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Investigation projects allow us to find out the problem's causes, which we can detect in the classroom. I'll try to find out why some pupils are not motivated when they have to take part in a Project and try to find a solution.
The idea is coming from a direct observation in a Primary Education classroom. When the teacher asked the pupils to take part in an activity, I realise that there were always the same pupils who join in. The fact seemed relevant to be investigated; due to oral participation is a primary aim when learning foreign languages.
During the investigation, I've used several tools and techniques to achieve better results. Once the data checked, I come up with the most accurate conclusion: The pupils are not motivated.
The problem is quite common in foreign languages classroom. Otherwise, finding a global solution is complicated, due to the difference between the pupils. But we can follow some tips to pare the problem down.
Encouraging the pupils could be a hard procedure in different situations and contexts. Teachers must use several techniques and resources to get the pupil's motivation when teaching foreign languages. A participative learning is fundamental to develop their communication skills.
The investigation about the study motivation is fundamental, due to it's a situation that we could face off very often. We'll have to know how to handle the problem if we want to obtain a better learning-teaching process.
2. literature review
Study motivation has been researched many. To bring myself nearer to the topic, I have taken references from diverse books, articles and authors whose career is bound up with the motivation. The analysis of those data has given me some ideas to understand the causes of the problem and the way to find the solution.
According to Maslow (1970), the motivation consist in stimulating the learning needs, arouse the innate human curiosity, with the aim of developing the personality in an effective way as well as facilitate the knowledge and the sense of amazement and overcoming.
Generally the human beings possess an intrinsic innate motivation, an instinct of curiosity. Here several mysteries arise on how we can explore this instinct in the classroom. Obviously, it should investigate on the detonator that activates this process or conduct, paying attention to the characteristics of the design of education adopted and to the motivating used strategies, in order to boost the learning.
The proposed task should be attractive and stimulant depending on the design of a suitable programming, which should ignore not even the cognitive evolution or maturity of the students, nor the knowledge of their needs and individual characteristics.
Robert Gardner, relevant investigator of the motivation in the learning of the foreign languages joins motivation and linguistic learning process. The motivation to learn the second language meets like recounted to the point up to which the individual works or fights against this end. Nevertheless, the effort for if only it does not mean motivation; many factors, such as the obligatory nature, the desire to please the teacher or the parents, or a strong need to achieve successes they can be the reasons that move the individual.
Social pressures as a demanding teacher, examinations or the promise of a reward also can influence the level of effort. The desire to learn the language and the right attitudes towards the linguistic learning have to go paired with a continued effort. When the desire to achieve the goal and the right attitudes towards this one join with the effort or the determination, then we have a motivated organism. (Gardner R. 1985).
According to Dörnyei (2001), an approach orientated to the process supposes that the motivation pass by different phases:
First it needs to be generated: the generated motivation leads to the selection of the goal to chasing or the task to realizing.
Secondly, the generated motivation needs to be supported and protected actively while the educational action last. This motivational dimension is named an executive motivation and is particularly relevant as for the learning in the classroom, where the students are exposed to a huge number of internal and external distractions, which in occasions, make difficult to complete the tasks.
Finally there is a third phase that takes place after the end of the action, this one is the phase of motivational retrospect that the apprentice supposes the retrospective evaluation on how the things have gone. The way in which the students process his experiences, spent in this phase will determine the type of activities that these will decide to carry out in the future.
The model proposed has been specifically developed for its application in educational contexts. It offers an advantage on other approaches because it is a global approach that includes from the initial phase of the motivation up to the end and the evaluation of the motivated action.
The components of a practice of motivating education in the second languages` classroom are still the model previously described with a few basic strategies inside each of the phases of the motivation. (Dörnyei)
The following summary offers a practical relation of strategies that can be used by the teachers in the second languages classroom like guide for a diagnosis of the situation, and at the same time, as inspiration to increase the motivation levels in the classroom.
These strategies centre on four phases that include a logical succession:
CREATING THE BASICS CONDITIONS FOR THE MOTIVATION
Good atmosphere and support inside the classroom.
Group's cohesion and appropriate procedure.
INITIAL GENERATION OF MOTIVATION
Reinforcing the values and positives attitudes that the apprentice already possesses towards the second language.
Increasing the pupils´ goals.
Doing the learning materials more attractive.
Creating realistic beliefs on the learning of a second languages.
MANTEINANCE AND PROTECTION OF MOTIVATION
The learning process must be something stimulant and worth being enjoyed.
The tasks may be presented in a motivating way.
We have to establish specific goals of learning.
