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1. Select one theory discussed in any module covered in class you find interesting (i.e. Introduction to Psycholinguistics, Theories of Language Learning, Brain Memory & Language Learning, Individual Differences in Language Learning, Learning Strategies) Hint: You may choose a major theory like Behaviorism, Universal Grammar (UG) etc. or a domain theory such as Motivation, Aptitude, Personality, etc.

2.Think how you would understand that theory with your own experience as a language teacher or a language learner.

3.Find two other research papers discussed that theory or its applications in any language learning or teaching environment. Hint: You may use google scholar, EBSCO, JSTOR, Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts, etc. to find any article published between 2008-2018

4.Create an argument to validate findings of these two articles, thus, the theory. Hint: You may either agree or disagree with the articles. 

5.Provide a response paper supporting your argument with own teaching or learning experiences. You may cite articles you have referred, and other supporting articles to build your thesis.

The Importance of Motivation in Enhancing Learning Ability

1.The theory that has been chosen by me on the basis of my area of interest is the ‘Theory of Motivation’. I strongly believe that motivation can affect learning to a great extent and with the proper implementation of the motivation techniques in teaching, the learning ability of the students can be improved to a significant extent. The further sections would provide an elaborate explanation about my understanding of the theory and connect it to the principle of imparting quality education. It is important to note here that the motivation theory emphasizes more on the aspect of learning than on the behavior of the students (Abeysekera & Dawson, 2015)

2.The motivation theory is essentially based upon using motivation to trigger the learning ability of the students and enhance their grasping power (Alderman, 2013). It is composed of two essential parts that accelerates the intrinsic form of learning and the extrinsic form of learning (Cohen, 2014). According to my perspective as a Language teacher, firstly, I would like to clearly define the two aspects of motivation principles. The intrinsic form of motivation makes use of the in-built trait or rather identifies the interest area of the student that speeds up the learning process. For instance, in this context, it can be stated that if a student is essentially fond of reading or states reading as their hobby then it can be said that the student would automatically be motivated to read anything that acquires his or her interest. This is a form of intrinsic motivation. It enhances the learning power of the student by identifying the area of interest that automatically leads to acquiring more knowledge (Di Serio et al., 2013). Contrary to this, extrinsic form of motivation can be defined by the ability of using external factors to motivate the student for learning (Dornyei, 2014). For instance, if a student does not like reading then applying external factors such as appreciation by the teacher for the effort or rewards such as a pencil or a candy can motivate the student to put in extra effort and do something that was disliked by him earlier. This form of learning comes from the principle of extrinsic motivation. As a language teacher, the primary objective is to trigger the intrinsic form of motivation as it has been reported to yield live-long learning ability in students. It can be triggered with the incorporation of improvised methods of teaching such as building curiosity, displaying interesting and attractive power point presentations, making the class room interaction student friendly and at the same time informative (Entwistle, 2013). However, the extrinsic aspect of motivation is only considered when the subject matter that is to be taught is boring or a little complicated in accordance with the standard of the students. 

Understanding Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation


3.The two papers that have been chosen by to discuss about the efficacy of using the motivation theory to dispense better learning process were retrieved from Google Scholar. The first research paper throws light on the use of motivation theory in the teaching process while teaching a second language. The paper was based upon an investigation trial that critically investigated the difference in the learning ability of the students in relation to the principle of motivation used by the teachers while teaching a second language. The study was based at Saudi Arabia and the second language or the foreign language that has been considered is the Saudi English (Moskovsky et al., 2013). The study followed a quasi experimental design and considered a sample set that included 14 teachers teaching the second language and the student sample considered was 296 students. A total of ten motivation strategies were selected and used in the teaching process that stretched over a period of 8 weeks. A control group of students were selected who were taught using the traditional methods of teaching. At the end of the research time frame, results concluded a significant amount of improvement in the learning ability of the students who were taught using the principles of motivation. The results were analyzed on the basis of multivariate analysis and it significantly pointed out a positive result in favor of the modern method of teaching that used the guidelines of extrinsic as well as intrinsic motivation strategies.

The second research paper that has been selected by me is based on a qualitative study design and discusses the effect of the teaching style on the student’s ability to communicate in a foreign language (Zarrinabadi, 2014). The language that has been considered in this paper is English. The research paper is based on the interview responses of the students with reference to two critical situations. The first critical situation is the time when the students found it most difficult to communicate in English and the second situation is the time when the students were extremely willing to communicate in English. The interview responses were collected from the student as an essay entry and the results revealed 94 instances when the students had faced difficulty or were scared to communicate in English. While there were 84 responses that stated the students had absolutely no fear or hesitation and were perfectly willing to talk in English. On thoroughly analyzing the findings of the research paper it can be stated that the students response on the willingness or hesitation were directly proportion to the attitude of the teacher in terms of motivation, wait-time, cooperation, correcting grammatical error and recognition on being able to correctly frame a sentence. Hence, it can be said that using the principles of the motivation theory can successfully bring a remarkable difference in the ability of the student to grasp a lesson and can also boost the confidence in a student to be able to use the language to communicate fluently (Gardner, 2014).

