Following a full day of school students are typically tired and have difficulty coming home and doing homework. Many children also have tutoring after school or other classes. It is very important to take motivation into account when working with students. As parents and teachers, we want our children to be able to focus and be motivated to learn. Unfortunately, this is not something we can do for our children, this is something that has to come from within themselves.
We are not able to force our students to be motivated to learn; however, we can access them by using engaging, fun and motivating activities for teaching. Memorizing vocabulary and drilling language rules is not going to create long term knowledge. Functionally using language creates true learning that will be remembered.
When teaching virtual ESL classes, it is important to use the other students as motivation to speak and use the language. Our small classes of 3 to 4 students provides this opportunity. Playing language-based games and having the students engage with and support each other is very motivating. They want to come to class to see their newfound friends and enthusiastic and fun teacher. Pen pals help with connecting children to native speakers in a different country. There is purpose in using the language. Incorporating movement and positive reinforcement help students want to come to class and participate. When they are active during the learning activities the learning is functional and it is easier for the students to remember what they have learned.
As teachers we can teach all we want, however, if we can’t access our students for learning the teaching does not matter. Engaging, fun and motivating activities and lessons allow children to learn and retain information that will last them a lifetime.