Children need motivation to learn language?

To learn language well, children need many factors. In my opinion, motivation is one of the most important ones. Do you know any information about motivation? They find that it is very difficult to give its definition. Motivation refers to the combination of effort plus desire to achieve the goal of learning the language plus favorable attitudes toward learning the language (Gardner, 1985, p. 10). Besides, Nunan said that psychological factors determine the amount of effort a learner was prepared to put into language learning.

Foreign language is quite new to children, so they are interested in learning. However, if there is nothing to motivate them, they will not want to follow. For example, teacher often gives them too much homework or many bad marks, they will feel tired, bored, which makes them hate it and not work with language anymore. In contrast, of the teacher organize many different activities, games, songs, …, and does not put pressure on them, they will be happy, excited and often look forward to language lessons. Moreover, the adult should not force the young learners to learn what they do not like. In addition, the teacher is the people who guides them to follow the language directly, she/ he should have exact understanding about motivation. As Gardner and Lambert said, there were two basic types of motivation: instrumental and integrative. These types are quite different, but they have a close relation. Besides, the teacher also has some ways to create motivation for the students. And, David Nunan gave some strategies for enhancing motivation:

+ Make goals explicit to learners

+ Select content to which learners can relate

+ Scaffold the learning process

+ Provide opportunities for personalization

+ Encourage group cohesion

+ Provide opportunities for genuine communication

+ Provide learners with evidence of progress for their effort

To sum up, motivation is a necessary factor for the children to learn language well. And the teacher should be creative and active to motivate the students in the lessons.


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