Engaging Young English Learners

In this document, you will find how motivation influences students’ engagement as well as demotivation factors and some advices that may help you out to engage your students in their own learning process. This research is important because there are not research papers where you can find all the information together regarding this topic. Since we are studying to become English teachers, we were wondering how to engage, our students in the future to avoid them getting bored while in class.

The purpose of this research paper is to facilitate English teachers this information, which may help them to motivate their students and therefore keep them engaged. The importance of motivating young English students to engage them in their own learning process.

Literature review

Zyngier, D. says engagement is seen as very necessary for improved learning outcomes for all students together with motivation. The author asserts that motivation is seen as a prerequisite for student engagement in learning, and as a necessary element student engagement in learning is not only an end, but also a means to achieve sound academic outcomes for the end of students.

Burns, W. (2018) states that engaging young English learners has been a constant challenge for teachers. He emphasizes that the key to maintaining students focused is keeping them busy and engaged, In order to do that you must minimize the dead time when they have nothing to do. It is known it can be a very difficult task for future teachers, but motivation provides learners with an aim to follow.

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Dornyer D, Csizer K. (1998) studies found that, demotivation is a frequent phenomenon in L2 learning, he identified the following demotivation factors by conducting structured interviews with 50 secondary school students: teacher’s personality, competence, teaching method, inadequate school facilities; reduced self-confidence due to the experience of failure, negative attitude towards the L2; compulsory nature of L2 study; interference of another L2 being studied; negative attitudes towards L2 community; attitudes of group members; course books used in class. The author says that the students perceived the first factor concerning the teacher as the primary cause of their demotivation, accounting for 40% of the total frequency of occurrences.

According to Kaplan F. (2005), intrinsic motivation is defined as the doing of an activity for its inherent satisfaction rather than for some separable consequence. The author says that when a person is intrinsically motivated is moved to act for the fun or challenge entailed rather than external products, pressures or rewards. He describes that intrinsic motivation is clearly visible in young infants. Human adults are still often intrinsically motivated while they play crosswords, make paintings, do gardening or just read novels or watch movies. According to Meadows, R. (2017). Extrinsic motivation is reward-driven behavior. The author states that Operant conditioning is a form of behavior modification that uses rewards or punishments to increase or decrease the likelihood that specific behaviors will recur.

The author finally stated that for some people, the benefits of external rewards are enough to motivate high-quality continuous work. For others, value-based benefits are more motivating. According to Rebecca Oxford, students’ attitudes are influenced by a number of people and places. Most important for these younger learners, perhaps, are their families’ attitudes to the learning of foreign languages. If such learning is seen as priority in the household, then the student is likely, more often than not, to reflect these attitudes. But if language learning is uninteresting to the family, then the student will need to have their own strong feelings in order to counter this. The student’s peer will also affect their feelings.

If language learning is seen as an important and prestigious activity by the other students around them, they are far more likely to view the activity positively than if their colleagues think, the whole exercise is unnecessary. For older students, the influence of family is, perhaps, less likely to affect their feelings. But the attitude of the people around them will have a strong bearing on how they feel. Sarah, D. (2018) describes that the reasons why students don’t perform as well they should. First, students can tell teachers aren’t enthusiastic about what they are teaching. Second,the pace of learning is too fast or too slow, many classrooms are too sedentary, with little to no freedom for movement and play, and finally, there is a lack of connection between the students and teachers.

She says that to create an environment where better, deeper learning is possible, educators should build certain strategies into their lessons to bolster participation and excitement in the classroom. The inclusion lab.(2018) suggests methods to get all students engaged in learning. First, connect what you are teaching to real life: one key way to involve students in their learning is to make sure the material speaks to them, use specific everyday examples: An easy way to help students feel personally connected, use students’ interests and fascinations, give students choices (pair, group works) . Hook their interest with fun transitions (games, dynamic activities). Finally, all students are more engaged when they enjoy classroom life, laugh, and connect with peers.


This research was made based on the phenomenological approach, which studies human behavior by observing. The methods we will be using to collect data are document review and survey. Document review is a systematic collection, documentation, analysis and interpretation, and organization of data as a data collection method in research, but the survey is also a research method, which will be applied to a certain number of students. The gathered information will be analyzed to categorize the importance that motivation has in the learning process for the students. This will provide tips on how we, as future teachers, can engage young English learners and what are the main factors of demotivation in high schools’ English learners. Finally, some of the most useful techniques for motivating students will be outlined.


  1. Burns, W. “It’s Not Them, It’s You: Why Students Don’t Pay Attention And How To Keep Dead Time Out Of Your Classroom.” Busy Teacher, 28 Jan. 2016, https://busyteacher.org/19030-keep-learners-engaged-how-to-classroom-motivation.html.
  2. British council (2009) “way of motivating EFL/ESL students in the classroom (pair work). Retrieved from: https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/blogs/alexenoamen/ways-motivating-efl-esl-students-classroom.
  3. Dornyer Dolan; Csizer Kata. (1998). Ten Commandment for Motivating Language Learner: results of an empirical study retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ597304.
  4. Kaplan, F. (2007). How can we define intrinsic motivation. Retrieved from: https://www.pyoudeyer.com
  5. Meadows, R. (2017) what is extrinsic motivation and is it Effective? Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/health/extrinsic-motivation
  6. Zyngier, D. (2012). How motivation influence students’ engagement a qualitative case study. Retrieved from: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/jel.v1n2p252
  7. Rebbeca oxford (1990) Teaching and researching language learning strategies, Routledge ,NY , United State. P.91.
  8. Sarah, D.(2018) ‘How to keep your students engaged’. Retrieved from: https://www.eballot.com.cdn.ampproject.org

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Engaging Young English Learners. (2021, Dec 13). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/engaging-young-english-learners/

Engaging Young English Learners
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