Strategies for Bringing Excitement to Your English Language Classroom


Students that are highly driven tend to perform better in school. Teachers have been aware of this for some time, and it’s what’s prompted them to experiment with various methods of intrinsic motivation to boost student performance. This is also true when teaching English to people who don’t speak it as their native tongue. As it stands, student motivation is a critical factor in the success of any level of ESL/TFL class, from beginner to advanced, because the learning curve that needs to be jumped is typically steeper at the beginner level, especially when the teacher has little to no proficiency in the student’s first language. Students who aren’t motivated to learn English will have a tough time improving their language skills without being able to communicate with their teachers.

The reasons for studying English are well-defined in many nations. Governments worldwide have already required the teaching of English in early school curricula, reflecting the tacit acceptance of English as the default language in the global conversation. But beyond this requirement, individuals and groups are voluntarily engaging native English speakers to improve the English proficiency of students, artists, scientists, diplomats, professionals, and other sectors of the public so that they can stay up with global advances. Teachers of English as a Foreign Language are expected to determine the goals of their lessons and assess their students’ interest in achieving those goals. If you’re a business professional in Asia or Continental/Eastern Europe, learning English will provide you an advantage over your peers who are limited by not knowing the language. However, to interact successfully with locals, travelers worldwide need to know more than just the basics of the local language.

The first step in designing effective methods of encouraging ESL students to reach their objectives is to learn their reasons for taking the course. Without the right inspiration, language students will spend their time and effort without progressing toward their goals.

To succeed as an English teacher or tutor, you need to find ways to motivate both highly and lowly motivated students. Students that are very motivated to learn to do so rapidly and frequently. But uninterested students occasionally experience mental obstacles that make it hard to grasp the lesson’s fundamental ideas, let alone use them in regular conversation. Therefore, ESL/EFL teachers must ensure that their classes engage enough to engage as many students as possible.

Educators of English as a Second Language and Teachers of Foreign Languages can benefit from the following tried-and-true pieces of advice.

First, you should evaluate yourself. Do you find staying inspired as an ESL/EFL teacher challenging? Have you answered the call because you think teaching English is the best and most rewarding profession, or have you decided to teach overseas for any other reason? Do you have what it takes to be successful in this industry, or are you just along for the ride? Remember that your pupils’ attitudes and receptiveness to the linguistic notions you are expounding in your lectures will be influenced by your own degree of motivation. If you don’t care about your work and aren’t motivated to do it well, you’ll probably end up disappointing your boss, students, and yourself.

Keeping yourself motivated is essential to your success as an EFL or TFL teacher, regardless of your motivation for entering the field. To keep yourself motivated, remember the English classes, lessons, or learning experiences that stood out most as a student. It’s possible that revising your lesson plans to include content and approaches that excite you as a teacher is necessary. Nothing stops you from swapping out a lesson plan that doesn’t interest you with one that does if it would be more stimulating to you. Your kids will pick up on your enthusiasm and be more receptive to sharing it. If you succeed, everyone involved will benefit: you’ll build your reputation as an excellent teacher, and your students will acquire the language skills they came to you to learn.

2. Help your students recognize English’s worth. Considering the actual need for English teachers and students, this may seem like stating the obvious. However, its worth can be interpreted in timely, significant, original, or unexpected ways. Motivating pupils to study can be as simple as explaining the message of a catchy song, advertisement, or short film made in English that has strong ties to the local setting.

In general, and especially among older students, it is natural for them to wonder what use they will make of the knowledge they gain in class. Even if your students attend the course because it is required for graduation, you can still make the most of each type by helping them develop a positive perspective on the course and its potential benefits. Students are more open to instruction when they fully grasp the course’s goals and objectives.

Third, reinforce positively. This method of study should be used as much as possible within reason. Give sincere praise or incentives to help your kids shift their attention from negative experiences to positive ones. Correct students when they are wrong, but highlight and reinforce any positive progress made along the way. Positive reinforcement as a teaching strategy will help keep your students engaged and on track to achieve your lesson’s goals. Meeting your students personally and getting to know them deeper will help tremendously. Figure out what they hope to get from the course and tailor some of the material to that end. Light, personal questions, such as “What are you wearing today?” or “What are you bringing to class?” might help you and your classmates feel more connected. This allows them to have meaningful conversations on topics that interest them.

Fourth, try out new things. Repeating the same routine at each class meeting is a surefire way to bore your students. Lesson concepts will be more challenging to grasp for bored students than for those whose bodies and minds are fully engaged and focused on learning. You can liven up your ESL/TFL courses by playing games, holding contests, working on vocabulary, telling stories, viewing short films, and listening to music. More exist, and you can tailor each session to your pupils’ specific interests and abilities. Teachers and students benefit from field excursions because they can talk about the exciting things they see and learn about.

Students won’t lose interest in learning just because they’ve been accustomed to the same old routine in class if the teacher mixes things up occasionally.

Teachers of English as a foreign language should prioritize student motivation because it will make their jobs much easier overall. In other words, compared to unmotivated pupils, those actively engaged in their education make more significant gains in knowledge and understanding. In addition, when both the instructor and the student are appropriately inspired, the learning environment improves dramatically.

Icon Group – Educating the Future (IconGroupThailand) was founded by Michael G. Hines, a teacher based in Thailand.
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