Tony Gurr

MOTİVASYON – …when students “LEARN” their TEACHers!

In Classroom Teaching, Our Schools, Our Universities, Teacher Learning on 14/06/2013 at 2:57 pm

Motivation (Hattie quote) Ver 04


Sure, there are lots of ways we TEACHers can learn about what motivates our kids (and young adults).

One thing I have been doing a lot of recently is asking TEACHers to “adapt” their own private LEARNing to the classroom context. For example, a while back there was a brilliant bit of “informal research” that came out from:

Kaplan Study 01


…really, really accessible from that internet-thingyyou know the one all our bloody kids are addicted to!


When I show this to teams of TEACHers, I ask them to have a thunk about what this might be “saying” to us – as classroom EDUcatorsthat can’t perhaps put little Zeynep on a flight to New Zealand (…she would probably love it, BTW)!

This often “hurts” a few heads…


…Of course, I just get a tingly sensationall over…when someone says:

Motivation (Eureka)


Now, if the “climate” feels right…I might throw in another question or FOUR:

Motivation (5 FQs for TEACHers)


…or (just) continue to look at the stuff from those lovely chaps at Kaplan:

Kaplan Study 02…and they starting wishing they could put Zeynep on a plane to you-know-where!


The other stuff in this survey is more interesting. For example:

Kaplan Study 03Look at that % again…most governments would “kill” for a majority like that!


And…what about “music”?

Kaplan Study 04How many of YOU did the exact same thing?

…all my early Turkish came from İbrahim Tatlıses! OK – and bit from Sezen Aksu


If you do not much Turkish music, you have to “hit” those “red links”!


Want more?

Kaplan Study 06

This is where start to “see” the power of paragogypeeragogy, even!


Kids will work together on this stuff for hoursand hours….and hours – and then whine-themselves-to-sleep because they forgot to do the “worksheet” you asked them to complete for the pop-quiz tomorrow morning!


No…I’m not going to say that we should all start watching TV or listening to music for 5 hours a day (but maybejust maybe, come up with a way to get the kids to do that after school…with their friends – because they know they are going to “TEACH others” some of the stuff they LEARNed themselves (and eachother)!


Creativity (Angelou quote - NEW)


AND…No (again, sorry!), the secret is for us to: FIRSTask our kids stuff like this – and then, SECONDlook for ways to use some of these elements to “spice” up the “pacing document” we have to get through.


You “see” me?

See me (glasses and classroom)


You “see” the KIDS?


OK – so, how many of YOU use music / movies / TV…to do all this?

What resources do YOU use?


Could YOU help us ALL…?

Share Share Share

Yes, right now…go to the comment box and give us a few URLs! 


Even better…can you give us the URLs that your KIDS suggested to YOU?


Motivation (avatar phrase)


Sevgiyle kalın…sevgili hocalarım!

  1. Whoops…just got another translation request – totally forgot that one 😉 Actually, was shocked anyone noticed it…

    The term “hanım köylü” (in Turkish) is a difficult one…lemme try:

    “HE who dwells or lives in the “village” (or city or town or country) of HIS woman”

    LOL…now, you see why I prefer the Türkçe 😉

    Be goodbe safe,


  2. […] after reading Tony Gurr’s new post, a thought hit […]

  3. One of the points you make here ended up as a blog post. There is another one in the oven. All the external manuever will not be sufficient if the learner does not believe he can learn if he/she makes the effort for it and is lucky enough to find the guidance and support they need.

    I want to get back to Arabic. Let’s see how it goes as I study on my own and that my main motivation is to communicate with family I left in Egypt. Plus, proving to myself that I can learn a language, just like a number of people I have seen, without going to the actual country.

    For the record, my Arabic is next to nothing now. 😉 I still remember about 5 or 6 sentences.

    🙂 Rosie

  4. Yesterday my intermediate students and I were discussing music and tv series (including films and youtube videos).

    They have become great listeners and can give their opinions in a number of topics but always repeating the same sort of basic language. They seem to become good at completing coursebook, but unable to transfer that knowledge to speaking and writing. They are communicative, participative during classes and sort of do their homework.