We may protect the apprentices' auto-esteem and increase the confidence in themselves.
The apprentices should support a positive social image.
We may promote automotivation strategies
We may promote the cooperation between them.
HOW TO GET A POSITIVE RETROSPECTIVE EVALUATION
- Promoting the motivational attributions
- Providing motivational feedback.
- Increasing the apprentice´s satisfaction
- Offering rewards and final results in a motivating way.
3. the context
3.1. center's characteristics
The Educational Center is located in Toledo, belonging to the Autonomous Community of Castilla - La Mancha. The college belongs to a religious congregation, is bilingual and compound character, except the Bachelor, which is private. The center is line two and attends to 910 pupils from 3 up to 18 years, that is to say, from Infantile Education to Bachelor.
The pupils in the main are from Toledo, though a numerous group comes from the surrounding areas, and nowadays, it possesses pupils from abroad.
Between its services, are necessary to emphasize the classroom ALTHIA, the multiple uses area, the assembly hall, and the audiovisuals room. Outside we find a gym and an outdoors track, focused in football, handball, basketball and volley.
3.2. TEACHER'S REFERENCES
The teachers' staff possesses 58 teachers for all the educational stages. The Infantile and Primary teachers remain always in the same stage and in the same Cycle, rotating with their pupils in both courses of every Cycle in Primary and the infantile stage. The permanency can change according to criteria and needs.
The Orientation and Support team possesses two Teachers of Therapeutic Pedagogy (PT), two Teachers in Hearing and Language (AL) and two Organizers. Also it possesses one I TIED for priority attention of some ACNEAE with special needs.
3.3. classroom's references
The classroom, in which I have realized my investigation, is located in the first floor of the Center. The class is distributed in different ways depending to what one is working in every moment.
In occasions they are sitting in groups of 4-6-. Other times sitting in pairs or distributed by rows or individually when they are doing the evaluation. The teacher´s desk is always located next to the blackboard, then, the pupils are always looking at it.
The class in which I have realized my investigation, was the second cycle of Primary Education, the fourth course, that is to say, 8 and 9-year-old pupils. 24 pupils compose the class, where it predominates over the feminine kind, being 14 girls and 10 children.
Possesses an ACNEAE, which presents a maturity delay and auditory slight deficiency. Inside his Plan of Individualized Work an adjustment appears curricular significant. The level of curricular competition that he presents is 6 years and is attended by Pedagogues 5 hours a week and Hearing and Language 3 per week.
3.5. teacher's metodology
Basically, the teacher is focused on an explanatory - participative methodology. Initially of every session, they correct the activities realized in the class book. Later on, the teacher transmits the new contents to be trated. After that, there is carried out the accomplishment of the exercises in the class book related to the contents. Finally the teacher orders some homework, which will be exposed by the pupils to be corrected in the next session.
4. data collection
My investigation has been based on the compilation of qualitative information, looking for an explanation: "Why some pupils are not motivated at the moment of taking part in the classroom? I have realized this compilation during twelve meetings using different methods and instruments.
The compilation methods are: Class Diary, Record cards, Personal interviews with teachers and pupils, Pupils´ questionnaires and Sociogram.
The models that I designed for the investigation can be found in the appendix.
I have dedicated the first six meetings fundamentally to the direct classroom's observation to detect the problem. To annotate the observed facts I have used a class diary in which I have reflected the useful information for my investigation, from the characteristics of the pupils up to the methodology used in the classroom.
Once detected that the major problem is the lack of participation of some pupils, the question appears of by what any pupils are not motivated at the moment about taking part in class and what measures I could carry out to solve it. To verify it, first I happened to realize a study of every child from the third day during 6 meetings by means of record cards. Hereby there remain reflected the aspects related to the pupils´ participation.
I have dedicated the last six meetings to investigate the reasons of the scanty participation of some pupils. Beside continuing taking notes in the class diary and completing the pupils´ record cards, I have used other methods of compilation.
In the sixth session all the pupils refilled sample of questionnaire based in open questions in order to know about their opinions, the reasons of why they do not take part in class and contribute theirs ideas to eradicate it.
In the seventh session I realized sociograma diagnosis, asking to the pupils two questions, in which they had to answer in every case, the partner's name who should be associated with each of the questions. Hereby I quarrelled who were partners they would like to sit with at the moment of realizing their tasks, in order to regroup the class and to put the tutorization into practice equally.
In the eighth session I realized a personal interview with the teacher. I think that the labour of this one is a fundamental factor at the moment of achieving that the pupils are motivated in the classroom. In it appeared questions related to his methodology of work, besides investigating if the motivation of her pupils is a factor that it bears in mind at the moment of giving his classes. I think that this one is the main reason of the problem.
