T/S: Teachers’ attitude affects students’ cognitive abilities and their motivation in the English class.
1. It will prove that the professors’ attitude in the classroom affect the second language learning process.
2. Professors have to take into account these situations to keep a convenient environment in the classroom.
3. Professors’ attitude affects cognitive abilities of the students and their motivation in the English class.
C) Theoretical background (it was added into the body)
II. Create favorable condition to learn
A) Professors have to create favorable conditions in order to achieve their goals.
1. It is important to take care about students’ problems and anxieties.
2. Self-esteem must be reinforced by the professor to improve their attitude to learn
3. The classroom atmosphere has to let generate a friendly relationship between professor- students
4. Being flexible it is possible construct strong bases for a good communication.
B) Professor’s aptitude and behavior is affected by different situations.
1. Professors’ personality could be a serious problem to teaching and learning process.
2. The ability to teach should be reinforced by practicing and giving attention to students’ interests.
III. Motivation in second language learning
A) It is needed more motivation in second language learning than in any other subject.
1. Motivation involves to different situation.
2. There is a cognitive view about motivation.
3. Motivation is a complex process
4. Desire is an important part of this process and it should be reinforced.
B) Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation must be defined in order to identify the one better to achieve goals.
1. One of them is enjoyable itself but, the other one doesn’t.
2. The interest is based on the activity itself or result of it.
3. This kind of motivation could reinforce personal improve or competition.
4. Intrinsic motivation could give a permanent learning or just for a while.
A) A survey is going to be applied.
1. It is going to be applied to students from a public institution.
2. It has six questions (five closed and one opened).
3. Questions are based on the objectives.
V. Analysis and Conclusions
A) Survey results.
B) Personal conclusion.
This paper will prove that professors’ attitude in the classroom affect the second language learning process. Motivation is an important aspect of the learning process and it could be affected by different situations. Those situations could be external factors like the social environment or it could be so personal such as interests out of the goal established by the professor in class. The English improvement could be also affected in different ways personal, health, emotional students’ problems, or the environment. Taking into account this situation, professors have to keep a convenient environment in order to achieve the objectives already established; consequently, they must try to get the students’ attention. Teachers’ attitude affects cognitive abilities of the students and their motivation in the English class.
This research is based on different situations given in the English classroom, situations which take to loss of interest in the process or lack of interest in the English subject. On the other hand, if it were possible to find the main problem that influence this matter it would be easier to develop this process.
Professors as Part of the Learning Process
Professors must create favorable conditions for the learning process. Somehow the teacher must engage boys and girls in activities that will achieve the goals established by him. Moreover, the importance of bearing in mind the motivation in a second language leaning is different than learning any other subject. In addition, teachers’ attitude in the classroom affects students’ self-esteem affecting their motivation further.
To analyze relevant aspects in the classroom environment by citing several experts in order to demonstrate the influence of professors’ attitude on students’ learning.
1) To identify convenient teacher’s attitudes in the classroom for an adequate teaching- learning process.
2) To define motivation from different perspectives in order to highlight the teacher’s behavior importance.
3) To analyze how the relationship student- teacher could affect the motivation.
II. Create favorable conditions to learn
Professors must create favorable conditions for the learning process. First, in order to foster students’ desire to learn, professors must be aware of the students’ problems, feelings, and anxieties. The students are very sensitive observers of teachers’ behavioral patterns in the classroom according to Weinstein (1989). The former announcement holds that every professor’s act, expression, or reaction will influence on the student perception about him. Also, it is relevant to remember that self-esteem is very important for people and students. They use to be very levelheaded to criticism. “ Self-concept is a global term referring to the amalgamation of all our perceptions and conceptions about ourselves which give rise to our sense of personal identity” (Purkey and Novak. 1984). Therefore, students should feel that they are very important and this is possible making them participate and it probably will increase their knowledge. On the other hand, professors have to establish a friendly relationship student-professor to create confidence and a better communication that could make easier the interchange of knowledge. Otherwise, students will not have enough confidence to ask any question although it could be important. Moreover, professors have to be flexible. That is, to let students express themselves as they want to and give those opportunities when it is necessary. That is why professors have to know every student individually. Otherwise, students will be always against the professor and unwilling to be in the English class. Also, professors have to be enthusiastic in order to reinforce the present student’ interest or create a new interest in learning. This was already proved, according to some questions that Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, an American psychologist, (1997) has addressed in a stimulating article. Based on this survey, it was found that the most influential teachers are “the ones who love their subject matter and who show by their dedication and their passion there is nothing else on earth they would rather be doing. Students might make fun of this dedication but deep in side, they admire that passion”. In summary, if the professor’s behavior in the classroom is according to these aspects, then the class will be probably so, too. And it will probably mean that students wanted to learn.
The management of learners’ learning is clearly linked to teachers’ abilities to
set an appropriated tone and gain learners respect and cooperation in class “when he behaves as we want to behave, we simply create a situation he likes, or remove one he does not like. As a result the probability that he will behave that way again goes up, which is what we want.” (Skinner. 1968). This hassled many researchers into teachers’ effectiveness to emphasize that the creation and maintenance of a positive classroom climate is essential in producing optimum learning. Moreover, the methodological aspects of teacher behavior such as the selection of content and materials, method, strategies and forms of assessment affect in different ways the students’ learning, but all of those aspects are related to the teacher’ attitude. Also, the interpersonal aspect, which is social and emotional, concerns the creation
and maintenance of a positive classroom atmosphere conductive to learning. However, there are three aspects that could affect in a negative way or in contrast, reinforce the learners’ learning. First the personality and it can involve some teachers’ behavior dimensions such as leaderships, friendliness, admonishing, or strict behavior. If all those aspects are part of the professor’s personality with an appropriated balance, professors will not have any problem trying to keep the students awareness. Otherwise, professors are unable to attain all those characteristics it is more possible that learners could have conduct problems. Consequently, students could have difficulties getting concentration. That is why, the only way to know and overcome those situations is the experience in which the teachers learn by practicing how to get the class control.
