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What are your ideas on motivating students?
Thread poster: Kim Metzger

Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 20:24
German to English
Jun 27, 2004

Well, quite a few folks have signed up for the "class" and we've had several attempts to get a discussion going, but I guess you might say we've got an international, multicultural student body of former, current or aspiring teachers who need to get to know each other. As I see it, a ProZ.com forum is not about a moderator leading a discussion necessarily, but a place to submit a question or an idea to which others respond.

I think we may need one of Silvina's and Rita's icebreakers. In a classroom, an icebreaker is a way to let people get to know each other and thus become more relaxed in each other's company. It seems to me that one topic every teacher is interested in is student motivation.

Here's a behavioristic definition by H. Douglas Brown:
"A behaviorist psychologist like Skinner ... would stress the role of REWARDS (and perhaps punishments) in motivating behavior. In Skinner's operant conditioning model, for example, human beings ... will pursue a goal because they perceive a reward for doing so. This reward serves to REINFORCE behavior: to cause it to persist. This tradition gave us what I might facetiously refer to as the "M&M theory" of behavior, derived from the now discarded practice of administering M&M candies to children for manifesting desired behavior."

What are your ideas on motivating students?


[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2004-06-27 03:10]


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Asghar Bhatti  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:24
English to Urdu
+ ...
Motivating Students Jun 27, 2004

be hearty in aprobation and lavish in praise.

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Sarah Eustace
Ireland
Local time: 05:24
Italian to English
Ideas on motivation Jun 27, 2004

My ways of motivating Students is to make my lessons diverse at all times never spending more than 10 minutes on one particular exercise unless its a role play where the students are all taking part and enjoying themselves. Competition is a good motivator as many students can be competitive but using competition in a positive way. Encouraging people to share their past, family and detials on their own home towns or funny family stories (anything personal) is a great motivator because you know that the student has deep feelings associated with these thoughts. Sharing travel stories and keeping them verbally active throughout the lesson, setting targets/goals that are realistic so that they can see their own achievements and progress helps too.

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Graciela Guzman  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 22:24
English to Spanish
+ ...
Ideas on motivating students. Jun 27, 2004

I teach English language at two universities in Buenos Aires City, Argentina. All the students have to take four levels of English, which is not always welcome for different reasons.
I've found out that the most effective way to motivate them is to always relate what they are learning to real life, and show them in what way and up to what extent the mastering of this language will be of help both in their professional and private life.
If anyone has a better idea, I'd love to know about it.

Graciela Guzman
English < > Spanish


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Stephanie Mitchel  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:24
French to English
Fun Jun 27, 2004

My teaching experience is 13 years old already, and limited to lycéens in France (15 to 19 year olds). But maybe it will help. My students would listen to my lectures about how English would be useful to them, and why they would be at an advantage if they spoke it fluently, and their eyes would glaze over. So one day, I decided to take them outside to play doubles tennis, with the condition being that everyone had to speak English. That meant that if they wanted to win, they had to figure out what to yell at their teammate pretty darn quick. Whenever I heard French I would stop the game and make them replay the point. Now, granted, it was a pretty free school setting, and they were pretty cooperative kids, which is a tough situation to reproduce, but that's the principle I applied to as many lessons as I could. Put them in a situation where they have to solve problems and (if there's any hope for them) they will remember what they learned.

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Silvina Morelli
English to Spanish
+ ...
input +1 Jun 28, 2004

I believe stds are always eager to show off how good they can do things and how much they know. So, after providing enough input on a certain topic, I give them an input+1-challenge- activity and they can show off and talk about themselves(I think we all love talking about ourselves!!). I also believe they will be motivated as long as they know what they are learning is useful for them and not a waste of time. Then, I devote myself to make them feel English has a function in their lives and how this is connected to their lives. In my classes they learn about many other things through English. An one secret: they love being congratulated on their outcomes!!!!Thanks!!!

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Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:24
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Humor Jun 28, 2004

I was an English teacher for several years before becoming a translator. One key is to like your job. Your students will notice and react positively. Most of my students were adults and I could give them some light ribbing. This loosened them up, made them relax and just "go for it". Learning a language should be fun and if you are tense then you will not be as fluent. Even in your native tongue, if you are tense or nervous you lose fluency.

For children I liked the ball game. What you do it take out a ball to toss around. Whoever has the ball has the floor: "What is your name?" then they throw it to another person, "My name is Bart. What is your name?" Then the ball gets thrown again...

I still like translating more.


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Rosa Elena Lozano Arton  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 20:24
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
A suggestion Jun 30, 2004

Kim Metzger wrote:

Well, quite a few folks have signed up for the "class" and we've had several attempts to get a discussion going, but I guess you might say we've got an international, multicultural student body of former, current or aspiring teachers who need to get to know each other. As I see it, a ProZ.com forum is not about a moderator leading a discussion necessarily, but a place to submit a question or an idea to which others respond.

I think we may need one of Silvina's and Rita's icebreakers. In a classroom, an icebreaker is a way to let people get to know each other and thus become more relaxed in each other's company. It seems to me that one topic every teacher is interested in is student motivation.

Here's a behavioristic definition by H. Douglas Brown:
"A behaviorist psychologist like Skinner ... would stress the role of REWARDS (and perhaps punishments) in motivating behavior. In Skinner's operant conditioning model, for example, human beings ... will pursue a goal because they perceive a reward for doing so. This reward serves to REINFORCE behavior: to cause it to persist. This tradition gave us what I might facetiously refer to as the "M&M theory" of behavior, derived from the now discarded practice of administering M&M candies to children for manifesting desired behavior."

What are your ideas on motivating students?

I don't know if this is of any interest for you, but there is a special course for language teaching that is called COTE, and that teaches new methodologies for language teaching. It is from Cambridge University, but you can take it almost anywhere in the world. If your interested in information, please contact me.
Hope these are good news for you!
Rosa Elena Lozano Arton
email: Papalotl1@aol.com
[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2004-06-27 03:10]


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