Unlocking Learner Motivation In The Age Of The Digital Native

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Teaching EFL to teens requires very specific approaches based on their brain development and emerging identity. We look at some basic guidelines to enhance motivation, retention and learning of EFL by …

Teaching EFL to teens requires very specific approaches based on their brain development and emerging identity. We look at some basic guidelines to enhance motivation, retention and learning of EFL by teens and young adults.

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  • 1. Unlocking
Learner
Mo/va/on

 In
The
Age
Of
The

 Digital
Na/ve
 Paul
Maglione
 













Co‐founder,

  • 2. The
internet
 is
now
 20
years
old

  • 3. We
live
in
a
9me
of
astounding
change.

 Who
could
have
imagined
20
years
ago
that
today…

  • 4. “A
subordina,ng
conjunc,on
always
comes
at
 the
beginning
of
a
subordinate
clause.
It
 "introduces"
a
subordinate
clause.
However,
a
 subordinate
clause
can
some,mes
come
a>er
 and
some,mes
before
a
main
clause….”

  • 5. 1910
 2010

  • 6. 
It’s
high
9me
we
put
these
four
things
 together
and
came
up
with
a
more
effec9ve
 way
of
mo9va9ng
learning
and
teaching
 English
to
teens
and
young
adults.


  • 7. Who
Are
Teens?
   What’s
going
on
with
their
lives?

 -  hormones
/
sexual
development
 -  independence
/
autonomy
 -  ques9oning
of
authority
/
rebellion
 -  social
hyperac9vity
/
peer
pressure
   What’s
going
on
with
their
future?

 -  pressure
over
educa9on,
career
 prospects,
type
of
friends,
values
   What
are
their
cultural
references?
   What
is
their
rela9onship
with
 educa9on?

   English:
how
do
they
see
it
as
 relevant
to
them?

  • 8. What
else
do
we
know
about
teens?
 
Their
brains
 are
in
a
very
 specific




 state
of
 development.

  • 9. THIS
IS
SO
LAME!!!
 Can’t wait to check out who tagged me on As if! I’m sitting next to the biggest geek in the class. I’d rather die. BORING


BORING

BORING

BORING

BORING

BORING

 !!!
 boring
 boring
 boring
 boring
 boring
 What-ever…… boring
 boring
 boring
 boring
 Blah
 Blah
 Blah
 I definitely like Matt; he’s so cute. I hope he likes me too…
  • 10. But
seriously,
folks….

  • 11. The
Teen
Brain:
UNDER
CONSTRUCTION
 A
framework,
not
an
empty
structure
wai/ng
to
be
filled

  • 12. Teen
Brain
 Development

 Phenomenon
#1
 last
 Prefrontal
 Cortex
 • Reasoning
 • Organizing,
 priori/zing
 informa/on
 Limbic
 1st
 System
 • Control
of
 Impulses
 • Physical



 Coordina/on
 Not
fully
mature
 un.l
age
25!
 • Emo/on
 • Mo/va/on

  • 13. Teen
Brain
 Development

 Phenomenon
#2
 Maturing
of
brain
as
 Grey
MaQer
is
lost

 Adolescent
Pruning
Of
Brain
Cells
 The
brain
selec9vely
strengthens
or
 prunes
neurons
based
on
ac9vity.

 Synapses
con9nually
used
will
flourish;
 those
that
are
not
used
will
wither
away.



  • 14. Teen
Brain
 Development

 Mylena/on
(increase
in
White
MaXer)
 Phenomenon
#3
 Speeds
the

 brain’s
 informa9on‐ processing
 capacity
 equivalent
to

 3,000
X
 increase
in
 computer
 bandwidth

  • 15. EFL
teaching
implica/ons

  • 16. Phased
development
of
 cogni/ve
func/ons:

 EFL
teaching
implica/ons
 
Use
teen
craving
for
 NOVELTY
and
 EXCITEMENT
to
get
their
 ATTENTION.
 
