Why isn’t he coming to class? Why does she come to class and not do anything? Why is he so confident of passing when he’s done so little work? Why does she think she’ll fail when she’s working so hard? Why do they spend so much time talking about IELTS when this is a TOEFL preparation course? Does he even want to be in this room? It feels like she’s deliberately trying to fail this course… why would that be?
Do any of the above questions look familiar to you? How many of them have you uttered yourself? Do you find from time to time that you are utterly perplexed by a student’s complete lack of interest in your marvelously prepared classes? Well, it’s time for you to take a chill pill and understand that there is always a good reason why a given student is not motivated to perform to their peak in your class. It might not always be an obvious reason, but it is invariably a good one.
Occasionally in life, you get to kill two birds with one stone. When that happens with an e-book like this, it’s an absolute joy, I can tell you. In this instance, I’m part of a task group looking into what motivates our learners, and I’m doubling up on the use of some of my initial findings in this here collection of chapters. As you read through the theories I discuss, I’d like you to consider the cases of demotivated students you’ve encountered in the past and think if their situation is more understandable when you put it in the context of what the research says.
This book is ostensibly split down the middle. In part one I look at many of the contemporary theories of motivation, with questions to help reflect on instances when you’ve encountered students who exhibited related motivational problems. In part two I present a series of scenarios that revolve around our unlikely teacher hero: Good Guy Greg. Greg helps us work through issues and leads us towards practical techniques for solving the motivational issues we may encounter.