FOUR FACTORS WHICH AFFECT LEARNING

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As English as a Foreign Language teachers, our main aim is to help our students in learning how to communicate in English. Consequently, we do our best to keep up to date with research and factors which affect learning to implement the most effective teaching methods. We do what we can in the classroom to ensure we create effective learning environments. We strive to help our students as best we can to be the best learners they can be.

Four research proven factors which affect learning:

Teacher motivation

It might seem a bit flimsy but teacher motivation is more powerful than you think. Behavioural science has shown that people are able to subconsciously pick up clues as to how someone is feeling towards something. In other words, your students will pick up if you are not enthusiastic about the lesson or teaching in general. This can be because you are not confident of what you are teaching, you don’t enjoy the class or you are not enjoying teaching.

How can you help?

  • Make sure you are prepared for your lessons
  • If you are having a bad day, make sure it’s not obvious to your students
  • Make sure you have a healthy work-life balance

Individual talent

We all have different talents and learning is no exception. Just as some people are good at sport, others are good at memorising historical facts. In the same way, some people are naturally better at languages than others. Research into learner abilities has shown that there are different ways people learn – different learning styles. The lesson needs to mesh with a particular learning style in order for a particular student to benefit from it.

How can you help?

  • Incorporate different learning styles in your lessons
  • Help your learners identify their particular learning style
  • Cater for your faster and slower learners

The classroom environment

It’s no secret that student motivation is a vital part of learning success. The classroom environment has been shown to play a big part in this. The optimal learning environment is one in which your students feel comfortable enough to participate, take risks and make mistakes. Plus they should feel challenged but not overwhelmed.

How can you help?

  • Make sure your classroom is a welcoming environment
  • Build up a good rapport with your students
  • Maintain an appropriate level of stress in the classroom
  • Be transparent about assessment

Background knowledge

Information in the brain is stored in sets. It has been likened to folders. In other words, knowledge is stored not in isolation but together with other related information. This is why learning new information is difficult while learning information which relates to something we already know is easier.

How can we help?

  • Relate new language to previously learnt work
  • Include regular revision sessions to consolidate knowledge

 

These four factors which affect learning  have been proven by research. When taken together this information can help you become a better teacher for your students.

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