Whatever our teaching context, as practitioners we often consider it our own task to “motivate” students. Cookbooks of “motivational strategies” for teachers abound, propounding the idea that motivation in the classroom is, in large part, down to the teacher.
This workshop will introduce participants to a more complex view of motivation that places agentic individuals – students and teachers – and interactions – with others in the class group, with opportunities afforded, with ideas – at the centre of classroom motivational processes. The session will begin with a brief outline of two currently prevalent motivation theories and one scientific theory which will be drawn on throughout: Self Determination Theory (Deci & Ryan, 2002), The L2 Motivational Self System (Dörnyei, 2009), and Complex Systems Theory. The majority of the session will then be turned over to allowing participants to take part in a number of classroom activities that encourage students and teachers to explore their own motivation and share ideas across their class group. Activities will include those intended to encourage realization of a more communicative approach to learning, explore messages and expectations from society about English, share ideas about classroom and future English use, and co-adapt motivation through collaborative activities and projects. The presenter will also occasionally refer to some of the reflections and realizations emergent from students in his past learning groups through undertaking these activities.