Monday, June 15, 2009


I ran across this article on ESL Teachers Board, under the article section. This seems particularly relevant to me, in my classes where many of the students don't actually want to be learning English. I picked out the best ones and added some comments. Go to the article for the complete list.

50 Tips on Motivating Students

1. Know your students and use their names as often as possible.

This is one of my new plans, although I teach over 200 students each semester, so it's very difficult. However, I get them to use a nametag each class and this lets me call on students by name.

2. Plan for every class; never try to wing it.

Obvious, for a professional.

9. Review the class objective each day. Be sure the students see how the entire program moves along.

I always plan to do this, but never really end up doing it. This next semester, I'm going to write it up on the board at the beginning of class, and leave it up there.

19. Give lots of positive feedback when students respond, offer their ideas, perform a task correctly, come to class on time, bring their materials to class.

I think this really does work! I try to do the positive feedback thing through rewards and stuff, and just ignore the bad stuff.

23. Provide opportunities for the students to speak to the class.

I'm not sure if this is motivating or not but I've started doing presentations in my classes, with good results.

25. Return assignments and tests to students ASAP. Be sure to make positive comments and suggestions.

This is obvious. I give things back usually in the same class they do it, or the next class at the latest.

26. Teach by asking lots of questions during introductions, presentations, demonstrations, and lab work.

I will never just give away anything, but always make the students provide it for me.

32. Be consistent in your treatment of students.

Playing favorites is not cool. I make an effort to not do it because if I don't, I think it just happens naturally.

38. Recognize appropriate behavior and reward it on a continuing basis.

Having a reward system works for me. Check out my other post on this here.

by Richard Sullivan and Jerry L. Wircenski
The Vocational Education Journal
Published by the American Vocational Association

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