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In order to gain a clear understanding of the concept of demotivation, it is first necessary to take a brief look at that of motivation. According to Ricardo F. Herzberg proposed that hygiene factors are external to work, for example, working conditions, organisational policies, and personal relations. Motivation factors, on the other hand are directly linked to work: recognition, pay, independence, successes and positive stimuli, among others. His three fundamental ideas are:. We can also distinguish external and internal factors.
It has immediate or short-term motivational value, and loses effect with time. For example, undertaking activities which we enjoy. This motivation comes from something psychologically deep, a pleasure, an enthusiasm derived from within the person. That is to say, if a motivational force pushes one forward, the corresponding demotivational force pushes in the opposite direction - pushing backwards.
A study in Qingdao University of Science and Technology in China includes a brief review of five previous investigations Yan, :. The first stage of the investigation was an analysis of the final grades of all EFL students in all English levels in the two preceding semesters, with the teachers identified for each course, and average grades calculated.
This permitted, later in the study, analysis of the correlation between teachers self-identified as demotivated and their academic results. It listed possible causative factors to be selected. For logistical and time considerations, the number interviewed was less than the total population of EFL teachers.
This element was very personal and not amenable to statistical extrapolation, but nevertheless provided a distinct and valuable additional perspective.
A strong connection would emphasise the importance of such demotivating factors and the need to address them. At the other extreme, the absence of a visible or obvious connection would lead to the conclusion that they are unimportant in terms of day-to-day academic performance. The final outcome of the project would be a conclusion that either a there was a consensus among the teachers on demotivating factors, or, b there is no such consensus.
In the event of a , recommendations for change would be made, and in the case of b actions would be less possible to prescribe. The initial finding from the analysis of final grades was that the difference in grades between the most successful students and the weakest ones is very wide and appears to justify interventions to improve academic processes.
The position when analysing the average grades by individual teacher was that there were wide variations between the grading of different teachers within the same English levels. There was no correlation with class size, which flies in the face of the conventional wisdom that students can learn better in small classes. Flowing from the above, one may take two quite different views. On the one hand, that there is little to be gained from comparing the grades achieved by teachers with their state of motivation or demotivation when the pattern of grades is so variable.
And, therefore, consideration of the academic effect of being, or not being demotivated, is relevant. In the formal survey, a format was used derived mainly from those developed by Kassabgy , and Yau , containing a list of factors relevant to demotivation of EFL teachers, and inviting respondents to categorise on a 5-point Likert scale, ranging from very motivating to very demotivating. The document was written in English, but also translated into Spanish to ensure optimum understanding and results.
In contrast to the inevitably rapid and superficial process of completing a questionnaire, the interviews permitted the airing of complexities and subtle points, which could not be referred to on a form. To encourage the teachers to be more relaxed and disposed to express their views freely and frankly, the interviews were not recorded, but handwritten notes were taken.
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Referring to initial motivation to choose the teaching profession, nearly all interviewees referred to the desire to undertake key teaching activities, like interaction with others, working with students, speaking English, and contributing to society, describing a sense of vocation. It appeared, therefore, that the majority started off with an intrinsic sense of motivation, with corresponding expectations.
This was closely connected with the topic of day-to-day levels of motivation, and whether they felt there was a difference between their expectations and reality. Significantly, each teacher referred to different demotivating factors, with implications for relevant corrective actions.
There were 46 comments on positive factors, of which 37 focussed on the students, their attitudes, and behaviour. It is debateable whether this is an appropriate professional relationship. This is a topic meriting further investigation.
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Which position is more reasonable? The actor with most power in the classroom is the teacher. The teachers is managing and directing. As seen in the class observations, some teach in a way which probably motivates the students and others do the opposite. All other things being equal, students are affected, to a degree, for good or ill, by the way the teacher teaches, and by their own pre-existing attitudes, and some are more open to being influenced by the teachers than others.
Turning to relations with administrators or work colleagues, out of 39 comments, 28 were negative.
This is concerning, because, after allowing for the 6 referring to physical environmental elements, there were 28 directly referring to personnel. Suggestions were requested for things which should be changed in the university to increase teacher motivation and job satisfaction and, not surprisingly, there were references to some of the negative factors already referred to.
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Nevertheless, there were new elements, including increased job security, increased salary, fewer irregularities in receipt of payment, and more training. Finally, only 2 teachers stated that they had ever considered changing their job or profession, which leads to the conclusion that, in spite of negative comments, most are relatively content, in general terms. Two teachers kept daily diaries of their events and feelings as they taught, accompanied by conversations with the investigator. They noted changes in their motivational state, and what occasioned them.
Being two different people, with different personalities, age, and experiences, they reacted differently, and that what affected one did not necessarily affect the other. Nine teachers were observed. Of the group of teachers who filled in the questionnaires and were interviewed, five indicated they felt demotivated, on a scale from slightly demotivated, through demotivated, to very demotivated. Only one teachers said he was very demotivated.
Of the nine teachers observed, the observers considered that five of them showed no sign in class of being demotivated, in three cases there was some sign of possible demotivation, and in just one case there was considered to be a clear sign of demotivation. Of the five teachers who indicated any level of demotivation, two showed it.
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