personal involvement where the students feel they are treated as a person. The teacher in this case must provide the self confidence and find the best way to help each pupil to overcome the barrier that has grown because of a past failure. In order to maintain and reinforce the learner´s feeling of self-esteem it´s necessary to plan language practice that contains small steps at a time and the student can come up a successful and creative response, then a feeling of personal achievement is promoted. Praise and encouragement, “providing feedback” by the teacher are invaluable at this point.
A degree of motivation can be established when certain personal or specific topics or goals for students are included, according with their own ages, likes or individual inclinations,”finding their passion”. The presentation of basic structures in English must be made lively or interesting themes, vocabulary and materials must be adapted for vocational or occupational needs in local realities and contexts, if the rapid progress is expected. Within the model presented by Gardner (1982), I found a very interesting definition for motivation, it is perceived to be composed of three elements. These include effort, desire and affect. Effort refers to the time spent studying the language and the drive of the learner. Desire indicates how much the learner wants to become proficient in the language, and affect illustrates the learner's emotional reactions with regard to language study.

The motivation behind the linguist´s interest in language is the goal of explaining how human language operates, that´s why teachers must be interested in pedagogical aspects or find the best way to facilitate the learning English process or as Ausubel, told: “Motivation is as much an effect as a cause of learning”. Furthermore , there is a relevant consideration, the enthusiasm and the motivation in the teacher is the “angular stone” where is built the whole process because he must feel joy, pleasure and love by his job, in this way it can be reflected to his students, Here are some important methodological strategies teachers can use:
JOURNAL (EMPHATY). It´s a personal notebook each student can do for communicative purposes, they can write all they want about their lives. It´s an option for the teacher to be closer and to improve the relationships with them, it serves to arise some diagnostics and solve some problems they can have. Teacher doesn´t focus on the mistakes but in the meaning.
MUSIC (ACCEPTANCE).Music can really change the atmosphere of the class, the effectiveness of utilizing songs in the classrooms can be seen, I believe that in my classes where I´ve used this meaningful strategy, students are more relaxed and feel pleasure in using the new language although singing is regarded as more suitable for children than for older students or adults. The great advantage now is the lyrics and the songs are easily found by internet and it´s shared by almost all people. In my institution all English teachers are working by levels and by topics (environmental, romantic and social themes) the project “THE SONG IN ENGLISH CLASS” and the response has been interesting.
USING PHOTOS (AUTHENTICITY).It can effectively help to spark genuine interest and generate a lot of language. It improves relationships too because the teacher increase the attention to real life, real things, personal and current situations (personalize) which encourage free and spontaneous talk. Communicative activities in the English class are a vehicle through which is easy to reach fluency.

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