Best Practice

Motivating students to study languages

How can we motivate our students to do well, to become independent learners and embrace the learning of languages? Esmeralda Saldago discusses the idea of the Big Match and the Goldilocks Effect

At a basic level, there is a lot that modern foreign language (MFL) teachers can do in everyday lessons that can have a big impact on most students, and which we may take for granted.

Project-based learning, collaborative work with partner schools, a rich extra-curricular activity programme, and opportunities to take languages outside the classroom are all important factors.

However, in this article, I want to concentrate on the basics: the ingredients for great teaching that motivates students to take responsibility for their learning.


What motivates students?

Over the years I have turned this question round and asked many students, especially boys: “What is it about languages that may put you off?”

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