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ESL forum > Techniques and methods in Language Teaching > motivation    



Yesterday I talked to my neighbour. She said that the main reason why her children skip lessons sometimes is because they find the classes extremely boring. I agree that lessons can be boring, but I also know how difficult it is to make students interested in something, especially when they are teenagers.
I always try to make my lessons as interesting as possible. I prepare songs, quizes various exercises, games, but even though I do that there is always somebody who is not interested or bored.
Is it ever possible to motivate everyone? Or maybe I should accept the fact that not everybody is passionate about English.

9 Apr 2010      

Mariethe House

Interesting topic saszka! have a look at this:


9 Apr 2010     


A little off the topic but it is about students skipping lessons in Britain. We shouldn�t always blame ourselves...


9 Apr 2010     


Nowadays, most parents expect  us to motivate their children but they keep forgetting to tell their kids that they have to make an effort, they must work hard to achieve their goals... Did our teachers care about our motivation? It wasn �t their main worry, that �s for sure! Did we learn, nevertheless? Yes, we did! I always tell my own children ( I �ve got three of them) that they don �t have to like it, they just have to learn it. Full stop! and we can �t wait for them to be motivated to work, or else I �d be pretty old  before they found themselves motivated! I �ve registrated my students at englishexercises.org and assigned them some exercises, I thought they would be more motivated to practise English on-line. I guess I was wrong... I almost have to beg them to make! What else are we supposed to do? Pay them?
When on Earth are parents going to realise that they must be more demanding with their children?! Well, keep up the good work and... don �t lose motivation yourself, dear...Smile

9 Apr 2010     


Is it ever possible to motivate everyone? Short answer: No.

You can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time but you can never please all of the people all of the time. (Mis-quoting Lincoln!)

I know for a fact that some of the students at our academy are there because we are cheaper than a babysitter. That sets the expectation bar fairly low to start off with! Others are enrolled in programmes of dance, music, languages and sports. To be honest, that many extra-curricular activities means that they aren �t going to be that motivated all the time!

Other kids come to us because they �re failing at school and parents see us as the quick fix. A lot of the time parents will blame your for their child �s shortcomings.

With all this there are days when I wonder why I bother!

Then you get a parent who comes in and says their child was never interested in languages but is now looking at careers involving English. Or the student who suddenly understands after years of not getting it. Or the teenager who buys you a monkey to make you laugh (it did!). Or when your students surprise you on your birthday.

I guess the point I �m making is that we can �t win all the time. It �s just not possible. I �d hate to think of any child as a lost cause but having invested time and effort in students who turn around and destroy your property, I �m learning not to take it so personally. I make sure my students know how much I love the English language but if they don �t, it �s their loss. Accept the possibility that you can �t motivate everyone and  do your best to enjoy your job. A happy teacher is normally more motivating than a fed up one!

9 Apr 2010     

Mariethe House

I am back!!Smile

Glad to see your answer Cartuxa!! I do agree! We keep trying too hard and them not hard enough!!LOL

well, I am about to retire soon but am still very demanding w<ith my students as much as I am for myself!!I do my best to motivate them but  I ask the same!!

One person who has guided my life as a mother and as a teacher was Fran�oise Dolto , a French Psychoanalyst and pediatrician. She said ( I say it in my own words!): 

What is important for a child is not the object of desire but the desire itself...

eg: If your child wants a motorbike, don �t go and buy him the motorbike, don �t say: "this is ridiculous, no you can �t have it!! " but get him to talk about it.... Ah yes... And how do you imagine your motorbike? What will it be like?... What colour? etc...  What is important is for him to imagine, to dream, to desire!!
So, when a child is not motivated, i ask him / her:
" What is it you REALLY want? even if it sounds impossible for you!  What is it you want deep inside?"
 Now you know what you want, what are you prepared to do to get it? How will you go about it? Who do you need help from? Do you need help? etc... And this is how I get them to work for their motivation ...

Well, i could talk about it for hours..  F DOlto also used to say: " a child must be bored at times in order to access his imaginary.. and create the life he wants for himself.


9 Apr 2010     


If you only knew what it is to teach German ! I can tell you that it is really hard work !
English is more accepted , it �s a real pleasure to teach English !
We do our best to motivate our students but we are not here just to please everybody ,
students never forget demanding teachers even if they have suffered !

9 Apr 2010