Motivating Young ESL Learners: Part Two
More Ideas for Keeping Things Moving, by Maria Spelleri
Maria Spelleri wrote the following remarks to add
to a list of motivational principles for ESL children,
posted to the TESL-L listserv recently. She agreed to
have her comments reprinted for the readers of the ESL
MiniConference Online newsletter.
L. Baker and her students came up with a good list about motivating EFL
children. I would like to add a few more points.
1. Drama and role play- especially if costumes and props are involved.
2. Using a ball to pass around, or an egg timer to turn even the most
dreary grammar drills into games or "competitions".
3. Doing a project that raises awareness of other children around the
world- email pals, video conferencing, exchanging art or photos with another
class of same aged kids on another continent, etc. How about a "Gift from
Hong Kong" box of little things that the kids make and/or collect along with
English explanations of each that the kids prepare to exchange with another
4. Take photos in class and use Polaroids on occasion for instant
gratification and classroom fun- especially nice when the kids are working
in groups. I did a project with Colombian 2nd graders (summer visitors to
US), where each got a disposable camera to document their visit here. The
first two weeks they took pictures. The second two weeks they created a book
5. Give kids some "power" and choices. Let the kids take attendance, call
the class to order, dismiss the class, sometimes chose between lesson
alternatives, etc. Make it an honor to be chosen to "help the teacher", by
giving them a badge for the day, or putting their name in a special frame
for the day. Some of the kids were much stricter than I would have been!
(Doesn't work after around 8 years old!)
Story by Maria Spelleri
Literacy Council of Sarasota, Florida
2002 ESL MiniConference Online