Modern psychologists and teachers are united in the fact that the quality of performance of an activity and its result depend, first, on the motivation and needs of the individual, his motivation; it is motivation that causes purposeful activity, which determines the choice of means and methods, their ordering to achieve goals.
Motivation is therefore the «starting mechanism» of any human activity: be it labor, communication or cognition. It feeds and supports motivation is tangible, real, stage and final success. If there is no success, then the motivation fades away, and this negatively affects the performance of the activity.
The problem of motivation in learning arises in each school subject. In the relevant methods and manuals developed ways of its development and stimulation, taking into account the specifics of the subject.
However, the problem of the motivation to learn foreign languages in high school is particularly acute. Researchers question of motivation provide data on reducing it from class to class. It is noteworthy that, up to the time of learning a foreign language, and at the very beginning, students are usually highly motivated.
They want to express themselves in a foreign language with their peers; It is tempting to recite poems and sing songs in a foreign language; reading, learn about other countries. In short, almost everyone has a desire to own a foreign language, to be able to communicate directly, through a book and correspondence.
However, here begins the process of mastering a foreign language, and the attitude of students changes, many are disappointed. After all, this process implies a period of accumulation of “building material”, a stage of inevitably primitive content, overcoming various difficulties, which delays the achievement of goals that were dreamed of.
As a result, motivation decreases, counter activity disappears, the will to master a foreign language weakens, overall performance decreases, which, in turn, negatively affects motivation, etc. In addition, later, already adults regret the loss of discontent. Only by himself, but mainly by the formulation of learning a foreign language. Such is the widely observed picture associated with the study of a foreign language in school.
The question arises: isn't the decline of motivation with all the ensuing consequences an objective process that cannot be resisted? Fortunately, this refutes the experience of the best teachers, whose students successfully master a foreign language within the required limits.
They feel their progress and feel satisfaction from it, so high motivation accompanies the entire period of their teachings, greatly reinforcing and enriching it. After graduation from high schools, these students are included in special groups, they use acquired skills and abilities for professional purposes, in particular when writing term papers and dissertations, they are active in international youth forums, acting as translators, etc.
Consequently, there is the possibility of preserving and developing the motivation of students to learn a foreign language. Regarding motivation as the most important spring of the process of mastering a foreign language, ensuring its effectiveness, you need to keep in mind the following: the motivation is the side of the student’s subjective world; from here all difficulties of a call of motivation from outside. The teacher can only indirectly influence it, creating prerequisites and forming the basis on which students have a personal interest in the work.
The teacher is the better off, the more he will be able to stand in the place of the student, reincarnate in it. In this case, he will be able to not only recognize the motives of the student’s activities, but also from within to evoke, develop and correct them.
A prerequisite for such mental reincarnation is a good knowledge of their students. The teacher should also imagine the whole arsenal of motivational means, all types and subtypes of motivation and their reserves. Then it will be possible to accurately relate the content of the educational process throughout its length with the corresponding types of motivation, i.e. create persistent concomitant motivation, forming progress in mastering a foreign language.
All of the above significantly increases the prestige of the subject «foreign language» as an educational institution of the university. In addition, here the concept of motivation comes to the fore. Of course, the problem of motivation in learning arises in each subject, but it is particularly acute in the study of a foreign language. It is all a matter of the specific nature of the subject, which requires the student to have a certain base and communication skills. Often this causes students certain difficulties and motivation disappears. Therefore, considering motivation as the main driving force in the study of a foreign language, we note that motives belong to the subjective world of a person, are determined by its internal motivations. Hence all the difficulties of motivating and from the side. A person will be able to learn a foreign language, if only he himself feels the need for this, that is, he is motivated. Now, we will describe the types of motivation that take place in teaching, in particular, a foreign language. Together they constitute the so-called motivation for learning. Educational motivation is determined by a number of specific factors:
‒ characteristics of the student (gender, self-assessment, level of intellectual development)
‒ characteristics of the teacher and his attitude to the pedagogical activity; organization of the pedagogical process; specifics of the academic subject (in this case, a foreign language).
Based on the above factors, academic motivation can be divided into external and internal. External motivation is not directly related to the content of the subject, but due to external circumstances. Examples include:
‒ achievement motive — caused by the desire of a person to achieve success and high results in any activity, including in the study of a foreign language. For example, for excellent marks, obtaining a diploma, etc.,
‒ the motive of self-affirmation is the desire to assert oneself, to get approval from other people. A person learns a foreign language in order to obtain a certain status in society;
‒ the motive of identification is the desire of a person to be like another person, and also to be closer to his idols and heroes (for example, to understand the lyrics of a favorite group's songs);
‒ the motive of affiliation is a desire to communicate with other people. A person can learn a foreign language in order to communicate with foreign friends;
‒ the motive of self-development is striving for self-improvement. A foreign language serves as a means for spiritual enrichment and the general development of a person; the prosaically motive is associated with an awareness of the social significance of the activity. A person learns a foreign language, because he is aware of the social significance of the doctrine. The internal motivation is not connected with external circumstances, but directly with the subject itself. It is also often called procedural motivation. A person likes a foreign language directly, likes to show its intellectual activity. The action of external motives (prestige, self-affirmation, etc.) may enhance internal motivation, but they are not directly related to the content and process of activity.
The main conclusion is that students are mainly driven by external motives, while there is a significant proportion negative motivation (“not to be expelled”, “not put a deuce”). This is a kind of contradiction, since the prestige of owning a foreign language and its importance in public life have grown and, it would seem, there should be more positive motivation. In addition, it is absolutely clear that what is required is an enterprise of actions aimed at challenging internal motivation in students. That is, it is necessary to create such conditions under which students have a personal interest and the need to learn a foreign language. The need for learning should correspond to such varieties of intrinsic motivation as communicative (direct communication in a language), linguistic cognitive (positive attitude to a language) and instrumental (positive attitude to various types of work). All of the above types and subspecies of motivation are the main forces for encouraging a person to learn foreign language. However, it should be remembered that if the motivation is too strong, the level of activity and tension increases, as a result of which work efficiency deteriorates. In this case, a high level of motivation causes unwanted emotional reactions. It is necessary to find the optimum at which high efficiency is adjacent to obtaining the joy of learning a foreign language.
- R. Gotlib. Social demand for knowledge of a foreign language / Sociological Studies, No. 2, 2009. P. 122–127.
- Learning foreign languages. Materials for specialist educational institutions. M., 2003. 192