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Motivating Students to Learn English – TEFL teachers

From the first day of classes we teachers have to understand that more than being a teacher for our students, we are true sellers. But not to market products or services, but to offer knowledge. In this case a new language.

When you decide teaching English abroad, it is important to know how to sell and present our ideas in an attractive way, and to convince that the learning they are getting with us is advantageous for them, and catching their attention.

In this case, when we are in the process of teaching a new language, it is vital to take into deeply the grammar, the ability to read and write. Therefore, we must propose challenges to the students that motivate them to improve certain skills that will help them to have a good writing in English. For example, writing formal documents, to chat informally with their friends, it is vital.

However, writing is one of the most important skills and at the same time one of the hardest to achieve, since the brain needs time to assimilate the other language. So, we must persuade our students to have patience, and if we want to make a comparison, we would say that it is like “learn to add or multiply”, first you must know the numbers before. The thing is, that you cannot pretend to do mathematical operations without first learning the numbers.

Therefore, if we study the behavior of students, and what motivates them to improve their grammar skills, we need to make our presentation interesting, innovative and up-to-date material, in this way we can make a difference in the final results. The goal is to find effective tools to learn new words, new ways of making sentences, and most importantly, you can find new ideas to write.

The truth is, while you are more exposed to the visual part, reading in books or the Internet, we can say the language will become increasingly familiar, allowing us to start thinking in English, and open our both vocabularies “written and oral” at the same time.

Creativity in classes

We teachers have to take advantage of our students interest in the language, for that reason; Today we must adapt and evolve with technology, and work with each generation of students is different from the other. Therefore, teachers have to adapt and innovate continuously and find new ways for students to assimilate information.

For example, the routine is to perform the traditional class where a book is followed, the teacher writes verbs on the board and teaches his students to build sentences correctly. However, the idea is to take advantage of the multimedia material that is increasingly larger, and provide us with tools that help learning by doing it in a fun and interesting way.

During the classes we have to try to ensure that “reading” does not always have to be boring. For example, we can prepare a list of blogs or web pages of different topics of interest, which have a colloquial language and close to the student. Then, when reading them in class we have stored new words in your mind, so when you read more and are exposed to a visual part, the better opportunities they have to accelerate the writing process.

A good exercise to associate the pronunciation of words with your writing, is listening to the language as much as possible. That is why it is important to take time in class for each of the students to read aloud, and it does not only have to be from a book, it can even be a song with subtitles or a poem that everyone likes.

Many students say they have learned the language through songs, so it is a good idea to choose a popular song that everyone knows, and translate the lyrics into English. Then, try singing it in English. Finally, they could try to rewrite some of the lines in English to make them rhyme.

The goal is to read each text several times to make sure you understand how to use new words and expressions in the text.

Explore new vocabulary

Every day you can learn new words. Many students think that in a few months they can dominant the language, however, to achieve it fluently it usually takes a few years, that is why we are constantly exposed to new words and meanings. The knowledge is infinite.

A quick task always before starting classes is to select some words, expose them and read them out loud in class. But be careful, that it is a mistake to teach this new vocabulary separately, or by making a simple list of words, as if it were a dictionary. The ideal is to place these new words in the same context so that students can deduce the meaning.

The main idea is the words must be related to each other and under the same context. For example: If we want to present the word “Stove” it has to be learned in conjunction with other words related to the kitchen, tolls or household utensils. So, you have to avoid teaching the vocabulary separately, and never limit yourself to a list of words as if it were a dictionary.

Also, a good tip is to know that when they learn a new word, try to learn the forms of that word and the prepositions that are usually used with it. That makes things easier!

Finally, for us teachers when teaching a new vocabulary, we have to be constant, repetitive with the new word and reinforce out of class with tasks to practice that new vocabulary.

Get a Feedback

We understand by feedback the answers and comments that are given to students after performing a task or activity. However, for this feedback to be more effective, it is convenient to be given immediately after the task performed. In this way, the results are more efficient, since the errors of the students must be corrected quickly, just at the time the doubt appears.

A recommendation is always to be aware of the progress in student learning to be able to offer them the opportune orientations that will lead them to improve their writing skills.

Because of that, there are many tools to implement this teaching strategy, linked to the evaluation. The important thing is to never stop reviewing, for example: A suggestion is to record on a sheet or electronic device all feedback observations that you have addressed to your students in a given period of time, for example: weekly.

This way you can measure the performance of the students, and thus compare the student’s work with an established standard that shows his progress (or lack of it); to tell you how far you have come and give you clues about how you can continue to improve, and so your achievements would be much closer to expectations.

One way to motivate writing is to give our students some time to try to write in English during classes. The key is in the consistency, doing the same thing over and over again will really help you learn the skill of writing. Reminding them that Writing in English will be difficult at first, but if you write a little every day, it will start to get easier.

You have to give them the opportunity to be free when writing, you put your pen on the paper and write everything that comes to your mind. It does not matter if the ideas connect or not.

The point of this writing exercise is not to write a perfect story. The purpose is to get your brain thinking in English and achieve the exchange of ideas the feedback.


Achieving good harmony in the classroom is very important for the progress of students, not only to have a good energy in the classroom, but to achieve confidence among the members, and at the time of making a mistake it will be taken positively.

We can also take advantage of certain dynamic tools that help us save time and be effective at the same time. A very useful tool for us teachers is to make students work as a team. An example of this is to have students exchange their work and qualify among themselves, so that they help each other and with their knowledge correct their colleagues, instead of one correcting them, surpassing the honor system.

When they work in groups, the classes are more interactive, so they will not get bored easily. You can play with the topics, make them interesting, and like this expand the vocabulary and communication skills between teacher and students. Take advantage of the atmosphere during this exercise that helps them lose their fear, so that they do not feel ashamed when making mistakes and rather correct them. This atmosphere can also be used to debate certain topics as Politics or Sports among others, so they can improve and practice the vocabulary they have learned during the class.

This type of tools will help them to gain confidence and each time they will feel more comfortable when communicating in English. Start now teaching English in Spain with TEFL Madrid!

Exam Madrid Team
Exam Madrid Team
Articles: 134

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