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How to keep your students motivated?



At SimTeam we always encourage using engaging and motivating means of teaching both on corporate and on academic levels. In this post you can find some thoughts on motivating students by Cristina Cabal that we found on the British Council’s website. Her main message? Teach as you would like to be taught. Read on to find out how she breaks this down to explicit tips after 26 years of teaching.

Cabal compares studying to a healthy successful marriage – like passion, motivation eventually fades away if you don’t care about it enough and consistently. It consumes your time and energy, but it is worth the efforts. In her experience, Cabal says only a motivated teacher is able to keep students motivated, but it is a two way street, and if a teacher won’t care about teaching, then the students won’t care about learning. What tips does she have for fellow teachers when it comes to motivating students? Read on and find out!

01 Involve your students

Students need to be given an active role during the classes, these sessions should be student-centered. Teachers should act as a facilitator and need to guide the learning process. But eventually active participation is what makes the most out of the learning for students.

02 Give students a chance to shine

If the students have the opportunity to be successful, and this will boost their motivation. Assign tasks where they can see the results of their efforts.

03 Make learning fun

Fun is memorable, so use games and competitions. Everybody loves a competition, and it gives an opportunity to the students to interact with each other, have fun and learn at the same time.

04 Step away from textbooks

Create your own activities instead of using textbooks, as those are hard for the students to connect with. Also, creating your own activities project your efforts to the students, and they will see that you spent time to prepare for the class, in order to help them succeed.

05 Explain why you are doing things a certain way

Instead of telling them to open their book on a certain page and do exercise five, explain to them why it is important for them to do it, and what they will accomplish by doing it. Therefore, you can give meaning to an otherwise boring task.

06 Give very clear instructions

There is nothing more frustrating to a student then not being able to perform well, because they didn’t understand the task they were assigned. They need to have a very clear idea of what they are supposed to do.

07 Set clear and attainable goals for every lesson

Tell students up front what they are going to learn during the class, and reflect to this plan at the end of the lesson as well. This way students will know where they are currently, and where they are going next.

08 Vary the social dynamics and include movement

Ask students to work in pairs or groups, this will get them out of their seats and move. To keep their attention, set engaging and meaningful activities, and create a friendly atmosphere where they feel they can talk and ask questions freely.

09 Use different materials

Books are not really engaging for students, so show them visuals, infographics, quizzes, and make use of technology. It is always up to the teacher to seek new resources that may benefit the classes, and bringing technology is a great way to motivate students.

10 Don’t over-correct

Avoid over-correcting, especially when students are speaking in front of the class. This only undermines their confidence, when you interrupt them every time they made a mistake. Listen to them, thank them for their contribution and point out one or two of the most important mistakes they might have done. You can remind them that making mistakes is a natural part of the learning process, and that everybody – including the teacher -makes mistakes.

11 Praise the students

A ‘well-done’ or a ‘thank you’ boosts their confidence a lot, especially for weaker students. You can always say something positive, even if their answer was not correct. Start with something positive, and then tactfully move on to what needs to be improved.


Published: 2017.03.06. 11:42