Sunday, 15 February 2009

Motivation 2

As I mentioned in my last blog, some pupils in the 1970s were not motivated to learn a language.Pupils can get through years of learning a language without knowing the basics of that language. I am sure that it is not because teachers have not told them so why does it happen? Every pupil has a different level of ability and some pupils will have less knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. However even the weakest pupil should be able to say something. If the French can speak French then it must be easy :-) Listening is perhaps the hardest of the language skills but every pupil should be able to recognise routine words.

In primary schools there is an enthusiasm for languages which is not as obvious in the secondary schools and motivation is the key. Pupils cannot get their motivation from cinema or music because it is not on the syllabus. They can't get it from holidays because most of them haven't been to France. They can't get it from speaking to any of the 60 million inhabitants of France because it is extraordinary to go on a school trip or set up any international school links.

The motivation has to come from enjoyment. Top pupils will enjoy any subject because of their positive feedback. Less able pupils may get rewards for being enthusiastic. Basically enjoyment comes from le sourire on your face.

A bientôt

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