Learning a new language can be challenging and requires lots of hard work. Some students may lose heart and give up. How can teachers keep students motivated?
- Set up a learning program
Students feel motivated when I let them know the topics that we are going to study in the upcoming months and I give them the order in which we are going to study them. The students like to have a program of the topics they are going to study with me.
-- by Spanish Teacher Mariela Jimenez Alarcon
- Maintain a structured system of review
It's important to maintain a structured system of review. Teaching online can become scattered and disjointed if not planned properly. A teacher may give a series of interesting lessons and the students will enjoy them, but if they don't build on what has been learned in previous lessons, the students will not see progress. I start each class with a quick gap-fill, error correction, or speaking exercise that utilizes previous' lessons grammar and vocabulary that I know the student still struggles with. This takes about five extra minutes of planning, but the student will be grateful for it and they can solidify what they have learned in the past.
-- by English Teacher Ariana
- Check progress and celebrate achievement
Sometimes students get discouraged because they don’t compare well against others and can’t see their achievements. In my experience, it works to encourage students to use mini tests at the beginning of a class and help them realize how much they have learnt from the last class. Also, it is a good way to summarize and keep learning from that point.
-- by Spanish Teacher Olivia
Another thing I do is celebrate any achievement a student gets, however small. From our own experience, it is important to be aware that no matter how small the step, at least we are moving forward.
-- by Spanish Teacher, Berna FCO. RGUEZ
- Boost your own motivation
One of the situations that we must avoid is the loss of motivation. And I do not speak only of the motivation of the student, but that of the teacher. We are essential in the teaching process. If we are not motivated, how will our students be? But how can we find the necessary motivation to continue teaching students with whom we have been for years? For me, the answer is clear: your class is the only thing you do until the end of the class. I explain myself: close all the pages that do not have to do with the class, pay maximum attention to what the student tells you, make notes in a shared document, use materials that are interesting for the student, but also for you. Turn off your mobile! Don't give your classes in pyjamas! Don’t let the comfort of the home environment distract you from giving your all in a professional manner. The student will notice. Apply a little mindfulness to your classes and you will see how your motivation is increasing. And as you are motivated, so your student will be too.
-- by Spanish Teacher, Jara
- Improve students’ learning autonomy with a good syllabus
The students learn by doing. They must *do* things with their target language. They must be the protagonists of the lesson and the teacher must work to improve their learning autonomy. To make this work you must use authentic material with high motivating potential for the students. Follow a good syllabus, you can't go ahead without a plan and a program. All the good textbooks are the result of a long work on acquisition phases, lexical corporation and certification levels. So to say "Textbooks are boring and I will not use them" is a very superficial point of view. We just must use them in the right way.
-- by Italian Teacher, Desi Alessandrini
As Spanish Teacher, Viviana Valentina said, teachers should focus on motivating our students and encourage them to live with the language on a daily basis given their initial reason for learning the language. Give different classes and adapt to the improvements and changing needs of the student so that each student learns at their own pace and in their best way.
This is a great article because in many societies, especially in Asian ones, the teacher is often considered to be the 'boss' who should not be questioned. With iTalki, it's important to understand that the 'student' is the one who has the power to learn and to choose which teacher to learn from.
Making the student as the priority instead of the teacher will provide for a more wholesome and effective learning experience in my opinion.
These are very good points! The teachers themselves should be motivated and professional! Thank you for your contributions!
Really useful tips!
Really useful tips!
Estoy totalmente de acuerdo, debe haber una continua motivación. Nunca quedarse con la hoja de un libro, agregar otras motivaciones y buscar herramientas extras. Esto es como una gran red. Uno toma un tema, pero de ése tema se derivan otras propuestas, que pueden resultar tanto o más interesante para el alumno.
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