Author Topic: Motivation for Reading and Writing  (Read 1046 times)

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Offline han4korea

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Motivation for Reading and Writing
« on: April 25, 2016, 11:48:01 AM »
In motivating students to do more reading and writing, I think the best thing for them to have is to have a group of peers to help encourage each other to read and write. In both English and Korean for me, it really helps having one or two friends (or more) who want to improve on reading/writing in any language and share what you read/write with each other. Being an avid reader, I always share and recommend different books to my friends and have them read the books and then we are able to talk and discuss about the books after they finish reading it. To alter it for EFL/ESL settings, you can put students into different reading groups based on their preference and have them read different books on their own and then discuss it as a small group. Even for writing, students can split into small groups for free writing and respond back to their peers in the journals which would make for activities that would make writing and reading more fun. I always find it helpful to work with other students in learning languages as sometimes it can be difficult to confront a teacher on a problem as they can appear to be scary versus a classmate. It helps to give motivation for the students because then they'll have people who will keep them accountable and make class fun by getting along with others. Without communication with others in class, it makes language learning harder for the student.

Offline yama2to

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Re: Motivation for Reading and Writing
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2016, 02:31:55 PM »
I really like your idea with a focus on peer encouragement in the reading and writing processes. Usually, especially in EFL settings where the classroom tends to be a conventional lockstep, it is crucial for teachers to shift a focus in terms of their teaching styles to be more open-minded toward the activities students do. I think the best way to implement the benefits of the peer encouragement is to diversify the group/pair work. To do so, a teacher can expand the variety of activities (ex. presentation, debates, acting out, making videos or zines, conducting interviews, etc..) If teachers cannot allow students to be somehow in charge of their own learning in a classroom, it can be a great disservice, definitely.

Moreover, it has been found that the more native language backgrounds there are in a classroom, the more chances students become willing to be interactive with their peers because they have more chances to "negotiate for meaning" (Long & Porter, 1985, pp. 223, 224). Although it might be pretty difficult for teachers to help students of multiple different nationalities, I would try this idea because it can induce students' interests in the multiplicity of cultures surrounding them as well as increase their chances to become more integrated in their peer circles.

Reference:
Long, M. H., & Porter, P. A..  (1985). Group work, Interlanguage talk, and Second Language Acquisition. TESOL Quarterly, 19(2), 207228. Retrieved from http://doi.org/10.2307/3586827.