Motivation in Foreign Language Learning
Motivation in foreign language learning is a very complicated and important phenomenon. One can define it in two ways. Firstly, learners will be motivated to learn second language if they want to fulfill their professional ambitions or if they are forced to communicate, using the second language in a lot of social situations. Secondly, if students like and respect native speakers of the language, they will want more contact with them.
A teacher`s positive attitude can motivate learners, inspire them and make them enjoy coming to the classroom. The content should be useful, interesting and appropriate for their age and level of ability. Besides, the atmosphere must be supportive and the learning goals have to be clear and challenging. Teachers can make the students more interested in forthcoming activities by making appropriate and interesting remarks at the beginning of the lesson. Lessons that always have the same routines, patterns and formats are boring. That`s why varying the activities, tasks and materials can be useful for avoiding boredom in the classroom. Using cooperative rather than competitive goals is also very good teaching approach. When students work together in order to solve a problem, or complete a task, they cooperate and everyone is involved. They are more self-confident and more motivated. Teachers are very satisfied when their students are motivated. In their opinion, motivated students are hard-working, active participants in the class and they are always interested in teachers` opinions about the subject matters.
There are a lot of motivations which can influence a student. They can be: curiosity, attitude, willingness to try new language strategies and the desire to integrate into the activities or culture of another group of people. Students are motivated when they are allowed to work in their own style and when they have sufficient variety of input. Every individual has different motivation, emotional response in strategies. Teachers should encourage students to find their own preferences. On the other hand, learners must realize that second language learning is a serious task. Individual differences play an important role in foreign language learning.