Saturday, June 18, 2011

Motivation, at Kotesol 2011

Hi everyone, an oldie that somehow stayed in draft form but never got published.  Anyway, here it is:

I attended a presentation on Motivation by Ralph Cousins at the recent Kotesol Conference.  I had to see who my competition was.  Haha!  Joking.  It's actually just an area that I've really interested in I guess.

He had a few good things to say that I already incorporate into my lessons.

1. Get everyone organized before class starts.  Make sure everyone is on the same page (literally!).

2. Less is better.  I usually pick a single grammar point or vocab set and I'll build a whole lesson on it.

3. Make contact with all the students.  Those who aren't engaged are the ones who act up.

4. Don't assume students know even the simplest things.  You'd be surprised at how many Korean Uni students don't even know the most basic, simple grammar (ex: she walkS/ He is goING).  I think mastering the basics is better than kind of knowing the more difficult.

5. Make a short list of what you're going to do in class and write it on the board.  This helps people stay focused.

6. Always model things first.  I will never turn students loose without them seeing me do it first.  NEVER!  It just doesn't work that well.

And some things that I'm going to try to do:

1. Focus more on my body language.  Point your ear towards someone to show that you're listening.  Hold your hands above your waist and facing up to show that you're open to what the person has to say.

2. Give students a one or two minute break every 20 minutes.  It will help them learn.

3. Don't look down on the poor students.  They are good at something else and are maybe late-bloomers that will succeed later in life.  Who knows.

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