The word motivation refers to getting someone moving. In education, motivation deals with the problem of setting up conditions so that learners will perform to the best of their abilities in academic settings. We often motivate learners by helping them develop an expectancy that a benefit will occur as a result of their participation in an instructional experience.
Keywords: motivation, personality, cognition, instruction, internal factors, external factors, experiences, native language.
Слово мотивация означает заставить кого-то двигаться. В образовании мотивация рассматривает проблему создания таких условий, в которых учащиеся будут выполнять всё в меру своих способностей в учебных заведениях. Мы часто мотивируем учащихся, помогая им развивать их ожидания, что будет польза в результате их участия в деятельности учебного опыта.
Ключевые слова: мотивация, личность, познание, обучение, внутренние факторы, внешние факторы, опыт, родной язык.
There is a seemingly endless list of possible factors that can have an impact on a student’s level of motivation; personal and family situation, economic condition, age, sex, religion, cultural background, etc. It is essential to understand how these factors come into play regarding a student’s attitude toward effective learning.Some students learn a new language more quickly and easily than others.This simple fact is known by all who have themselves learned a second language or taught those who are using their second language in school.
Internal factors are those that the individual language learner brings with him or her to the particular learning situation.
Age: Second language acquisition is influenced by the age of the learner. Children, who already have solid literacy skills in their own language, seem to be in the best position to acquire a new language efficiently. Motivated, older learners can be very successful too, but usually struggle to achieve native-speaker-equivalent pronunciation and intonation.
Personality: Introverted or anxious learners usually make slower progress, particularly in the development of oral skills. They are less likely to take advantage of opportunities to speak, or to seek out such opportunities. More outgoing students will not worry about the inevitability of making mistakes. They will take risks, and thus will give themselves much more practice.
Motivation: Intrinsic motivation has been found to correlate strongly with educational achievement. Clearly, students who enjoy language learning and take pride in their progress will do better than those who don't.
Extrinsic motivation is also a significant factor. ESL students, for example, who need to learn English in order to take a place at an American university or to communicate with a new English boy/girlfriend are likely to make greater efforts and thus greater progress.
Experiences: Learners who have acquired general knowledge and experience are in a stronger position to develop a new language than those who haven't. The student, for example, who has already lived in 3 different countries and been exposed to various languages and cultures has a stronger base for learning a further language than the student who hasn't had such experiences.
Cognition: In general, it seems that students with greater cognitive abilities will make the faster progress. Some linguists believe that there is a specific, innate language learning ability that is stronger in some students than in others.
Native language: Students who are learning a second language which is from the same language family as their first language have, in general, a much easier task than those who aren't. So, for example, a Dutch child will learn English more quickly than a Japanese child.
External factors are those that characterize the particular language learning situation.
–Curriculum: For ESL students in particular it is important that the totality of their educational experience is appropriate for their needs. Language learning is less likely to place if students are fully submersed into the mainstream program without any extra assistance or, conversely, not allowed to be part of the mainstream until they have reached a certain level of language proficiency.
–Instruction: Clearly, some language teachers are better than others at providing appropriate and effective learning experiences for the students in their classrooms. These students will make faster progress.
The same applies to mainstream teachers in second language situations. The science teacher, for example, who is aware that she too is responsible for the students' English language development, and makes certain accommodations, will contribute to their linguistic development.
–Culture and status: There is some evidence that students in situations where their own culture has a lower status than that of the culture in which they are learning the language make slower progress.
–Motivation: Students who are given continuing, appropriate encouragment to learn by their teachers and parents will generally fare better than those who aren't. For example, students from families that place little importance on language learning are likely to progress less quickly.
–Access to native speakers: The opportunity to interact with native speakers both within and outside of the classroom is a significant advantage. Native speakers are linguistic models and can provide appropriate feedback. Clearly, second-language learners who have no extensive access to native speakers are likely to make slower progress, particularly in the oral/aural aspects of language acquisition.
Factors influencing extrinsic motivation
Extrinsic motivation comes from such factors outside the classroom as parents, teachers, friends, or their previous learning, but most often involves subjects in a reward and punishment system. In Brophy’s opinion, motivation to learn is a competence acquired through general experience but stimulated most directly through modeling, communication of expectations, and direct instruction or socialization by others, especially parents and teachers. In Harmer’s view, parents’ expectations are significant to students’ school performance, their motivation and their academic achievements since they are generally associated with higher levels of educational attainment. Students have positive or negative attitude toward the language depends mostly on their parents. If the parents are very much against the culture of the language learning, this will probably lead to their children’s negative motivation whereas many students are willing to study the language in order to meet their parents’ expectations.
Like parent factor, students’ peers also affect students’ attitudes toward the language learning outcomes since students may like learning the language when their peers like it. Furthermore, students’ previous learning experiences influence their present learning outcomes. If they were successful, they may be predisposed to learning success now. On the other hand, if unsucessful, they will expect failure now. Students with good past learning knowledge can study well at present. Information about extrinsic motivation has provided. Another main kind, intrinsic motivation, is mentioned below.
Factors influencing intrinsic motivation.
According to Harmer, factors influencing students’ intrinsic motivation are physical conditions, teachers as well as their teaching methods. Physical conditions such as the lighting, the temperature, the acoustic, the lines of vision, the layout of desks, the facilities for displaying pictures or charts, materials and so on, have a great effect on learning. Haynesmentioned that positive school climate perceptions are protective factors that may supply students with supportive learning environment. For instance, if the students find their classroom is a caring, comfortable and supportive place where everyone is valued and respected, they will tend to participate more fully in the process of learning. Besides, as forHarmer, classrooms that are badly lit and overcrowded can be excessively demotivating because in uncomfortable situations, students may not study as well as in more comfortable ones . Among these factors, teachers seem to be the biggest one because their roles are very important in students’ learning.For teachers, the key to foster motivation and engagement in learning can lead to good teaching method as well as good teachers, both of which attract students a lot in their learning. If students find their teachers’ methodology boring, they will probably become demotivated whereas if they are interested in the method, they will find it motivating so that they can study better. In Schmidt’s view, teachers should motivate students into the lesson, that is, at the opening stages of lessons, remarks teachers make about forthcoming activities can lead to higher levels of interest on the part of the students. Besides, teachers should vary the activities, tasks, and materials because students are reassured by the existence of classroom routines that they can depend on. Varying the activities, tasks, and materials can help to avoid demotivation and increase students' interest levels .
Furthermore, teachers had better use cooperative rather than competitive goals in classrooms. Cooperative learning activities are those in which students must work together to complete a task or solve a problem. These techniques have been found to increase the self-confidence of students, including weaker ones because every participant in a cooperative task has an important role to play. Knowing that their teammates are counting on them can also increase students’ motivation.
- Harmer, Jeremy. The Practice of English Language Teaching. 3rd ed.– New York: Longman, 1991. – 38p.
- Ushioda, Ema. “Language learning at university: Exploring the role of motivational thinking.” Motivation and Second Language Acquisition. Ed. Z. Dörnyei, R. Schmidt. Honolulu. — HI: University of Hawaii Press, 2001. — 93–123p.