Self-study 2 Methodologists, e.g. Jeremy Harmer, distinguish between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. What do you understand under these two types of motivation? Can you continue the lists?
Extrinsic Motivation(caused by outside factors)
  • need to pass an exam;
  • hope of financial reward;
  • possibility of future travel;
Intrinsic Motivation (comes from the individual)
  • enjoyment of the learning process;
  • desire to make oneself better;
Read the descriptions of some motivating factors. (Taken from Jeremy Harmer. The Practice of English Language Teaching, pp.52, 53, 54. Longman.) What type of motivation do they refer to: internal or external?
The society we live in: outside any classroom there are attitudes to language learning and the English language in particular. Learners bring with them attitudes from the society they live in, developed over years, whether these attitudes are thoroughly positive or somewhat negative.
Significant others: apart from the culture of the world around students, their attitude to language learning will be greatly affected by the influence of people who are close to them. The attitude of parents and older siblings will be crucial. The attitude of a student’s peers is also crucial. If they are critical of the subject or activity, the student’s own motivation may suffer. If they are enthusiastic learners, however, they may take the student along with them.
The teacher: A major factor in the continuance of a student’s motivation is the teacher. His/her attitude to the language and the task of learning is vital. Obvious enthusiasm for English and English learning seem to be prerequisites for positive classroom atmosphere.
The method: it is vital that both teacher and students have some confidence in the way teaching and learning take place. When either loses this confidence, motivation can be disastrously affected, but when both are comfortable with the method being used, success is much more likely.
Interesting classes: if students are to continue to be intrinsically motivated they clearly need to be interested both in the subject they are studying and in the activities and topics they are presented with. We need to provide them with a variety of subjects and exercises to keep them engaged. The choice of material to take into class will be crucial too, but even more important than this will be the ways in which it is used in the lesson.
Goals and goal setting: motivation is closely bound up with a person’s desire to achieve a goal.
Teachers need to recognize that long-term goals are vitally important but that they can often seem too far away. When English seems to be more difficult than the student had anticipated, the long-term goals can begin to behave like mirages in the desert, appearing and disappearing at random. Short-term goals, on the other hand, are by their nature much closer to the student’s day-to-day reality. It is much easier to focus on the end of the week than the end of the year. If the teacher can help students in the achievement of short-term goals, this will have a significant effect on their motivation. After all, ‘nothing succeeds like success’!
Learning environment: although we may not be able to choose our actual classrooms, we can still do a lot about their physical appearance and the emotional atmosphere of our lessons. Both of these can have a powerful effect on the initial and continuing motivation of students. When students walk into an attractive classroom at the beginning of a course, it may also help to get their motivation for the process going.
If the classroom is not “ours”, we can change the atmosphere through such things as the use of music; even the immovability of furniture can be ameliorated by having students get up and walk around the room when this is appropriate. All of these are less important than the emotional atmosphere that teachers are able to create and sustain. There is a need for a supportive, cooperative environment to suit various learner types. Above all, the teacher’s rapport with the students is critical to creating the right conditions for motivated learning.
  1. MAKE THE AIMS AND GOALS OF THE COURSE CLEAR well in advance and draw the attention of the students to the achievement of these.
  6. DEVOTE TIME AND ATTENTION TO GROUP DYNAMICS (Choose activities not only for reasons of language learning, but also because they may foster positive communal feeling)



Dear colleagues, we'd like you to reflect on this story while reading it and to think how it is connected with the course you are doing now and with your teaching practice in general. Post your comments to the blog.
I would like to begin today with a story. It's a story about a distinguished professor - Professor Don Redden - who was giving a talk to a group of students at a tertiary institution just outside Dublin, in the Republic of Ireland. In his presentation, Professor Redden asked his audience a number of questions emanating from some visual aids he had brought with him. Showing first an opaque jar, he put as many rocks as he could into it and asked if it were full. The students answered a very positive 'yes.' Without saying anything the distinguished academic, now put as many pebbles as he could into the jar and then asked the same question. The response was again 'yes' but there were some reservations on the part of the audience. Professor Redden then filled the jar with sand. On asking the same question, this time there was no response. The professor next added as much water as he could to the jar from a jug. 'Is the jar now full,' he asked. The silence was deafening. Professor Redden next dissolved salt into the water, over the sand, the pebbles and the rocks. . 'Well, is the jar now full,' he asked. A brave student near the back of the hall broke the silence by answering, with great confidence, 'No,, Professor, no. The jar is not full.' Professor Redden looked around the hall and said, 'Ah, but the jar is full' and with that he invited the audience to do some reflecting-on-action and to consider both the purpose and the meaning of his demonstration. After a moment, he invited the students to offer their interpretations and he allowed each and everyone one of them to speak. When they had finished he thanked them and said that he was not surprised that each of them had their own different interpretations for, he said, each of them was a unique individual, with unique experiences of life. Finally, he asked them if they would like to know his interpretation of the demonstration. With great enthusiasm they said that they would. 'Well, I will give you my interpretation, then. But remember. My interpretation is no better nor worse than any of yours,' he said looking round the hall as he spoke. 'My interpretation is this: whatever you do in life, whatever the context, always remember to get your rocks in first.' And with that, Professor Redden left the podium. Well, that's the story. The story will have touched you all in different ways - some of you might be happy with it (after all, many of us like listening to stories) but some of you will almost certainly not be happy. There might be those among you who think that it is a boring story, one that had a disappointing ending - it might even have agitated some of you. Well, there's nothing I can do about that, I'm afraid - that's the way the story goes: the story stands as it stands.