III. Motivation in Second Language Learning
Somehow the teacher must engage boys and girls in activities that will be result in the desired learning. To do so, professors must stir up and enlist effective motives. This process is calling motivation. Taking into account, after all, that “learning a foreign language is different that learning other subjects” (Williams and Burden. 1997). That is because “language belongs to a person’s whole social being”. Gardner defines motivation “as referring, a combination of effort plus desire to achieve the goal of learning the language plus favorable attitudes forwards learning the language”. (1985). It is that motivation involves more than a simple suggestion to do something. From a cognitive perspective, “the factor that is of central importance is that of choice. That is people have a choice over the way in which they behave. Therefore, they have control over their actions” (Williams and Burden 1997). It could say that it does not matter how much effort had made the professor to engage the student in the process but, at the end he is who makes the final decision to learn or not. However there are some limitations, “Motivation is concerned with such issues as people decide to act in certain way and those factors influence in the choices they make. Taking a purely cognitive approach, as dogma, fails to take into account the influence of affective factors, the emotions, or social and contextual influences (Williams and Burden 1997.) On the other hand, motivation involves a process according to Williams and Burden (1997). And this is the process according to them, “First, there are reasons for undertaking a particular activity”. Those reasons could be internal or external as it was already mentioned, no only the teachers’ attitude, but also personal interests and difficulties. “Second fixations are actually involved in deciding to do something”. That is what makes people choose to embark on a particular task and to invest time and liveliness on it. “Third, people need to sustain the effort required to complete the activities on their own satisfaction”. Therefore, that is a process; there is no place for motivation if every step is not complete successfully. Finally, the desire itself could be affected not only by facts in the classroom, but also by the social context as a whole, and how it could be affected by different situations, but mainly by the professors’ behavior in class. It is important to define and make a difference between two different kinds of motivations. “The reason why people choose to act in certain way, there are reasons for our actions to fall into different types. Sometimes, something is done because the act of doing it is enjoyable itself. However, people engage in an activity not only because they are interested in the activity itself, but because performing it will help them to obtain something else that they want” (Williams and Burden 1997). These motivations are understood like the two ways teachers have to employ students in the class. “Therefore, when the only reason for performing an act it self relies on passing an exam or obtaining some practices right the motivation is likely to be extrinsic. Opposite, when the experience of doing something generates interest and enjoyment and the reason for performing the activity lies within the activity itself. Then, the motivation is likely to be intrinsic” (Williams and Burden 1997). However, it could be unfair to affirm that students do things just on specific focus. Actually, many actions are probably prompted by mixture of both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. However, it is important to know that those kinds of motivations have different results. For example, when the motivation is intrinsic, learning is an action that could be part of the personal improvement and it could be a permanent learning because the students learn by their own desire. On the other hand, if a student learns because of an external reason, it could become into a competition. Also what the student study could be forgot easily because there was no a real interest to learn. Summarizing, there is a motivation that could be called the good one because it has good results. That is the intrinsic, this could be reinforced by the professor in different ways already discussed and obtaining good results. However, the extrinsic motivation could be foster by the professor, incorrectly. Professors could believe that giving prizes, for example, to his students can make them participate or get a good score and he will obtain a better learning process when is not absolutely right. Rewarding must be carefully implemented or wrong conditioning will be obtained.
Motivation involves different aspects that should be reinforced like self-esteem, confidence and communication. Also, learning a different language is even more difficult and it requires more motivation and professors’ attention than any other subject. The environment of the classroom is made up of a number of different components. One of these is the teacher’s rapport with the student. What is important to mention here is that in a safe and supportive classroom the norm and tolerance prevails and students feel comfortable taking risks because they know that they will not be embarrassed or criticized if they make a mistake. Moreover, a big part of that responsibility could be part of the professor’s work.
In order to try to prove that professor’s attitude could affect students’ cognitive abilities and their motivation a survey will be applied to high school students. Moreover, the students are not going to be selected by age, gender, or grade in the high school because all of them have the same teacher in the English class. This survey has five close questions where there are only two options (yes or no). On the other hand, there is a final open question where the students can express their reactions and at the same time provide information to complete this investigation. Furthermore, the question asked will be according to the objectives established at the beginning of this paper. In addition the survey is going to be applied in Spanish because the students are from a public institution.
Csikzenntmihalyif, M. Intrinsic Motivation and Effective Teaching. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997.
Gardner, R. C. Social Psychology and Language Learning. London: Eduard Arnold. 1985.
Purkey, W. W and J. Novak. Inviting School Success. Belmont Clifornia: Wardworth, 1984.
Skinner, B. F. The technology of Teaching. New York: Appleton- Century- Crofts. 1968.
Weinstein, C. S. Teacher Education Students’ Perceptions of Teaching. Journal of teaching Education, 40(2), 53-60.
Williams and Burden. Psychoogy for Language Teacher. United Kindom of the University Press Cambridge. 1997.
Universidad de Costa Rica
Roberto Mesén Hidalgo
Marisol Pérez Marín