On Teaching Foreign Languages: Linking Theory to Practice

By Marcela T. Ruiz-Funes | Go to book overview

6

Motivation and Discipline in the Language Classroom

In today's society, school discipline problems are rising at an alarming rate. They are manifested in multiple ways from students answering back to the teacher, throwing away a test with a low grade in front of the entire class, to some very extreme situations such as raping a fellow student or using guns or other weapons. To teachers this is a threat that they live with daily. Yet, it is one of their most challenging endeavors as professionals to handle discipline problems effectively as well as to motivate students to learn. For FL educators this is no exception. These issues constitute one of the major fears for most FL interns and beginning teachers causing the attrition rate to escalate.

Seldom do FL students learn about class participation, motivation, and discipline in the FL methods course, nor do FL methods textbooks deal with these aspects. Instead, these issues are part of an education or psychology course where students review and analyze different theories, approaches, and techniques for classroom management, such as behaviorism, congnitivism, and humanism from a general point of view.

Considering the magnitude of these aspects, I include in this chapter a combination of theoretical and practical knowledge. Both the work of researchers and the experience of practicing FL teachers are brought together to provide FL interns with a comprehensive view of how to handle discipline situations and motivate students. By learning how experienced FL teachers handle these aspects, FL interns will be able to gain the practical knowledge needed to deal with their students with more confidence and a more solid preparation.

The theoretical portion is drawn from the research done by R. Gardner and W. E. Lambert, 1972; R. Gardner, 1985; and V. Cook, 1996. The prac-

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On Teaching Foreign Languages: Linking Theory to Practice
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • 1 - Foreign Language Teacher Education: Reflecting on Current Practices 1
  • 2 - Collaborating Through Action Research 5
  • 3 - Proficiency is the Organizing Principle 13
  • 4 - Why Use the Target Language in Class? 19
  • 5 - Making Language Learning Meaningful 29
  • 6 - Motivation and Discipline in the Language Classroom 35
  • 7 - Putting It into Practice 43
  • 8 - A Dialogue Established: What Comes Next? 51
  • Appendix A 57
  • Appendix B 59
  • Appendix C 61
  • Appendix D 65
  • Notes 163
  • Bibliography 167
  • Index 173
  • About the Author 177
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