Dear Participants, I'd like to welcome you to TD ESP course blog. Teacher Development (TD)- as opposed to Teacher Training - is a ralatively recent phenomenon. It is based on the view that training courses along cannot satisfy all trainees' needs and there exists the necessity to go beyond mere training to the moulding of teachers's confidence in their ability to shape their own professional growth. This view correlates with the COURSE GOALS - to:
  • - help and encourage teachers to revisit and develop further their individual philisophy of teaching ESP;
  • - involve teachers in reflecting on learning;
  • - create opportunities for teachers to share, discuss and try out ideas, technologies, activities and teaching materials;
  • - provide teachers with key strategies and skills for continuing professional self-development;
  • - enable teachers to explore individually areas of professional interest in ESP;
  • - increase teachers' professional competence and confidence.
In the top right corner you can see the MODEL designed for the course. All the elements there are connected through "reflection" and form an upward spiral, which symbolises a never-ending process of learning. I hope that we will all enjoy the process of our collaborative learning. Let's learn from each other and with one another!



Reflect on the following definitions of authenticity/authentic materials and choose one or two that seem most relevant to your own teaching context.

1. For the traditional ESP practitioner, there was no simplification of real discourse for pedagogical purposes; instead, authentic, unmodified oral and written texts were provided for students at every proficiency level. A new definition for authenticity has arisen which considers the authenticity of strategies and activities instead of the authenticity of discourse.

(Ann M. Johns)

2. Pure, authentic materials are not possible in ELT classroom, e.g. an article cut from a real newspaper used in whatever way in class is no longer authentic. But what we can have is quasi-authentic material, either real or written in authentic style that is treated in class in a manner close to how it is used in the real world.

(Pat McLaughlin)

3. Authentic texts can actually be created by the ESP teacher or student, as long as they follow the regular rhetorical pattern.


4. 'Authentic materials' are 'genuine' materials removed from their real-life context for use in a communicative classroom. (Mike Scholey)



Dear colleagues, while reading the descriptions of different types of syllabuses think about the principles behind each type of syllabus.

1. Grammatical

A list of grammatical structures, such as the present tense, comparison of adjectives, relative clauses, usually divided into sections graded according to difficulty and/or importance.

2. Lexical

A list of lexical items (girl, boy, go away . . .) with associated collocations and idioms, usually divided into graded sections. One such syllabus, based on a corpus (a computerized collection of samples of authentic language) is described in Willis, 1990.

3. Grammatical-lexical

A very common kind of syllabus: both structures and lexis are specified: either together, in sections that correspond to the units of a course, or in two separate lists.

4. Situational

These syllabuses take the real-life contexts of language uses as their basis: sections would be headed by names of situations or locations such as 'Eating a meal' or 'In the street'.

5. Topic-based

This is rather like the situational syllabus, except that the headings are broadly topic-based, including things like 'Food' or 'The family'; these usually indicate! fairly clear set of vocabulary items, which may be specified.

6. Notional

'Notions' are concepts that language can express. General notions may include 'number', for example, or 'time', 'place', 'colour'; specific notions look more like vocabulary items: 'man', 'woman', 'afternoon'. For an introduction to the topic of notional syllabuses see Wilkins, 1976.

7. Functional-notional

Functions are things you can do with language, as distinct from notions you can express: examples are 'identifying', 'denying', 'promising'. Purely functional syllabuses are rare: usually both functions and notions are combined, as for example in Van Ek, 1990.

8. Mixed or 'multi-strand'

Increasingly, modern syllabuses are combining different aspects in order to be maximally comprehensive and helpful to teachers and learners; in these you may find specification of topics, tasks, functions and notions, as well as grammar and vocabulary.

9. Procedural

These syllabuses specify the learning tasks to be done rather than the language itself or even its meanings. Examples of tasks might be: map reading, doing scientific experiments, story-writing. The most well-known procedural syllabus is that associated with the Bangalore Project (Prabhu, 1987).

10. Process

This is the only syllabus which is not pre-set. The content of the course is negotiated with the learners at the beginning of the course and during it, and actually listed only retrospectively (Candlin, 1984; Clarke, 1991).

Points for reflection Analyse your own teaching situation and decide on type of syllabus you use with your students. Write a comment to describe it and see if there are any similarities with your colleagues.

Source: Ur, P. (2002) A Course in Language Teaching. Cambridge: CUP, pp.178-9