motivate students

10 tips to motivate students in classroom

Finding the best way to motivate students in class is a challenge for every teacher. Although there is no doubt that motivation is a decisive factor in the learning process, sometimes in the day to day of the classroom we lose sight of the need to constantly maintain and encourage it. Even those students who start an illumined course can lose motivation throughout the sessions if they are not helped.

There are many factors, internal and external, that affect the motivation of our students, from the interest to learn English. The perception they have of the usefulness of this language. The patience they have or even what they can have fun in the classroom.

As teachers we can greatly influence the levels of motivation in the classroom and we must be aware that our ability to motivate students is as important as our knowledge of the subject, content selection, etc. can be. That is, not only what we want to teach is important, but we must also look at how our students learn.

What to do to motivate students?

the motivate students

The relationship between the teacher and the student

Establishing a good connection with the students begins by letting them know that the teacher is there to help. It is also important to answer your questions clearly. And be available to help students who need it individually. This will generate a climate of very positive confidence.

The relationship between students

This is one of the main issues to motivate students. It is necessary to establish a pleasant atmosphere in class, open and positive. In which they feel comfortable to ask and make mistakes without fear of criticism from other classmates.

The perception of progress and expectations

Students must be made aware of their own progress. Some students start the course mistakenly thinking that in a short time they will be able to master Spanish. And as they progress they are disappointed to find that they will need more time and effort than they expected. This is why it is important to highlight their progress. And encourage them to establish realistic objectives in the short term.

Keep expectations high

Students will be more motivated if they perceive that your expectations about them are high and they will feel more proud of their own progress. Also the care in the treatment of the error and the fact of highlighting what they do well will benefit the confidence in their possibilities.

Link the class with the application in the real world

Do not lose sight of the reason why you are studying. Try that in each example, in each situation they work, they are connected to the real world and make sense for them.

The material

In relation to the previous point, the more real or similar to reality the material is, the closer it will seem to them. The variety in these will also help. Nowadays it is easy to find videos, audios and written material. Technology is also a very useful and motivating resource.

Teaching methods

The ways of motivating students can be very diverse. Some learn better by watching, others by listening and others by doing. Alternating methods and activities will help to include them all. From debates, brainstorming, role-playing, games, competitions, activities that demand creativity, group work, couples, etc. everything can be included and the students will appreciate being surprised with something new.

Students are used to always being told what to do, what topic is going to be treated, etc., letting them choose an activity, the topic of the next session or even preparing a part will make them participate in the process and acquire more awareness of his role in this.

Use humor

There are studies that indicate that students come more and with better disposition to class if they know that during this time they will laugh at some point. Using humor helps to relax the environment but yes, never at the expense of anyone.

The enthusiasm of the teacher

The personal enthusiasm of the teacher for the subject is one of the factors that most motivates the students if we are capable of transmitting and infecting them.

I hope that these 10 tips to motivate students in ELE class will be useful and that you can use them in your day to day. Working with motivated students is much easier.


Relax and smile. Being relaxed is essential to give the best of ourselves. It helps us to be more attentive to our students, to listen more and better, to give better explanations, to transmit confidence and closeness. Is it hard for you to relax? Why do not you try the abdominal breaths? Also, when we release the tensions we smile more; smiling is a universal language and our best presentation card. It is even said that it can have a therapeutic effect.

Watch gestures, investigate their meaning in other cultures. If we take into account that non-verbal communication is the one that transmits most information in a communication, we must be especially careful with this topic and dedicate space in your classes.

Our expressions and gestures constitute a system of signals known and used by the members of the group but that can be opaque or contradictory for those belonging to other communities. Gestures have different meanings according to different cultures.

For example, the movement of the head from top to bottom does not always translate into an affirmation, indeed, in some places it can send the opposite message. This is why the analysis and teaching of the CNV anticipates problems in the classroom and avoids misunderstandings and erroneous judgments outside of it.

Be patient with your students and with the time it takes them to learn. Recognize your right to learn wrong. It is impossible to learn anything without erring; our life experience tells us so. It is a right of each student that we must recognize and enforce.

Also, remember that we all have a different learning rhythm and that each one of us learns different aspects on each occasion.

Rate your progress. Encourage them by highlighting positive aspects. Starting this trip produces much insecurity, so the words of encouragement and encouragement from the teachers help the students to recognize and value their own achievements, to motivate themselves know the different stages of the learning process. Always, although sometimes it does not seem so, we are learning and moving forward.

Motivate them by proposing topics and tasks of interest and useful and meaningful activities. Many authors state that: Lack of interest in the subject has a negative effect on comprehension and therefore on learning. If this maxim is true, and we believe it is, we will have to make sure that all the topics we bring to the classroom respond to a need. Or a real interest of our students, so we make sure we have the heart of learning: motivation.

Respect your learning style. There are many different ways to learn and all are valid. Learning styles are the preferences. And highly individualized tendencies of a person that influence their learning. Each learner uses different tools to approach the information. And these may not coincide with those of their classmates or those of their teacher.

Some teachers tend to overvalue students who match their own learning style and not sufficiently understand students who show an opposite. Find out what type of student you are, what type of students you have. And from there, we propose respectful tasks that integrate all the styles in the classroom.

Know your students. Success in the learning and teaching process depends to a large extent on this advice. Each person brings to the classroom a different baggage: some values, some beliefs, some concerns, some expectations, etc. Knowing our students and encouraging them to get to know each other will help us to help them learn and achieve their own goals.

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