Author Topic: Motivation: teaching for the test vs. teaching for communication?  (Read 1361 times)

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Offline jrchia2

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During my time teaching in mainland China, I encountered many students who were barely able to hold a conversation in English (beyond the usual greeting pleasantries, introducing oneself, talking about the weather, etc.), but who stated that they'd learned English for over ten years. They could sometimes read quite well, but became very stressed when it came to writing business communication or letters. They'd studied English through all their years of schooling, sometimes even in university, passed all their tests/exams. However, they were not at all confident in communicating well in English, whether oral or written.

How can we motivate our students to learn English and really be able to use it to communicate, versus just "teaching to the test?"

I think one way would be to integrate more communicative English lessons into the writing curriculum. For example, teaching students to write for specific situations, such as a letter to a landlord or filing a police report. Another option would be using online platforms like Second Life to communicate with others in English through writing online messages. Introducing even a small portion of such curriculum could help students see beyond the exam and give them a new perspective and motivation to master English.

What do you think? How can we motivate students to learn English for more than just passing an exam?
« Last Edit: March 06, 2018, 03:19:18 PM by jrchia2 »