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Resources And Discussion

Online Course Management System - FREE. Would you use it?

Started by ddeubel in Teaching and Methodology. Last reply by Mitchell Lee Feb 12. 7 Replies

I'd like to know how many teachers would use a completely free course management system , if offered here? Meaning, you can create a course there,…Continue

Tags: atutor, technology, online, ecourses, elearning


Started by ddeubel in Websites / links / access to new resources / communities.. Last reply by Nadeem Nawaz Jul 16, 2019. 102 Replies

We are now in our 3rd edition of "Site of the Day"! Hundreds of the best sites for teaching/learning. See #1 and…Continue

Tags: collection, list, web 2.0, resources, websites

ABCs - Alphabet Resources or Ideas?

Started by NEWS NOW in Teaching and Methodology. Last reply by Amelia Meirizka Jun 20, 2019. 73 Replies

I guess the alphabet is our bread and butter.Got any good ideas for teaching it or using it…Continue

Tags: children, abc, kids, phonics, reading

Learning Designs

Started by Elise in Teaching and Methodology Mar 27, 2019. 0 Replies

I was wondering what you all thought of learning designs pertaining to English language teaching? What are the ways in which you design your lessons to achieve better learning in your students?Continue


The #1 (way to motivate students)

Number One** Not your ordinary endless list - just what's number 1. Just the BEST.


If you want your students to learn, if you want your students to learn long term, if you want your students to progress -- you have to give them "the end in sight". You have to give them the taste of success. Nothing - not candies or sweet words, not the hand raised in wrath or a scream - nothing can serve as great a catalyst as success.

We learn by doing and we keep doing because we taste the sweet elexir of success. If you want to motivate your students -plan your lessons so everyone will succeed. You'll soon see them reaching and exemplifying Shelly's "A man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for.".

Downloads: 381

Comment by Ellen Pham on April 19, 2010 at 6:40pm
Simple and profound.

I think many/most teachers realize this intuitively, but where in the teacher ed programs is it stated simply and with singularly?

A note- the success needs to be something the student feels, recognizes and legitimatizes. A success in the eye of the student.

I read you were once a physical education teacher, David... how did you do this in PE class? How did this work with competitions? (You know.. the tendency of many students to groan when the least athletic student gets put on their team... that kind of thing?)

What techniques do other teachers use to get that "taste of success" into the mouths of all their students?

Comment by Benjamin L. Stewart, PhD on April 19, 2010 at 9:14pm
As learning is complex and emergent, several questions come by mind. What types of goals (i.e., ends) should language educators be working with: behavioral or expressive, for example? Who defines these goals both within the written and taught curriculum. Similarly, how does one define success and then measure it in a way that provides evidence that learners have succeeded? For example, is it realistic that every student succeed given the exact same criteria? And who chooses the criteria in which learners are to be either formatively or summatively assessed? It's difficult for me to talk about planning a lesson in a way that everyone succeeds without talking specifically about assessment.

I for one do not like the term success because of the way it expresses a kind of finality to the process of learning. Learning is more ongoing and is cultivated much as a flower grows (as opposed to how a building is constructed).

To make this post more relevant and meaningful for the readers, we need to dissect each notion and talk more specifically about how each can motivate learners in a more practical sense.

PS Ellen asks some insightful questions namely whether "winning" equates to "success". Just using this as an example, one can see how this post can lead to a variety of interpretations.
Comment by Ellen Pham on April 19, 2010 at 11:45pm
Hi Benjamin,

Just a quick note- I wasn't thinking about if winning equates to feelings of success (yeah, it does!) but more how do you design a legitimate experience of success for everyone else (those that haven't won) in a competition-tyoe situation?

When I say legitimate, I mean a situation that is experienced as success by the student.. No teacher/mommy speak, "Just participating is a success, honey"- unless you can sell it ; ). If you can sell it, how do you do that?

I don't have any trouble with the term success because I can feel exactly what David is referring to- that feeling of yes, I am doing this! It is a very encouraging feeling! And from my experience, vastly motivating in almost unreasonably small doses!

I just want to put in a plug that success has to be measured (felt, experienced) by the student. At least for student motivational purposes : ) When planning, we have to use our empathy, memory of our own learning situations, and imaginations- what would feel like success to the student?

Of course, we can also talk openly about this with our students. We could ask (twinkle).

Comment by ddeubel on April 20, 2010 at 12:52am
I for one do not like the term success because of the way it expresses a kind of finality to the process of learning. Learning is more ongoing and is cultivated much as a flower grows (as opposed to how a building is constructed).


I know what you mean but I also think that sometimes we are stuck with such terms and also sometimes (many times) students need to feel the "now". They need to feel as Ellen suggested, "Yes, I'm doing it! I can."

In language, I'd say that this means many things. Remembering, communicating (saying and seeing how this effects the world / being understood) and sometimes just plain pronouncing. However, "success" can also be non language based - about finishing a task, doing things well, cooperation and other affective factors. One big part of a teacher's success is to make students "belong" - there is no more powerful form of success for any person - it is innate and within us, the elation of belonging.

I think what it is all about on some level is the teacher "knowing thy students" because at the end of the day success will mean different things to different students. We are all in our own unique place when it comes to learning.

Goals, objectives - these all help but I think that the best thing for a teacher is to focus on very proximate/in class goals. What is happening "now" . You are right that we have to focus on the things we can do in a practical vein.


When planning, we have to use our empathy, memory of our own learning situations, and imaginations- what would feel like success to the student?

I like how you put this. It is all about this and connecting the student to their own self. A teacher can help the student feel success but at the end of the day, it is something they control. N'est pas? That's why I do like the recent emphasize on both letting students know the class objective and always referring to it at the end of the lesson. Did you achieve this? Gradually, this can help a student achieve some level of self monitoring. Also, your own suggestion of asking them is something that should be part of any teacher's training and instruction. So seldom happens but it is crucial.

You mention Phys Ed. Actually at least in Canada PE has been one area that has been really good at producing teachers that understand success isn't winning and about creating programs at schools where student in PE feel a lot of achievement. Pity it means nothing for their future education (and Ken Robinson screams about this). But in Canada, for the most part, kids can't wait for PE or music and get down about the rest of school. Somewhere in that is the lesson we must learn about giving students success.......
Comment by Ellen Pham on April 20, 2010 at 2:04am
I started to write a reply, but it's nothing people haven't heard from me before. And whatever else I say, I don't want to lose sight of just how remarkable this "feeling of success" thing is...

Let's step back and say, "What a concept." When I was in a foreign language class, did a teacher ever consider if I felt successful?? All it was was me being wrong... wrong, wrong, wrong. Not good, wrong. So wrong, it wasn't even worth paying me much attention, I wasn't going to get it anyway.

Is there any other subject that concentrates so unrelentingly on what the student can't do? Or does wrong? I want to take some time to imagine what a classroom based on the student's feeling of success looks like, sounds like... a K-W-L chart!

First off, it's got food. Something yummy, like homemade cupcakes, that I do well enough to get some of. I also get to laugh, and people understand me when I try to talk- at least enough for us both to enjoy it. I can be bored for a little bit, 5 or 10 minutes, but not for too long.

If I wasn't paying attention, there is a "second chance" for getting it (understanding what we are doing).

What else? I want to have something I can show off after class. In a language class, a fun phrase would be good... or part of a song, or... I'm not sure, but something I can show off or use.

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