 
 
 
 +
 
video,
music,
movement,
 news,
games,
anecdotes
 ‐
 
worksheets,
lectures,
 objec9ve
texts

  • 17. Phased
development
of
 cogni/ve
func/ons:

 EFL
teaching
implica/ons
 
Break
large,
long‐term
 assignments
down
into
 short‐term
objec9ves
 
Remind
them
of
 concepts,
objec9ves
and
 deadlines
frequently.

  • 18. Phased
development
of
 cogni/ve
func/ons:

 EFL
teaching
implica/ons
 
Use
short
formats.
 
Teens
can
only
focus
 on
someone
talking
 for
15
minutes
at
a
 9me

they
need
a
 change
in
state
of
 mind
every
20
 minutes.

  • 19. Phased
development
of
 cogni/ve
func/ons:

 EFL
teaching
implica/ons
 For
young
 (13
–
16)

 teens,
don’t
 make
topics
 too
abstract

  • 20. Phased
development
of
 cogni/ve
func/ons:

 EFL
teaching
implica/ons
 The
teenage

 brain
quickly
 discovers
a

 need
to

 CONNECT.
 INTEGRATE
THIS
 into
Communica/ve
 Task
Work

  • 21. Pruning
of
neurons

 maintaining
only
most‐ used
connec/ons:

 EFL
Teaching
Implica/ons
 Aim
for

 relevance
 and
 usefulness
 to
their

 lives

  • 22. Pruning
of
neurons

 maintaining
only
most‐ used
connec/ons:

 EFL
Teaching
Implica/ons
 
Repe99on
with
varia9on.
Get
them
to
not
just
 read
a
vocabulary
item,
but
also…
 use
it
in
a
story
 use
it
in
a
sentence
 play
a
game
 based
on
it

 see
a
photo
of
it
 unjumble
it
 hear
it
in
a
song
 hear
it
spoken
by
a
f amous
actor

  • 23. Vastly
increased
 processing
bandwidth:

 EFL
Teaching
Implica/ons
 Exposure

input

intake


  • 24. Vastly
increased
 processing
bandwidth:

 EFL
Teaching
Implica/ons
 
Provide
data
capable
 of
being
processed
 into
knowledge
while
 avoiding
boredom
 filter
(lexical
/
 communica.ve
rather
 than
gramma.cal
 approach)

  • 25. Vastly
increased
 processing
bandwidth:

 EFL
Teaching
Implica/ons
 
Provide
ANALYTICAL
 CHALLENGES
that
 s9mulate
higher‐ order
thinking:
ask

 

How

 



What

 



Why

  • 26. Don’t
forget:
male
and
female
 adolescents
mature
at
different
rates
 Grey
cell
 Grey
cell
pruning
 pruning
 starts
at
age
14
–
16

 starts
at
age
 10
–
12

 Boys
and
girls
may
 be
ready
to
absorb
 challenging
material
 at
different
stages.

  • 27. …also
don’t
forget:
the
average
teen
is
 SLEEP DEPRIVED Physiologically,
 teens
require
 Sleep
 9.25
hours
of
 depriva9on
 sleep.

 makes
it
more
 Most
teens
 difficult
for
most
 report
sleeping

 students
to
 5
hours
or
less
 learn,
remember
 per
24‐hour
 and
think
 period.

 crea/vely.


  • 28. WHAT
ABOUT
EFL
PEDAGOGY?

 What
have
we
learned
these
past
20
years?

  • 29. NEW
EFL
 Approaches
 MOST
of
these
match
up
with
recommended
Brain
Learning
 techniques
for
engaging
teens
and
young
adults

  • 30. What
else
do
we
know
about
teens?
 


One
of
the
things
they
really
enjoy,
even
 seem
addicted
to,
is
VIDEOGAMES.
Why?

