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Six Effective Strategies to Increase Motivation

The six effective strategies to increase external motivation in language learning has been explained with examples.

Create a friendly atmosphere in the classroom

Develop a friendly climate in which all students will feel recognized and valued. Many students feel more comfortable participating in classroom activities after they know their teacher and their peers. Creating a safe and comfortable environment where everyone feels a part of the whole is one of the most significant factors in encouraging motivation. This process may take time as students adjust themselves to a new setting.

At the beginning of the school year a teacher can provide her students a classroom which is bright and colorful with pictures and projects conducted by the teacher’s previous students. She can give her students the impression that learning the target language will be easy and enjoyable. This gives the students a chance to learn from what is present in the environment. Pair and group activities can be used from the very outset, reducing the pressure of teacher-student interaction and allowing students to feel recognized by their peers. The feeling of becoming a part of the whole is one of the strongest motivational factors at the beginning of a school year.

One ice-breaker to start a class could be the nickname activity. Everyone in the classroom can invent and write down a nickname (or use a nickname they already have). Arranged in a circle, each student has to stand up, introduce himself and explain his nickname. This fun activity will give the students an opportunity to introduce themselves. This activity will also give the students a chance to feel a friendly and flexible atmosphere in the classroom.

Encourage students to personalize the classroom environment according to their taste.

Providing the students a learner-centered, low anxiety classroom environment has a great impact on language acquisition. Personalizing the environment can relax the students and provide them a friendly atmosphere in which they want to learn and develop their language skills. Students who feel safe and comfortable will feel more secure taking chances. Such students will display greater motivation to read aloud in class, or write an essay without the fear of being criticized.

I remember very well, as a student, my English teacher giving us a chance to arrange the classroom in the way that we would feel most comfortable. The teacher gave us the impression that there was no limit to what we could do to our learning environment. The walls were covered with colorful movie posters and the lyrics of the famous songs. Each of us had also a chance to personalize our desks. Our classroom became a warm cheerful place where we enjoyed learning and studying.

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