Tony Gurr

How to MOTIVATE your LEARNers…finally the “Magic Bullet” (from heaven)!

In Adult Educators, Classroom Teaching, ELT and ELL, Teacher Learning on 10/06/2013 at 10:06 am

Whatever was I thunking…yesterday?


I mean…come on…we all LOVE:


…well, at least “magic bullets“! Don’t we?


Herhalde, yani!

If I put a post out there with the title “The best kept secret…of how to MOTIVATE your LEARNers!” – of course, everyone is going to open it up. Even my daughter took a peek…

And…curse me to high heaven…for not delivering!


My daughter giggled…by the way!


Now, a lot of you probably thought I was going to start banging on about “intrinsic” or “extrinsic” motivation…or at least…come up with a “third way”

Motivation (a third way)

…I did consider it! Even “hygiene“…


A few of you might have even hoped for some insight from one of the “newer” theories of motivationyou know like

Motivation (16 Desires from Reiss)

Come on! Least it’s better that something from the 1950s…or 60s!


I get a lot of these ideas from Steven’s (wonderful) bookI really do.

BUT, I’m not so sure I want all my learners being motivated by romance or sex…let alone “vengence“! These themes would make for some very interesting lessons plans…and I’d love to see a CELTA assessor evaluate a class like that and keep one of those dead-pan faces they are so fond of!


Some of you…go on admit it…probably thunked that I would jump on the “Pink Band Wagon” and produce an image like this:

Motivation (Dan Pink)

Dan has had far too much press coverage already! 

I even have a link to his blog on mine!

I have to admit…I do love Dan’s work (go on…click on the picture or have a look at the video from RSA) – lots of common sense…common sense (in truth) that has been around for many, many years…we just ain’t heard it properly!


Actually, I did kinda “hint” at the very nature of…

The SECRET (logo 02)

…in an earlier post.


You know, the one when I told you my “3 other secrets”:

3 things from 30 years

I know, I know…perhaps, I did not spell it out as clearly as I could.


So, I guess the time has come…time to spill the beans…tell you the location of the holy grail…open the doors to the Vatican’s vault

The SECRET (logo 01)

…time to tell you the secret of all secrets!


Are you ready?

And, remember I am going against the advice of one of my heroes here… – in addition to risking the wrath of the brotherhood!


I really do feel like Acun…right now…I do!


Drum roll…

Drums (electronic)

…we are, afterall, 21st Century EDUcators…


The SECRET…the one nobody (well, very few people) tells us about is simply this


The SECRET (Really, really)


Yes, I told you that this would bake your noodle!



Motivation (doggie thunk)

…for a day or two!


Or…just use the “comment” box to swear at me…or threaten the life of my darling wife and first-born child – who is still giggling!


  1. I have known this for quite a long time, Tony. I even think we cannot teach anyone. It’s only that they learn if they choose to. Nice post by the way 🙂

  2. I missed you! I’m giggling 2. 😉

    But I’m giggling even more to the fact that we spend a lot of time trying to bribe or convince them with this or that activity. Anything to make them do it. you almost got me convinced there is nothing we can do about it. hummm!

    • Rosie,

      A woman after my own daughter’s heart 😉

      Yep – bribes ‘n bags ‘o tricks…this is what we resort to … sometimes 😉

      There has to be MORE to life…to LEARNing… – the kids know…this is why we have to LEARN more…from them 😉

      I have missed you, too 😉


  3. Ps. Forgot to mention that imho they also don’t learn from teachers they like. 😉

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