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ESL forum > Ask for help > motivation    



What do you do to motivate your students when they are unwilling to learn or misbehave.
I tried a system of pluses and minuses in which they get pluses for participation and good behaviour and minuses for bad beahaviour. The rules are very clear and they agreed to them, however they are happy to get pluses but complain a lot and get discouraged when they get minuses even though they know they deserve them.
I don īt know what to do to motivate the students who like misbehaving

16 Jan 2015      


Hi Saszka,
How about competitions. When I have naughty students in a class, I organize competitions: boys vs girls or however you īd like to gather them. sometimes I organize competitions against different classes. (1st year vs 2nd year, etc. )
They must always be held at the end of the class (last 10 min) and you don īt need to give a prize to winners. The prize is winning. 
The rules are: 1. if they misbehave more than 3 times in class, the competition is cancelled. 2. if they don īt pay attention, competition cancelled. 3. if they don īt work, competition cancelled, etc... You can add anything you want them to stop doing. the golden rule; If a group wins and they laugh at the others, and you see them or hear them (not just because they say it) at that moment, the winner group loses and the loser group wins. you are the judge, so nobody can discuss the rules. they are undisputed Competitions must be a moment of great fun for them. My students love "simon says" "the mirror" etc. So become aware of what they love doing and use it.
IT DOES WORK... Believe me... I hope you can manage...
Have a nice day... Hugs from Argentina. 

16 Jan 2015     


What is the mirror game? :-)

16 Jan 2015     

United States

Here is one mirror game.

16 Jan 2015     


That īs the one! 
And they can also do it singing "This is the way..." (for example "this is the way I comb my hair, comb my hair, comb my hair. This is the way I comb my hair early in the morning" and so on)

16 Jan 2015     

class centre

Hi there! I have a means that works in any group of young children. After the rules are explained I give each student a toy - a bottle cork cut in half  with two or three clowns ( toothpicks) attached up  on it. If a rule is violated I simply go to that student ( the clowns are standing on their desks) and sadly say that he/she is losing one clown. But there are more clowns left on the cork stand. So if by the end of the lesson a student has at least one clown left he/she gets a nice sticker on the cover of the notebook.  It works brilliantly! We avoid accusations and telling off. Instead of reminding them to behave, I say - guys, your clowns are getting worried...  I say - am very sorry... All the others keep quiet when their friend loses a clown etc. The group is disciplined in no time! And the result - they are proud of themselves if they have a sticker! I don īt do it in each group . Only in some where the situation dictates so..
good luck!

16 Jan 2015     


Hi Saszka. I don īt know the age of your students but mine (13-16) enjoy (sic!) the system of yellow and red cards, like in football. I place the laminated card on board and write the names of the naughty ones on them (use a special pen). After the child has got the second warning (red card), the situation gets really serious-mark in the register. It has never happened. Stickers, pluses and stamps make them even more hyper.

17 Jan 2015