Academic journal article K@ta

How to Motivate English Learners Faced with Psychological Burden

Academic journal article K@ta

How to Motivate English Learners Faced with Psychological Burden

Article excerpt

Abstract: The misleading assumptions of Indonesian-speaking learners of English on the nature of English results in psychological burden inhibiting the process of teaching and learning. The assumptions should be eliminated at the beginning of English class. Besides, the instructor should extensively motivate and encourage the learners to maximize their potentials in learning process. Such approach will gradually lead the learners to self-confidence and self-discovery.

Key words: misleading assumptions, nature of English, psychological burden motivation

As an English instructor in Indonesia, Asia, where English is widely learned, I encounter an important experience fundamentally, closely, and significantly related to the success or failure of teaching and learning process. The experience of which English instructors are not aware is the misleading concepts on the nature of English. Such concepts inhibit the process of how language should be learned. The experience may be of great importance for English instructors throughout the world, particularly for those who teach English in the countries where English is not spoken.

This article takes up what the misleading concepts are, how they inhibit the learners' motivation and negatively affect the way the instructors teach as well as the solution to the problem on the basis of my actual experience in acquiring and teaching English classes in Medan and Bandung, the third and fourth biggest cities in Indonesia.

TYPICAL QUESTIONS

I am frequently asked typical series of questions concerning English acquisition in numerous occasions, particularly at the beginning of English classes I teach. The questions are "What do I have to do to be able to speak English?", "Why is English very difficult?", and "I have been learning English for years, why can't I speak English?"

Now and then I am asked whether the failure to catch the native English is due to the fact that the native speakers speak quick English or auditory nerves disturbance and whether the failure to pronounce English sounds is due to anatomical disturbance.

The questions imply that many people desiring to acquire English via formal teaching and learning process have misleading concepts on the nature of English leading to psychological burden. Before starting learning the language, they think that English should be learned in different way in comparison to the ways the other languages are learned, it is more difficult than their native languages and even the most intricate one of all human languages, native English is a quick language, and speech organs of nonnative speakers of English do not match English sounds.

Due to the misleading concepts, many English learners get discouraged, bringing about destructive impact on the teaching and learning process. Many English learners at High School skip English classes and many people intending to learn it delay or even cancel learning it thanks to inherent fear of and dislike for English stemming from the misleading concepts. Therefore, the psychological handicap needs eradicating before English class is commenced.

However, a lot of teachers are not aware of the fact. Despite their awareness, it is not easy to teachers to work out a strategy of satisfying the students' questions that can convince and motivate the learners. They must have linguistic background and vast experience in teaching English to learners from various linguistic and ethnic backgrounds.

It is essential that the English class participants at every beginning of class be offered a chance to put forward questions on anything related to English learning, lest the learners cannot be free from the misleading concepts that have been negatively affecting their thought for a long time. The approach is of great importance for the success of teaching and learning process. When offered such chance, the participants commonly ask the above questions. If their questions are satisfied they will be well motivated. …

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