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Getting there


Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Creating the Basic Motivational Conditions
1 Demonstrate and talk about your own enthusiasm for the course material and how it affects you personally. Didn't check this today, because I didn't share my own personal interest with anyone, unless you count the fact that I joined in the discussion and played around a bit with the idea of Gross National Happiness....
2 Take the students learning very seriously. x Oh indeed, answering queries so late I was still in there blocking the next class, sorry! And grabbed some guys on the way out to offer to explain the homework and pass on the merriam webster net dictionary info, kicking myself for not remembering to tell everyone.
3 Develop a personal relationship with your students. x Had a wee chat before class about Golden Week plans, also relayed to another student about accepting his ideas that making personally thought up examples for the last vocab section should be credited as going an extra mile...hmmm yes, it is, but I want you to be learning useful collocations....hoping if I accept his view this week he'll accept mine over the long term, more economic related examples and vocab...
4 Develop a collaborative relationship with the students'parents. Nope, already feeling proud of setting up a yahoo group, blog will have to wait....
5 Create a pleasant and supportive atmosphere in the classroom. x Hope so, working in groups and changing groups to get fresh ideas, mixing in a bit of Japanese to make doubly sure everyone understands and feels safe, making sure there are no "correct" answers so that taking risks and putting forward ideas is ok
6 Promote the development of group cohesiveness. x Yep, using small group tasks, asking students to write supportive comments on self-evaluation, asking students to work in two different groups to expand sharing
7 Formulate the norms explicitly, and have them discussed and accepted by the learners. x Talked a bit about using rubrics as a way of clarifying performance, similar to company bonus schemes (which are apparently not clearly defined that way here in Japan). As in making it related to real life. Ran a mini survey on is it okfor a vocab checker to lie about a friend not having memorized their vocab. Only two people were in favor, one clearly: , the other says "Difficult..." and four abstinences. 31 students found it not a good idea. More on this later in a different post with quotes...
8 Have the group norms consistently observed. x Well, the trying to speak Japanese in group work was kind of flaunted...I hang my ear into the group and say in a pointed way "Do I hear Japanese?" Coming on time is well done, and generally doing homework, all in all yes.
Total Strategies Used in Quadrant 1

Percentage of total strategies used in Quadrant 1

Generating Initial Motivation
9 Promote the learners' language related valuse by presenting peer role models. x I think this happens naturally in the groups, as they switch and see just how much other people are studying. This comes across very clearly in the comments they make on each others' rubrics self-evaluation: "I think ~ is wonderful in class! His concept is very useful in our discussion." "He speaks a lot in English! I'm affected by his words!!!" "her homework is good!" "Her responding is so good!! She think her opinion a lot.
10 Raise the learners' intrinsic interest in the L2 learning process x I am trying to make the first encounters with the economics language positive...positive is such a vague thing, I really think only the students can answer whether i did this or not...I'm not sure I highlighted aspects of learning students are likely to enjoy.....hmmmm, confused ????
11 Promote 'integrative values by encouraging a positive and open-minded disposition towards the L2 and its speakers x Promote contact with L2 speakers and L2 cultural products, well, today I asked who read the newspapers and nobody did, so I said they should keep up to date reading economic and other news on the net. One student had taken the time to watch "Little Dancer"...seems to hook into the problem of whether to privatize national industries or not, and links up to a discussion of privatising the Japanese postal service, an aspect I had not seen. They felt they were off topic and tried to explain to me. "Wow! Great idea" I said to my student, "Go for it!" "What? You mean there's no right take on this question?" they said..."No," I said, "just whatever you make out of it."
12 Promote the students' awareness of the instrumental values associated with the knowledge of an L2 Did I highlight the potential usefulness of the L2? I'm not sure I really did today, I highlighted the usefulness of rubrics, and self-evaluation, and personal integrity, I hope....
13 Increase the students' expectancy of success in particular tasks and learning in general. X definitely yes, in terms of them being well able to prepare compared to last year by dint of having had the discussion questions in advance. Also the rubrics make sure students know exactly what the task involves.
14 Increase the students' goal-orientedness by formulating explicit class goals accepted by them. Not today, I guess, I didn't do needs analysis, to find out about needs, goals or interests, although students can follow and build on their special economics-related interests in the freedom of choosing their own economic vocabulary. I didn't draw particular attention to class goals and how particular activities help to attain them...
15 Make the curriculum and the teaching materials relevant to the students. x I didn't enlist students help to run the course, unless leaving marked homework at the back for them to pick up themselves as they come in counts, but I think the discussion questions left the freedom for the students to look for relevancies themselves, and so in a sense I did enlist their help, because without them researching and thinking there would have been no discussions. Also they were marking themselves and commenting on each other's performance, so I guess that means helping run the course after all.
16 Help to create realistic learner beliefs. x I didn't raise learner awareness about the different ways languages are learned, but I had one student whose vocabulary I had criticized because of home made examples, also words not reaaaaallly related to economics though from a Time magazine economics article, it seems...Anyway this student was talking about it being important to personalize and work with the new vocab, and I was talking about learning the best collocations, so we had two different takes on things, then we were interrupted by the next class and they had to go and I was grabbing papers and homework flying everywhere (even ended up leaving three important papers in class, a real booboo...oh boy!) . I asked another student to pass on the message that I would credit him his work fully. Anyway, that needs to be talked about some more.

