Motivation in second language classrooms

A second language classroom basically refers to units set up to teach students of different ages a new language. These classrooms have been in existence for a while and will increase in number due to the increase in the number of people immigrating to different countries to set up a home in another.

In order to successfully teach a classroom a teacher or lecturer needs to do a number of things, among them being to motivate the students to sit and concentrate in one place long enough to learn something. This may not be an easy fete since some of these lessons can take up to two hours.

According to Dornyei, (2001),one method that can guarantee a student’s undivided attention in a second language class is the use of tailor-made agreements by the teacher.The lecturer or teacher will draft up a detailed written agreement either with an individual student or with a group of students that will detail what and how they will learn what they will learn. This will enable the teacher and student to formalize their goalcommitment.  This contract can also state ways the teacher will assist in achieving thesegoals.The constant monitoring of students’ progress by the teacher will be necessary to  makesure that the contract is observed by both parties.

In his 2001 motivational strategy, guide, ZoltánDornyeistated that anxiety could be the cause for a student in a second language class performing poorly. There are number of things that can cause anxiety in a second language student, one of them is comparing the students with each other be it in terms of their general performance in class or their performance in the social arena. It is the teacher’s responsibility therefore to eliminate language anxiety bytaking out or reducing the anxietycausingelements within the learningarea.Eliminate comparisons even in the slightest forms, encourage cooperation as opposed to competition.

According to Dörnyei in his motivational strategy number 27, teachers should choose activities that bear positive parts for the participants and involving the student playing a part in negotiating the final score.

Teachers should avoid face- intimidating acts such as criticism,humiliation orputting students “on the spot.” One way a lecturer can ensure the complete attention of his class is through the use of humor and the employment of tactics that the students find amusing yet stimulating.