The six Cs of Motivation In English Language Learning: Choice

Motivation plays an important role in the success of any learning process. It improves persistence, effort and overall performance. Not all students are motivated the same way, so as educators we need to provide different ways to motivate our students. Turner and Paris’ Six C’s of Motivation (1995) attempts to address this need by identifying six characteristics of motivating contexts, namely, choice, challenge, control, collaboration, constructing meaning, and consequences.  The first C, choice, suggests that when students are given more choice in the classroom and the tasks they are engaged in, they are more motivated to learn. Specifically, when students are offered choices and allowed to select a particular type of assignment based on personal interest, their motivation to complete the task increases. With this in mind, our general English learning courses have all been designed with the explicit intention of providing a wide selection of learning materials that would be of maximum interest to today’s learners. Students can complete their online assignment at their own pace and their own time. They can review the material as often as they need and check their answers before the test section. Magazine articles allow choice of topic to match the students’ interest and level of difficulty. Additionally, students can set the degree of language support to English Only, Low- or Full Support. As we apply the Six C’s of Motivation to instructional design, it is important to remember that these strategies are extremely flexible and can be modified and adapted as needed.

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