Fostering Aspiring Students in the EFL Classroom

By Doug Forster and Joseph Poulshock

We present a simple framework for our students to think about motivation. Students (n = 249) responded to a questionnaire based on this framework regarding their aspirations to learn English. Students showed a much greater level of aspiration to learn English than teachers might generally expect.

For example, students responded on a scale of 1-10 to the statement “I want to learn English.” One equaled disagree, and 10 equaled agree. When asked about this question, teachers often predicted that 30-40% of students would rate their desire to learn at 8 or more. But the result was much higher. Eighty-one percent of the students rated their desire to learn at 8 or above, and 88% of the students rated their desire to learn at 7 or higher.

Other questions also revealed that students seem to have a higher motivation than teachers might expect. In the PDF, we summarize the results of each question in the questionnaire, and we draw some general conclusions regarding the results.

Why should our students learn English? What motivates them to do so? How can we get them to become ASPIRERS who truly want to improve their English skills? The presenters will share an effective motivational lesson to help students reach their language goals more effectively based on seven good reasons for learning English using the acronym, ASPIRER.

Appeal: English stories and songs intrinsically appeal to you. Social: You want to socialize in English.
Professional: You need English professionally for work.
Individual: You want to improve your life and mind with English.
Required: You have to study English at work or school.
Educational: You want English for education or study abroad.
Results: Success (good results) with English motivates you.

Click here to download the PDF.