    A dream group for most teachers. They have come a long way and they are doing well. But is it just that? Is that why they think that they will only learn to speak in English well when they go to another country?

    My daughter could sing a whole song in English without being able to understand it. Then, as her interests raised in checking out the lyrics and continue singing of course and studying, she progressed from singing without knowing what she was singing to understand some of it. But she still can’t produce it in real time speech.

    I totally agree though that those medias could be used effectively to learn English and would be more interesting and engaging especially because in my context students are audio-visual media lovers and book haters. I love working with music and videos myself, but the Ss also tend to see them as medias of entertainment and focusing on the language seems boring. Learning process starts with the student, we are just part of it. They need to have an attitude shift.

  5. Rosie,

    So true – self-believe or a belief in one’s self is sooooooooo important. But, as many students have got their views of whether they can LEARN (or not) from SCHool, maybe doing business a “different” way could help?

    You know, double-edged swords and all that 😉


  6. Kind of trick question when comes to education. All that we think of can lead to failure or false success. It is like the whole thinking has to be reinvented. The system won’t change, will it? Could it change? Does one school change will change the whole system? Will one teacher be able to change the whole school? At the end all goes to what motivates each person not just to learn but also to teaching. But even if the system can’t be changed, everyone should be able to go through self-discovering. Understanding why they do and make concious decisions. That is why Freire has impacted me so much. It took me though couple of good years reflecting on his words, the social context and all to fully understand what he meant by a political action.

    Thanks so much for your reflections. like I said, it really makes me think of it further. You know beyond the methods & approaches. If learning was just about that, we would have found the magic formula by now. 😉

    I hope in the middle of all we have been seeing lately in and out of education, you still can enjoy yourself 🙂

    Keep writing and opening the dialoguing. It has been helpful.

    • THX for the kind words, Rosie.

      I hope so…hope is such a powerful word / notion…if we did not have it, Mmmmmm 😉

      Yes, my canım Türkiyem is having a bit of a rough ride these days…we have hope there, too – and hope the silly “anti-demo demos” (organised by the Government to “make a point”) that begin in 15 minutes do not cause any more “harm”. Hope again 😉

      Take care,


  7. I have just read your comment in my blog and I totally agree with what you said.

    We need a real Educational Revolution. Which like I said above 😦 sadly it won’t be that easy to get.

    But again, you doing it right by alerting educators what the main issue is and like you said in my blog it takes a bit of more of will from he educators not to just keep up doing the same old thing because they can’t change the system. But again teachers believe that their hands are tight and even when they have the freedom they got used to it. It is hard to change bad habits.

    I know because I am striving to stop doing certain things in the classroom that I am totally aware of but don’t seem to go away. I can’t change the system, by I believe that through dialogue and practice we can change ourselves and start the change. I’ll write more in reply to your comment there. Something very interesting happened today in class. Another lesson for me to learn.

    Rosie. 🙂

  8. People,

    Take a look at this one:

    Film English is the brainchild of teacher, trainer and author Kieran Donaghy (view Kieran’s LinkedIn profile). Kieran teaches at UAB Idiomes Barcelona, part of the Univiersitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

    The site promotes the innovative and creative use of film in language learning. All of the lesson plans revolve around the use of video and film to teach English. The site promotes cineliteracy, the ability to analyse moving images, and considers cineliteracy as a 21st century skill which our students need to learn. In addition, the lessons promote critical thinking in the language classroom, and encourage learners to reflect on values while learning a language.


  9. Try this one – for MUSIC:

    MusicEnglish is a free and non-for-profit website featuring popular music videos with subtitles (captions) in English and many other languages. The subtitles are created with the help of the Amara music captioning community, to whom I’m very grateful.

    Learning the words to the songs you love is a great way to learn English, and the subtitles will help you with this. Under each video you can also find a link to the song lyrics as a text file so you can print off, or read on different devices including mobiles and tablet computers. There are also some great resources for teachers too!

    My name is Richard Gresswell and I’m an English language teacher and writer. Please support my work in creating free resources for learners and teachers of English by liking ME on Facebook, and offering me a teaching job in a warm country, near the sea.


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