Emotions are a natural part of life and learning. Emotional ups and downs are a normal part of language learning and use. While some emotions can be supportive and facilitative for language learning, others can cause problems leading to inhibitions and a reluctance to use the language. As such, it can be helpful If a learner is feeling especially stressed or anxious, it will be difficult for them to concentrate and they may be reluctant to engage in classroom tasks or communication. Continue reading
Category Archives: Young Learners
Enhancing learner self-confidence
Learner confidence can be slow to change and is deeply rooted. It is based on experiences in all areas of learners’ lives – some beyond our reach. However, it is easier to change if we focus on language learning and strengthen their confidence specifically in that domain, rather than aiming for their overall sense of self. When learners feel confident, they are more willing to try out new aspects of language and are less afraid of getting things wrong. If we want learners to actively use the language, helping them to feel confident is one key way to facilitate this. Continue reading
Understanding the impact of task design on learners’ willingness to speak
Have you noticed that in some classes and with some speaking activities, learners are more actively engaged than with others? Have you ever wondered why? One social factor is the group atmosphere. This is centrally important to how comfortable and safe learners feel in a class generally, and it can notably impact learners’ willingness to speak up.
However, another social factor affecting learner engagement concerns the speaking activity itself. How a speaking task is set up can influence how anxious a learner feels about speaking and how willing they are to interact with others. For example, compare how it feels to talk to strangers about something you know little about with no prior warning with how it feels to talk to a friend about a topic you are passionate about and know lots about. There are three main dimensions of a speaking activity that we can pay attention to, in order to lower anxiety and enhance learners’ willingness to engage: Continue reading
5 Ways to Motivate Students with Classroom Technology
At one time or another, most teachers will experience a lack of student motivation in the classroom. This is especially true following the Covid-19 pandemic. The sudden shift from in-person to online learning caused many disruptions within the English language classroom. However, it also highlighted the benefits of teaching with technology in our increasingly digital world. Our paper on Using Technology to Motivate Learners found that technology can have a positive impact on student motivation.
In this article, you will find 5 ways to boost motivation by teaching with technology. We will also highlight some of the ways OUP can support you, such as through our 360° Interactive Image feature designed to seamlessly introduce technology into the English language classroom.
Help second language learners overcome their fear of speaking
Use it or lose it! This phrase points to a key truth about language learning: We learn a language by using it. As teachers, our aim is therefore to encourage learners to become confident, comfortable speakers in the target language – not only as an end goal of language learning but also because doing so contributes positively to the learning process. The more learners use the language, the better they will become and the more confidence they will gain. Using the language successfully can trigger a positive spiral in which success creates facilitative conditions for yet more success. So, how do we get learners to overcome their fears and inhibitions? Continue reading