Effective Teaching Strategies for Enhancing Motivation

4.As per my conceptual understanding of the theory of motivation, I completely agree with the findings of the two research papers that have been discussed above. The first research papers clearly draws out a comparison between two groups of children. The first group was taught using the principles of motivation while the second group was taught using the traditional methods of teaching. The results pointed out a remarkable improvement in the learning outcome of the students who were taught using the refined method of teaching. The second research paper discussed, involves the qualitative response of the students on their ability to communicate comfortably in English. Results revealed that students who were motivated and encouraged by their teachers were more willing to communicate in English and were confident about their speech. Moreover it was also seen that even if the students were unsure about the Grammar or the sentence construction, they were willing to try and get corrected by the teacher. This indicates that motivation elicits a positive response in the students.

It can hence be said that students of any age group regard the teachers as their ultimate mentor. The teachers are entrusted with the responsibility of imparting the best form of education to the students (Mega et al., 2014). A number of factors determine the ability of the student to grasp the knowledge. Out of all the factors self-confidence and assurance by the mentors has been stated to be the major contributors in affecting the ability to motivate students (Maier & Richter, 2014). Hence, it can be said that with proper use of motivation strategies students can be encouraged to deliver their hundred percent in learning a subject.

5.On the basis of my personal experience, I would like to state that motivation plays a key role in bringing out the best from a student. I had the experience of teaching a class of students where I was teaching English as a second language. I figured out that the students were extremely confused about the use of articles and often ended up using ‘an’ in the place of ‘a’. I decided to use the phonetics principle and make the students clearly pronounce each word. To an extent improvement was noticed but the students were still confused and some students committed casual errors. I then reformed my teaching strategy and intentionally made mistakes while filling up articles on the board. To my surprise, I witnessed a severe change in the behavior of the students. They were automatically triggered by my mistakes and pointed it out to me and that made it clear that the concept has seeped into their memory. However, there were students who were lagging behind. So in order to motivate these students, I explained to the class that the student who would get all the answers correct would come and explain the exercise on the board to all the students. It led to a major reform and a healthy competition between the students to grab the opportunity to explain on the board and feel like a teacher (Kormos & Csizer, 2014). Hence, it can be said that modifying the traditional teaching strategies can help in acquiring the attention of the students and motivate them to perform better. 

References:

Abeysekera, L., & Dawson, P. (2015). Motivation and cognitive load in the flipped classroom: definition, rationale and a call for research. Higher Education Research & Development, 34(1), 1-14.

Alderman, M. K. (2013). Motivation for achievement: Possibilities for teaching and learning. Routledge,pp 90-93

Cohen, A. D. (2014). Strategies in learning and using a second language. Routledge,pp 58-63

Di Serio, Á., Ibáñez, M. B., & Kloos, C. D. (2013). Impact of an augmented reality system on students' motivation for a visual art course. Computers & Education, 68, 586-596.

Dörnyei, Z., (2014). The psychology of the language learner: Individual differences in second language acquisition. Routledge, pp 73,74

Entwistle, N.J., (2013). Styles of learning and teaching: An integrated outline of educational psychology for students, teachers and lecturers. David Fulton Publishers, pp 100

Gardner, R. C. (2014). Attitudes and motivation in second language learning. In Bilingualism, multiculturalism, and second language learning (pp. 63-84). Psychology Press.

Kormos, J. & Csizer, K., (2014). The interaction of motivation, self?regulatory strategies, and autonomous learning behavior in different learner groups. Tesol Quarterly, 48(2), pp.275-299.

Maier, J. & Richter, T., (2014). Fostering multiple text comprehension: How metacognitive strategies and motivation moderate the text-belief consistency effect. Metacognition and learning, 9(1), pp.51-74.

Mega, C., Ronconi, L., & De Beni, R. (2014). What makes a good student? How emotions, self-regulated learning, and motivation contribute to academic achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 106(1), 121.

Moskovsky, C., Alrabai, F., Paolini, S., & Ratcheva, S. (2013). The effects of teachers’ motivational strategies on learners’ motivation: A controlled investigation of second language acquisition. Language learning, 63(1), 34-62.

Zarrinabadi, N. (2014). Communicating in a second language: Investigating the effect of teacher on learners' willingness to communicate. System, 42, 288-295. 

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