Motivation in Social Contexts Within the Classroom

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Motivation in Social Contexts within the Classroom What is motivation and why is it important? As brought out by Dornyei, "teacher skills in motivating learners should be seen as central to teaching effectiveness" (2001). He asserts that motivational strategies should include appropriate teaching behavior, good teacher-student rapport, a pleasant and supportive classroom atmosphere and a cohesive learner group characterized by proper group norms. In addition, everything that a teacher may do or say in the classroom has a motivational, or de-motivational, influence upon students. Dornyei refers to teacher behavior as a powerful motivational tool (2001). Rapport between teacher and student is crucial, as is the need for mutual trust and respect. Enthusiasm and genuine interest in individual learners is a fundamental element to fostering this trust and rapport. From a social perspective, learner motivation is most fully realized in a safe and engaging classroom climate. This is a classroom without tension, where students feel encouraged to express their feelings without the fear of mockery, and where mutual respect is apparent not just between students and teacher, but also amongst the students themselves. Students require opportunities to challenge themselves coupled with sufficient backing and encouragement in their learning efforts from the teacher. Students must understand what is required of them to be better able to undertake given tasks. Motivation also flourishes
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