The Difference Between Motivation And Enthusiasm
Motivation is often defined as enthusiasm (Motivation, n.d.), a desire to do something. Nothing is possible without it. J. Harmer, quite reasonably, suggests that it is the only factor that influences the success and the students are responsible for bringing it to class. From his point of view, a motivated person achieves significant results even in negative conditions. I agree with him to some extent. On the one hand, I know that it is no use persuading someone to move forward if they have never had any interest or if they lost it completely. On the other hand, we cannot hold learners accountable for everything. There is always the teacher’s part in progress or failures. We should spare no effort to be inspiring and not to cause discouragement. Enthusiastic students are successful students.
Nevertheless, it is one thing to get students interested in learning English, it’s another thing to keep them motivated. Some of them go through the course and pass international exams successfully, others are just excited at the beginning but stay behind at the end. No doubt, teachers make a great contribution to the accomplishment of their students. The inner motivation is very high too when it comes to preparing for the exams which can influence the whole life. No one wants to waste time and money. However, if learners don’t have such reasons for studies, what can teachers do to keep them enthusiastic?
First of all, we need to make them active participants in the learning process. When the atmosphere is friendly, teacher talking time is limited, the students are allowed to express their thoughts freely or even come up with their learning ideas, the enthusiasm cannot be easily lost. Everyone should know that their opinion matters. When changes happen, their preferences and needs are taken into account. It is good to be aware of the topics in which our students are interested most of all. From my own experience, I can say that if we are not ignorant of their tastes, lessons will always be exciting. For example, we can ask the music fans to translate their favorite songs from time to time. There is always a way to show that we care.
Secondly, Smith suggests that we can help our students to set achievable objectives for certain periods. For instance, a long-term goal can be to move from the elementary level to the pre-intermediate. A short-term goal can be to learn at least 10 new words per week.
Thirdly, we should make the materials for the course as attractive as possible. Teaching activities ranging from role-playing to watching films will not be boring, especially when we use those which are the most efficient for our learners.
Finally, we must be sure that our students have a positive self-evaluation. Our correction should be up to the point. We need to emphasize their strengths and explain what is wrong in the most respectful tone. There is no secret that many of us don’t know some school subjects only because our teachers were too authoritarian or made us understand that we had no talent for their discipline. We should avoid creating such blocks.
In conclusion, it should be noted that motivation is the key to success. Students and teachers can bring it to class and do everything possible to keep it. This is how the best results are reached.