  • 31. What
can
we
learn
(and
adopt)
from
 Video
Games?
 •  Failure
is
part
of
the
game
 •  Try
and
try
again
without
s9gma

 •  Repe99on
breeds
competence
 •  Posi9ve
reinforcement
all
the
,me
 •  Posi9ve
vs.
nega9ve
stress
 •  Level
design:
progress
to
next
level
is
 always
a
challenge,
but
achievable
 •  Progress
=
status
enhancement
 •  Social
(mul9player
gaming;
leader
boards;
 in‐game
chat;
challenge‐a‐friend)

  • 32. Where
it
all
comes
together
for
teens:
 MOTIVATION
  • 33. Understanding
Learner
Mo9va9on
 •  The
“neglected
heart”
of
our
understanding
of
 how
to
design
instruc9on.

 •  Par9cularly
an
issue
for
teens,
due
to:

 ZZZZZZZ

  • 34. Learner
Mo9va9on
For
Teens
 
Exploit
learners’
natural
curiosity
to
explore
the
 world,
which
is
at
its
most
powerful
during
 teenage
and
young
adult
years
 


  • 35. Learner
Mo9va9on
For
Teens
 
Make
the
 input
material
 relevant
to
 them.

 
Do
they
 believe
that
 what
they
are
 learning
will
 be
useful
to
 them
soon?


  • 36. Learner
Mo9va9on
 for
Teens
 
“The
simplest
 way
to
ensure
 that
people
 value
what
 they
are
doing
 is
to
maximise
 their
free
 choice
and
 autonomy”
 

 
 
 
 







 ‐
Good
&
Brophy,
2004

  • 37. Learner
Mo9va9on
for
Teens
 
Three
strategies*
to
encourage
posi9ve
 self‐evalua9on:
 Promote
/
Reward
 Increase
 Provide
 Mo9va9on

 Effort

 Mo/va/onal
 via

 rather
than

 Rewards,

 Feedback
 Ability
 not
Grades
 *Dornyei,
2001

  • 38. 
A
word
about

 technology…

  • 39. Class
Time
Is
Precious
Time:

 Technology
Can
Op/mize
It
 •  Exposure
/
input
and
repe99on:

 outside
the
classroom
as
much
 as
possible.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 •  Use
precious
class
9me
for:
 •  discussion
 •  interac/on
 •  group
work
 •  tasks
requiring
teacher
 supervision
 •  face‐to‐face
intelligent
error
 correc/on

  • 40. English
AQack!
‐
English
2.0
 Bringing
all
these
ideas
together:
ENGLISH
ATTACK!
 Video‐based
learning
units
 Thema/c
visual
dic/onary
wikis
 Prac/ce
&
 drill
games
 Social
Networking

  • 41. The
Web
allows
learners
to
go
beyond
 learning:
to
create

  • 42. Some
Ed‐Tech
Gurus
 #efl

#esl

#elt

#edtech

#iatefl

#tesol


  • 43. A
final
point
about
teens
and
language

  • 44. 
Language
is
part
of
one’s
iden/ty
and
is
used
to
 convey
this
iden9ty
to
others.


  • 45. 
Teens’
iden9ty
is
in
 full‐swing
evolu9on,
 so
both
L1
 sophis9ca9on
and
L2
 learning
have
a
 significant
impact
on
 the
social
being
of
 the
learner.
 *Thanasoulas,
2007

  • 46. 
If
we
can
integrate
 English
into
teens’
 idea
of
self,
we
 turbo‐charge
their
 learning,
reten9on,
 and
enjoyment
of
the
 process.

 *Thanasoulas,
2007

  • 47. Unlocking
Learner
Mo/va/on

 In
The
Age
Of
The
Digital
Na/ve
 TwiXer:
 
 
@paulmaglione
 
 
 
 
@englishaXack
 Web:
 
 
 
www.english‐aXack.com
 Blog: 
 
 
hXp://blog.english‐aXack.com
 E‐mail:
 
 
paul.maglione@english‐aXack.com
 LinkedIn: 
 
Paul
Maglione
 Ob r i g ado !