lack of motivation

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arij98

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Hi erery body
I was wondering about the causes of learners' demotivation when it comes to learning English as a foreign or second language. I noticed that cultural and regional factors are key players in learners' lack of motivation.what do you think?
Please share your ideas about this issue.
Thank you.
 

banderas

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human nature is the same everywhere, I believe, which means it is easy to become demotivated whatever your origin is.
 

Snowcake

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I agree with banderas.

I think there are other possible reasons that need to be considered.

difficult or boring materials, difficult aspects of grammar etc.

Above all, everybody needs some senses of achievement to not lose motivation.

Sometimes it helps when pupils have a say in the content and/or direction of the lesson.

Besides, I noticed that the family background plays a central role. But that is only relevant regarding younger learners.
 

Tdol

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If they live in an environment where they see little need for English as they don't hear it being used, it can seem remote and irrelevant.
 

arij98

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Thank you all for your messages.I agree with Tdol since my pupils' native language is Arabic I find great difficulty to convince them to use English.They say that Arabic and French are enough and there is no need for another foreign language.
 

stuartnz

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They say that Arabic and French are enough and there is no need for another foreign language.

And they may well be right for their own circumstances. Perhaps one approach worth trying might be to talk about expanding options. If they stay where they are, and follow the course in life they currently expect to, then Arabic and French may well suffice. But what if they decide to try something new, or if an unexpected opportunity arises? Wouldn't it be great to have the ability to say "I can seize this opportunity right away", rather than "I wish I'd learned English when I had the chance".

This is not anglocentrism, since I can easily sympathise with the view your students are expressing. It just seems to me that perhaps an argument like the one above might make at least some of them reconsider.
 

Tdol

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It will work where they have the opportunities for that. However, in rural regions of poor countries, say, things may well not so simple. Where I live, students in the country are often studying in very basic conditions and metalled roads are few and far between. My language teacher comes from one of these places and she had to get up at 3am to study because she was also expected to work on the family farm. Then she came to the capital and worked to support herself through university. That sort of vision and motivation isn't easy to find. She now has about four others from her village living with her and studying here.

Many will find the belief in opportunities for change hard to accept because of their life circumstances; if little changes around you and opportunities are very rare, it may be hard for some to believe that learning a foreign and distant language could be the key. Circumstance and environment exert a lot of influence.
 

stuartnz

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It will work where they have the opportunities for that. However, in rural regions of poor countries, say, things may well not so simple.

I agree 100%, which is why I said I could sympathise with the students who don't see the point. I merely offered that argument as an option to try, with neither promise, nor much hope, of efficacy. :-(
 

Mad-ox

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hi,

Generally speaking, those who learn English are very motivated for a number of reasons: English is very widespread all over the world; in other words if you turn on the radio to listen to some music you will realize that most of the songs are in English, or if you switch on the TV you will realize that most of the films are in English, or ( I have noticed ) if you want to enter in a shop you will realize that on the shop's door is written OPEN/CLOSED in English and not in your native language etc....... So, people are very often in contact with this language and consequently they become interested in it. I have noticed, as an English teacher, that most of the students are not interested in learning whether it is about Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, Physics or History, but during English classes they are attracted to the subject, context, meaning and use of the new language. Obviously, there are exceptions, but this is what I myself have experienced.

here is a doc. about lack of motivation that might interest you: http://espace.uq.edu.au/eserv/UQ:23743/JnlAsiaTEFL2007_4_1__79-105Fnl.pdf



regards,
Madox
 

arij98

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Thank you Mad-Ox:-D
 

Heads Up English

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It's really important to show students exactly what they can do with English. It's equally important to hold up examples of other learners, in order to highlight the future goal... which could take a long time to achieve, yet which is achievable.

But not all motivational methods work the same. The above examples would be for students who have picked up English as a hobby, or who have nebulous plans (e.g., "I want to speak to people from other countries.") More serious students would need to set goals, so as to measure progress on the road to their ultimate goal (e.g., "I want to improve my English so I can study in London.").

Here's a good article on setting goals with students:

http://www.sabes.org/resources/publications/adventures/vol16/16newamericans.htm

Chris Cotter
Heads Up English - Just print, and teach!
English Lesson Plans | Heads Up English | ESL EFL
 
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