Motivation for Success in Learning English as a Foreign Language


Motivationfor Success in Learning English as a Foreign Language

Motivationfor Success in Learning English as a Foreign Language

Inregard to English language in high school, motivation is theintrinsic and extrinsic drive that brings a sense of direction forstudents to study English as a language. Motivation of the English asa foreign language involves a set of drives that influence student totake English as the language as a foreign and shape their behaviorduring the study. Motivation in a classroom set up especially inlanguages will involve the deliberate adoption of ways that willinfluence student’s preference of the English as a foreignlanguage. The discussion in this paper will present the effectiveways of motivating students to study English as a foreign language inhigh school. In addition, the discussion will explore the factorsthat motivate and maintain the behavior of success in English as aforeign language in high school.

Therationale for motivation is based on the fact that the choice ofEnglish as a foreign language is challenging for both teachers andthe students, especially those from non-English speaking countries.Motivation in this case will influence and drive the student towardssuccess in the subject, and not just to select English as the foreignlanguage (Carrasquillo, 2013). According to Petri and Govern (2012),(2007), success in any new thing will be dependent on the level ofmotivation that a person has about the issue in this case Englishlanguage. To encourage the choice of English as a subject, motivationis needed because for students as a necessity for the study. Inaddition, students should be provided with information since on thebenefits that accrues with the success in the study of English as aforeign language.

Oneof the main ways of motivating English as a foreign language for highschool students is the use of effective study groups. In aneducational set up like high school, setting of groups is one of themost influential learning and teaching methodologies. This is becausegroups form unified strategies of motivating all the students in thegroup at intrinsic and extrinsic levels (Dornyei, 2001). Language isan art that can be learned best through the collaboration of studentsin speaking the language. Therefore, the use of groups can be anappropriate platform of promoting the spoken language and motivatingthe students to practice the language on their own. Through effectivelearning groups, students will be motivated by fellow group membersto study the foreign language so that they will communicate (Rojas,2007).

Afterthe initial learning process of the language, a language requirespractice for a student to learn it fluently. Therefore, English willbe learnt smoothly if the school environment encourages the learnersto practice speaking it. Such practice is pedagogically appropriateare the learning students will be exposed to the students who havefluency in speaking English (Carrasquillo, 2013). By combining thebeginners and fluent speakers, the learners will be challenged tospeak English and learn better language when they are corrected bytheir peers. This can be done where schools form study groups thatcombine both the English speakers and English learners in the sameeducational set up.

Anotherimportant motivation for success in English is in the classroomsetting. Favorable classroom dynamics will motivate of students tolearn the language because English is studied in a classroom set up.At the same time, favorable classroom dynamics will motivate theteacher to teach the language better. The seating arrangement in theclassroom should be made to encourage students to converse inEnglish, which promotes the mastery of the language (Reid, 2007).Therefore, students taking English as a foreign language can bearranged together so that they will be motivated to practice thelanguage together. According to Reid (2007), such an arrangement willalso allow them to learn together and facilitate the teacher in theteaching process. This is because the learning environment will beunified by the fact that the students are at the same level ofmastering the language.

Availabilityof learning resources and materials such as books will motivate thestudents to succeed in the foreign language. At the same time,availability of teaching aids in the classroom will enhance the workof the teacher and facilitate the delivery of content (Reid, 2007).Achieving this motivational element will involve establishing aresource center in school for new English learners. The same can bedone by setting up an English corner in the school library or in theclassroom. This will spark the extrinsic motivation for students toeffectively learn English language as a foreign language and speak itfluently. According to Dornyei (2001), the provision of thenecessities motivation will enhance the desire to pursue educationalgoal of the learners by exploring the resources, and not just themastery the subject.

Theuse of proper teaching methodologies and skills is important inmotivating students to succeed in English as a foreign language.Proper content delivery in the classroom learning will motivatestudents through the use of appropriate teaching cues by the teacher.This will motivate the learner to identify with the language and bemore enthusiastic to continue with the study of the foreign language(Carrasquillo, 2013). Along with a comfortable classroom set up withenough size and space, classroom dynamics make it motivating forteacher-learner interaction. Adoption of a better environment inclass and in school the teacher can use of songs and stories in classto facilitate the understanding of the language and motivate thestudents to pursue the language. This is because these tools make thelearning of English exciting and friendly to new learners as well asthe continuing ones.

Properuse of communication in class and in school will motivate students tosucceed in English as a foreign language. Teachers should adopt afriendly language when correcting the errors made by the learningstudents. The same should be encouraged among the students who haveEnglish as their first language. According to Rojas (2007), theschool can also adopt innovative and practical methods of motivatingEnglish students to speak publicly the little English they learn on aregular basis. The school can organize play contests, songs, andtheatrical competitions that use the English language. Through suchmethods, the school can reward participants who use English in suchcompetitions, and they are first time learners of the language.


Motivatingstudents for educational success in English as a foreign language inhigh school requires diverse approaches that relate to the learners,the teacher and the school. Learners will be motivated if theyinternalize their goals of learning the language and absorb thebenefits of studying English as a foreign language. Teachers willmotivate students for success by adopting the right teaching methods,encourage the use of English as a language and set up groups for thelearning students. The school will motivate the learners if it setsthe right learning environment and provide the right educationalresources for studying English as a foreign language. Motivatingstudents to succeed in English as a foreign language will involve allthe methods that influence the learning process of students and shapetheir behavior to succeed in English through its mastery. This showsthat teachers and schools have a responsibility to influence thesuccess of students in English as a foreign language by motivatingthem for success.


Carrasquillo,A. (2013). TeachingEnglish as a Second Language: A Resource Guide.New York: Routledge.

Dornyei,Z. (2001). MotivationalStrategies in the Language Classroom.London: Longman.

Petri,H.L., &amp Govern, J.M. (2012). Motivation:Theory, Research, and Application.Belmont,Ca: Wadsworth Publishing

Reid,G. (2007). MotivatingLearners in the Classroom: Ideas and Strategies.SAGE Publications Ltd.

Rojas,V. (2007). Strategiesfor Success with English Language Learners.Alexandria, United States: Association for Supervision &ampCurriculum Development.