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Secondary School Eudcation - Motivation

 
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stremblay



Joined: 03 Feb 2011
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:40 pm    Post subject: Secondary School Eudcation - Motivation Reply with quote

It is sometimes hard to keep your students motivated in high school. Indeed, many of them prefer not to participate in classes they consider useless. This is an issue for English teachers in Quebec because many high school students refuse to learn a language that they don't feel they will use once they finish their studies. In my opinion, the best way to motivate them to learn is to design activities around their interests. For example, if your students like music, you can have them write their own song and create their own band. If they like sports, you can have them create their own sport with its own rules and so on. I am not saying that it always works, but it certainly works better than textbook activities in certain situations.
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claudie.ars



Joined: 03 Feb 2011
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is funny because it is exactly how I felt in high school. I thought I was loosing my time, listening to an old English speaking teacher who did not speak proper French in a French province. It is not that long ago but at that time we were still practicing with drills and learning exhausting vocabulary lists. I did not like English and I finished with a terrible mark ( I think it was 65%). Then, since I did not know what to study in CEGEP, I went to another Country for a year… to learn English!! I wish I had listened more at school!
You never know when a second language will be useful and it is what we have to make our students understand. We have to find what they like from the culture or what they could do only if they manage to learn well their second language.
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Sally Olsen



Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1304
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It happens in a lot of foreign countries as well and there is a high probability that students won't need English. I used to create board games and that worked well, cook, and celebrate all holidays in English speaking countries because they liked the decorations, the food, the story behind the traditions and so on. These days music and movies and thus singers and movie stars are a big pull on teenagers.
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buniac1



Joined: 10 Feb 2011
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Motivation is often an issue that needs to be taken care of in classroom. I personally provide students with homework help and at first sight, I was discouraged by the fact that they did not care about it at all. I tried to introduce it with games and interaction but it just was not working out very well. Explaining notions and creating interest is hard, especially after school. Then I decided to include technologies in my presentations, and that worked. Teachers need to understand that the 21st century is the one designed perfectly to include technologies in your classroom. Most students have a facebook account, an email and they know how to surf the web and how to research information properly.

By using technologies, I was able to catch their attention because I was getting into their world. I used youtube to present several notions of English through funny videos, interviews and mini games. It catched their attention and motivation seemed to come back very fast when you enter the technological world.
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amrif317



Joined: 03 Feb 2011
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, so let's face it, motivating teenagers in high school is not a piece of cake. They're teenagers after all; what they care or are concerned about is their social life and not anything to do with school or a class room. Because of this, it is important for teachers to try new things to get them motivated. It is important to discuss and use material that has to do with subjects that interest them (every day teenage things). Another good way to deal with this issue is to communicate with them. Don't be shy to ask them what they would like to look at or study. They may really surprise you with what they have to say.
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karineESLstudent



Joined: 03 Feb 2011
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's true that secondary students may be harder to motivate than elementary students. In my opinion, one good strategy would be to have a routine using things they like and are interested about. For example, you could start the class by asking them to talk about a movie they recently saw, or talk about the last hockey game they watched. During my practicum, secondary 4 students had to discuss in groups of 4 about English television or movies they watched during the week. Secondary 5 were doing "News report", in which they had to talk about something related to sport, culture, politic, etc. Another thing is to use ICTs, since they are very good at using them and they enjoy it. I'm also thinking that when I will be a teacher, I could start the year by asking them to write down some ideas of activities they would like to do during the English class. Do you think that this would be a good strategy?
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sam17



Joined: 03 Feb 2011
Posts: 5
Location: Quebec

PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Secondary school education is a milestone in everyone's life nowadays. I believe it is quite important as this is the time where you discover a lot of things about yourself and where you often decide what you want to do later in your life. I know for many people it only really starts in CEGEP, but the issue is always addressed even if students will not admit it. Because of this , I believe that motivation is the key to success in secondary school. As teachers, we must find ways to spark the fire in the eyes of our students. If they like what they are doing, they are going to learn much faster and they might even develop an interest towards the subjects we are bringing to the table. My secondary 3 English teacher was one of my favorite teachers I had in my life. I could even say that he is the initial spark that pushed me to love English and want to become a teacher in this subject. It is through influential and meaningful teaching that we discover interests and forge our personality.
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melgaut



