Learning a language quickly and successfully depends largely on a student’s motivation. If your students have a compelling reason to learn English, they will make rapid progress. They will study not only in your classroom, and do their homework, but they will also seek out ways to learn English outside of your set curriculum.
But how do you motivate your students? Easy. Give them a compelling reason why English is useful to them now. Telling them they’d be able to “get better jobs sometimes in the future” just won’t do the trick. Students are typically not motivated by something way out in the future. They want to get the rewards now.
So how can English be useful to your students now? Easy again. Watch where they are headed after school. Many of your students will undoubtedly march right to the next internet shop to spend some time online. Naturally, they are visiting sites in Thai Language while browsing the web. But that’s only scratching the surface of all the internet fun out there, because the language of the internet is English; at least at this point in time. Chinese has been catching up rapidly, but nevertheless, English will continue to be the dominant language for the hottest and coolest sites.
Again, don’t even try to motivate your students with better job opportunities at some point in the future. Show them where and how English skills can be used right here and now. Show them how much more fun the internet can be when they access and understand sites that may only be available in English. Sites like BigFish Games, GameHouse, and Pogo.
To get started, help them, for example, to create their Facebook profile in English. Even though Facebook is available in the Thai Language, this activity makes an interesting classroom lesson. Download this Facebook Profile Sheet and use it in class to help your students getting started with Facebook in English. If you have an advanced class and want to make it extra interesting, try the Facebook Pirate Profile Sheet. To switch Facebook’s language to the Pirate version, scroll down all the way to the bottom where you see your current language displayed as a link. Click on it and then click on “English” and select “English (Pirate)”