Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ways to Motivate Students to Learn English by Steven Armstrong

Learning a language poses exceptional hardships that are difficult for some students to overcome. One such difficulty is the lack of motivation that can accompany frustration in learning a language. According to language experts at, a college paper writing service, English is a particularly difficult language to learn due to various roots it possesses from other languages; thus, grammar, syntax, and pronunciation are not common to most students. Taking into consideration importance of English in a global context, motivating students is a particularly important task that must be completed with aplomb if one is to help students learn. There are two types of motivation that will be explored. The first is positive motivation and the second one is negative motivation. The vehicles of these two types of motivations will differ according to the age structures of the students.

Importance of Motivation in Learning a Foreign Language

When a person, specifically a student, embarks on learning a foreign language they are tasked with acquiring a new set of grammar, pronunciation and diction rules that they have not previously known. Considering the degree of difficulty posed, it is quite reasonable to assume that there is a risk of loss of motivation in learning a new language if a student does not feel adequate progress is being made. In order for the learning process to be facilitated and for the student to feel that actual progress is being made, it is crucial to motivate him or her. There are various types of motivation, both positive and negative, that can affect students’ performance and progress in learning new language. Positive motivation includes a reward structure while negative motivation includes punitive measures, which are covered in a grading structure.

Positive Motivation in the Form of a Reward Structure

Positive motivation for a student to learn English can emulate a structure of differing levels that have accompanying perks. In the same way that a promotion works in the labor world, a student has different privileges granted when performance quotas are met. This structure must adhere to the age of students that are learning English; therefore, in order to proceed with this argument, we are going to assume an average age of students between 14 and 18. Certain privileges for students of that age group, assuming they are learning in a structured environment such as school, may include less homework or more enjoyable language exercises. These rewards can evoke a sense of justification for the hard work a student puts into learning a language and serve as a motivational factor for them.

Negative Motivation in the Form of a Grading Structure

Examinations and grading are forms of negative motivation.
Negative motivation is most commonly seen in the form of a grading structure. The grading structure serves a twofold purpose. The first is to track performance of the student and the second one is to motivate those that are not performing adequately. The grading structure in the aforementioned age structure is even more powerful because students are able to better comprehend a failing grade versus a satisfactory grade. A student that is not performing and has a below average grade will be subject to judgment of their peers. The innate fear of being judged differently by your peers due to poor performance is a negative motivational factor. Students who seek approval would be more keen in improving their grade in order to seek approval.

Results Sought in Motivating Students

It is important to understand that not all students will excel in learning a new language. However, with appropriate methods and motivation not only on the students’ part but also on the educator’s, the process could be made simpler and much more enjoyable.

Steven Armstrong is a freelance writer specializing on college essay writing, working with different educational paper research companies, including

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