In the last four meetings, I was focused in those who used to avoid the participation. I realized a personal interview with them during 10 minutes to investigate in a more accurate way the reasons of their rejection.
The summary methods used during my investigation are well adapted, due to these allow you to compile information about the topic in a qualitative way. The class diary is a very trustworthy method, as well as the record cards.
The questionnaire allows us to find out what the pupils think, then, we can elaborate our own idea about the causes of the problem. Provided that this resource can turn out to be slightly trustworthy, we centre our attention in the pupils who present this problem doing to them a personal interview, in which they express their opinions. This way, our investigation is not exact but trustworthy.
The interview with the teacher gives us some information about the motivation and methodology used in the class. The sociogram let us know the social relationships inside the classroom and then, we can determinate with what pupil they will work better those who present more difficulties with the subject to increase their self confidence and motivate them about taking part in the activities.
5. data analysis
The data obtained with the different tools used in my investigation, has been analyzed in different ways according to their nature. (Can find the graphs in the appendix)
The class diary and record cards have been analyzed thinking about the problems in the classroom and once focused on the most relevant. I tough about the participation measure of each pupil, to whom I have done a follow up with the record cards. This way, the analysis will be qualitative, based on my own observation. I consider that this is a right method; due to it does not generalize the problems but does a deep study about every data obtained.
The questionnaire has been analyzed and represented by means of a graph to detect the reasons of scanty participation in that class. I have taken the most relevant data (4). Once the questionnaire is analyzed, we realise that the most common reason is boredom, as well as shame, difficulty or rejection.
The graph will consist in four different sections, showing the class percentage, which represents everyone. Some pupils could be related to more than one reason.
I think that the method can be adapted since it let us know the class´ percentage, which presents each of these reasons to established priorities when we have to find a solution.
Every problem in the class must be diminished s soon as possible; then, we cannot forget any cause.
The sociogram is analyzed by means of graphs in which is estimated who want to sit down with those who represents more difficulties, in order to help their companions to feel more self-confidents and lose they fear when taking part in c
The interview with the teacher is analyzed thinking about the methodology used to verify the failures and try to avoid them in my future practice class.
I have analyzed the interviews realized with the pupils who do not take part in class thinking about the reasons that it leads them not to take part in the classroom and contrasting them with the graph obtained in the questionnaires, and corroborating that the information coincides.
Once analyzed all the information, I come up with the next conclusion: The main reason for which the pupils do not take part in class due to the absence of motivation depend on many factors.
In the questionnaires graph, we can appreciate that the main reason is boredom. This could happen because of the methodology used. The methodology is maybe wrong, based on the routine and abusive use of the class book. Another more dynamic methodology could avoid the problem.
The second most common reason is the subject´s rejection. This could be due to the methodology as well, preventing the pupils not to estimate the importance of learning another language and disabling them to find out how fun could it be. If we want to eradicate this rejection, we must use more motivating methodologies.
Third detected reason is the difficulty that some pupils present with the subject. Thanks to the sociogram the pupils can be regrouped so those who present more difficulties, can be helped by their companions acquiring more confidence and encouraging them to take part in class. In addition it is important that the tasks adjust at the level of the students, since if the level is too high, they will feel impotent and it will avoid their motivation.
Fourth detected reason is the shame that the pupils feel at the moment of taking part in class, influenced by the fear of the failure. For it thanks to the tutorization between be equal and to the feedback we will promote the auto esteem of the pupils managing to motivate them this way to take part in class.
The solution to the investigated problem might be obtained by means about the teacher´s aid to help the pupils to develop their auto esteem. In addition it must use motivating methodologies with the accomplishment of cooperative games, use of the TICS in the classroom, employment of resources changed at the moment when realizing the explanations and the utilization of corners in the classroom in order that the student learns discovering. In addition these allow us to attend to the pupils with a pace of slower learning whereas the rest is employed in a more autonomous ways at the corners.
The investigation in the classroom has helped me to discover the reasons for that the pupils do not take part in class, thanks to information researching and the study of cases realized with the pupils.
The main difficulty when doing my investigation was when I had to confirm the results and interviews with the questionnaires. In some cases, the pupils didn't coincide in their answers. The situation led me to take the interviews as a reference; these could be most trustworthy.
The investigation has taken me to the next conclusion: The motivation is a fundamental factor when teaching the second language, since using a motivating methodology, I will obtain a better education - learning process in my future educational practice.