Total Strategies Used in Quadrant 2
Percentage of total strategies used in Quadrant2

Maintaining and Protecting Motivation
17 Make learning more stimulating and enjoyable by breaking the monotony of classroom events. x Occasionally do the unexpected...this one I love, in the middle of explaining the rubrics we get to responding and I whip out my cell phone and stand there pretending I'm having a conversation, and going uh huh, uh huh. really? yes, yes, absolutely, yes, wellll.....uh huh, ok, can't talk to you right now, bye. And then students get it, that I'm modelling responding ( or at least I hope they do, and not think I'm blatantly breaking rules and insulting them by having private conversations in class???) Focusing on the motivational flow and not just the information flow is one area I'd like to work on more, I do tend to want to cover my stuff!
18 Make learning stimulating and enjoyable for the learners by increasing the attractiveness of the task. x Make tasks challenging. I think they are because they involve thinking about and using the concepts we have learned about so far, incorporating some of the figures and data. Not so sure about novel intriguing exotic humorous or fantasy, and refuse to make them COMPETITIVE. Also in terms of personalized, and tangible products, that comes a little later, when students make their own graphs and things...?? But definitely challenging today.
19 Make learning stimulating and enjoyable for the learners by enlisting them as active task participants. x Discussion requres mental involvement, responding requires bodily involvement: Discussion comment: "You use body language -good"
20 Present and administer tasks in a motivating way. I'm not going to give myself credit for this one, I'm not sure I explained the purpose and utility of the task. Which was: learning how to research, how to put statistics in and use supporting ideas, how to listen and incorporate new ideas from team members, how to think as a process, how to work as a team....I think. Also, the strategies needed to carry out the task are still being built, so that agreeing and disagreeing tactics are the homework, and group leadership skills and phrases are still to be worked on. I think the rubrics are a beginning tho, and I was able to talk to one group of ladies about incorporating more statistics and making notes of other peoples' ideas to beef up your own for the next group discussion.
21 Use goal-setting methods in your classroom. Nope, although a short -term specific goal seems to be to work hard and avoid the end of term test! So many great vocab sheets and good homework so far.
22 Use contracting methods with your students to formalise their goal commitment. x Today I referred back to the curriculum and how progress and marks are added up, 40% for vocabulary and 60% for homework, tests or rubrics, with an average of 90% or more over seven days leading to an exemption from the final exam.....doing this meant I forgot about talking about the merriam webster dictionary and the online vocab stuff, using thesaurus and all that.....
23 Provide learners with regular experience of success. x Design tests that focus on what learners can do,, provide multiple opportunities for success, I think the rubrics does this, with a section for doing your best, or for listening, and thinking, which may not necessarily just be a verbal thing. Also what I like best was the way I asked students to remark their performance for the second discussion to see how they have improved/if they have improved, and to add up the best score for their total. Kind of success and reflection on learning in one go!
24 Build your learners confidence by providing regular encouragement. x Not so much me, but I asked students to write comments which focus on strengths. I also spoke to a first time today student, explaining the vocab sheet and the rubrics and popping them in a discussion team. I am sorry to say by the end of the class this student had a different classes textbook out on his desk, wasn't making notes during the first discussion and as far as I could tell didn't make much effort to speak in the second one, so I hope things improve, but I tried to make it clear that they were capable if they worked.
25 Help dimish language anxiety by removing or reducing the anxiety-provoking elements in the learning environment. x
26 Build your learners confidence in their learning abilities by teaching them various learner strategies.
27 Allow learners to maintain a positive social image while engaged in the learning tasks. x
28 Increase student motivation by promoting cooperation among the learners. x
29 Increase student motivation by actively promoting learner autonomy. x
30 Increase the student' self-motivating capacity.
Total Strategies Used in Quadrant3
Percentage of total strategies used in Quadrant 3

Encouraging Positive Self-Evaluation
31 Promote effort attributions in your students. x
32 Provide students with positive information feedback.
33 Increase learner satisfaction.(celebrate achievements, display work) x
34 Offer rewards in a motivational manner.
35 Use grades in a motivating manner, reducing as much as possible their demotivating impact. x
Total Strategies Used in Quadrant 4
Percentage of total strategies used in Quadrant 4
Taken from Doernyei, Z. Motivational Strategies in the Language Classroom. Cambridge University Press 2001