Joined: 03 Feb 2011
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:20 pm    Post subject: High school Reply with quote

yes, students in high-school don't always have the motivation to success in their studies, especially in second language. They are demotivated because they don't see any reason why they should learn one. So, I think that showing them all they can do with the language should be useful. It is not only about getting a job or to get better education: you can also read article about your favourite singer, you can listen to sport in English, you can understand songs (etc...). Asking them what they like and what they want to do is also a good way to get started. You need to know their interest. Create activities where they will have fun and they won't notice that they are speaking in English!! (Yes, it is not always easy, and you don't always get enough time to design such an activity)
In another hand, what can you do when there is ONE prolematic student in your classroom that influences the rest of the class...I learned that the best way to avoid this kind of behaviour is to let him act like he wants! BUT, you have to make arrangement with the student: '' Ok, don't do anything in class, but you'll have to do this little thing at home. It is a special homework just for you...''If it happens to me, I'll try it for sure. This way, he doesn't disturb anybody anymore. Do you have any other tips? It is really something that stesses me: how to motivate high school student for the whole year?
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jeffreyrodrigue



Joined: 03 Feb 2011
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:34 pm    Post subject: Secondary School Eudcation - Motivation Reply with quote

I agree with what Sam said, I know that if my English teacher did this I would have been a lot more interested. Since my mom is Anglophone and my dad Francophone I was raised learning both language and therefore I was really good in English from a young age and I would’ve maybe not found inventing my band, my sport, etc hard but I would’ve certainly been interested. It’s not be used all the time, but I’d rather do this a thousand times than doing a thousand crossword puzzles and vocabulary list like I did. Finding activities around student’s interests and hobbies is the way to go to get them interested.
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AndreAnn



Joined: 10 Feb 2011
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that the best way to keep highschool students motivsted is to talk about things that they can relate to and that they like even if it not the same for you. Teachers need to be creative in the way they bring about the subject. A good idea for classroom discussion can include facebook, twiter, peer pressure, fashion, love ect ect... It is prossible to teach your grammar using these topics. Students will juste be more motivated to participate. I think that big projects should also contain familiar subject to interest the students. A good example of this, as I learned at the SPEAQ campus, is to have a written and drawing assigment about room decoration. Teens like to talk about their room so why not used that!
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Emhan3



Joined: 03 Feb 2011
Posts: 5
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:15 pm    Post subject: Scondary School Education (motivation) Reply with quote

Last semester (fall 2010), I did my practicum in high school, and I noticed that keeping students’ motivation and interest was not an easy task. Providing relevant and useful, but stimulating activities for high school students requires a lot of consideration for their interests and the world they are surrounded by. In fact, teaching secondary school means being able to take a minute and look for what students are interested in and what kind of activities they would like to do in order to produce the best activities that will catch students’ attention and motivate them. Additionally, in today’s society, students need to be stimulated in a different way since they live in a world where they have unlimited access to information. Secondary school teaching involves innovations in the ways we teach our material so that we increase students’ motivation at the same time that we are building their knowledge of the language and culture.
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eslculture



Joined: 03 Feb 2011
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:03 am    Post subject: Re: Secondary School Eudcation - Motivation Reply with quote

I agree with you that it is important to correspond to students’ interests in order to increase their motivation. Here are some more suggestions that can be taken into account by ESL teacher:

1. Provide your students with the variety of selections. Do not treat them like children from the kindergarten. They need to feel some sense of autonomy in the learning process. They need to feel that they are respected as personalities, and their opinions or personal preferences are taken into account. Try to give them a writing activity as homework and you will probably hear “oh, no”, but if you ask them to write a journal entry of their personal experience about the topic or an interview with a friend or member of their family and you will see them discussing their choices and will not regard the task useless. Give them more freedom in choosing options of picking their group partners, determine their due dates etc.

2. Balance the difficulty level. According to my personal experience if the task is too easy, students get bored and sometimes frustrated thinking that the teacher believes they are not capable for better work. At the same time you need to balance the difficulty level so that the way to difficult task can create anxiety. Remember about the importance of choosing “i+1” difficulty level.

3. In the Quebec context show them the importance of bilinguism in the Quebec society. They can associate themselves to successful bilingual representatives from their own province for whom learning ESL was crucial for their career, international success, recognition of peers all over the world. It will help the students to feel connected or related to other people from their own society. They will feel themselves belonging to a group of people who share the same interests in life, encourage their participation, they become more enthusiastic about their future, friendly and helpful.

4. Sometimes students are frustrated with their low results or poor performance of the task. Take in mind that you need only to teach ESL, but also provide students with the strategies that help them learn how to learn. It will help them to understand their weaknesses and strength and take advantage of the last one to perform better.
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