Are you a secondary or private language school teacher faced with po-faced, sullen teenagers who'd rather be chatting in the L1 or sleeping or watching telly?

Do you find the coursebook you use hardly motivates them? Is it a challenge for you to get them to speak in English and make them see the benefit of it in the long term? Then this blog is for you!

I'd like to do some action research into motivational strategies and teen psychology and this blog will hopefully help me gather some feedback and ideas from teachers who, like me, have problems motivating their teens to work hard and speak English. The problems I face are various:

  • Time of lesson: evening, so students are tired from school
  • Challenging coursebook: the prescribed coursebook is a little too "adulty" for them
  • Impersonal classroom: we teach in a satellite school premises and are not allowed to put written work up on the walls
  • Sense of isolation: not many classes happening at the same time so no affective relief during the break
  • Little intrinsic or instrumental motivation: there is not much "love" for the language or culture due to a lack of authentic exposure and not much uptake of an idea of going to university abroad.
  • Overburdened learners: students have too much school homework and tests

Questions you could help me answer include:

  • How do you overcome the problems above or similar problems you may have?
  • How do you collect (positive) feedback from students or evidence of language improvement after using these strategies?
  • How much do you think motivation affects learning?

All your ideas welcome! Thanks!

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