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Vandria Sehnem

Fall 2014
ESC 529
Even simple changes to contexts and texts may engender the motivation necessary to push
so-called struggling readers into effortful processing and employment of strategies
necessary to read and write print and other text forms across the wide variety of academic
domains of the secondary school. (Moje, 2006, p. 13)
Thus, even as researchers seek ways to reshape the contexts and make texts more
approachable, we must also develop interventions in secondary school teaching practices
that can support teachers in scaffolding adolescent students reading of demanding texts of
the content areas. (Moje, 2006, p. 13)

Motivation in the classroom

When it comes to motivation in the classroom, I would say that it is one of the most important
topics to be considered by the teachers. In my opinion, there are many essential factors for the
success or failure in the learning process, and I believe that motivation and demotivation are on
the top of this list. Considering my own experience as a student and second language learner, I
see that the most influential agents for me to be motivated and seek for success were my teachers
and my parents.
First of all I would like to define motivation. As Moje (2006) describes [] one take on
motivation is that it is framed by self-concepts, values, interests, and expectations for success
that people attach to particular activities in particular contexts (Eccles et al., 1983). (p. 11)
Based on this definition it is possible to see how essential this topic is, and how teachers and

parents can motivate or demotivate learners, since motivation dictates ones beliefs on their
capability of successfully developing a certain activity.
I do not have much experience as a teacher, but as a student I have encountered many
different instructors, and I would consider them as the main agents for my motivation and
demotivation throughout my learning process. I have had great teachers who were able to make
the classes very interesting, even if the topic of studies was not the most interesting one. They
were always ready to help, and to point out any improvement that I had made, which always
worked as an incentive for me to try even harder. I recall my EFL classes, and how great it was
to be complimented for any achievement, even if it came along with recommendations for
improvement. I find that it is extremely important to let the students know their potential, and to
recognize their effort to learn.
The second most important agents to me were my parents. Despite the fact that they were
never really involved and interested in my studies, they played an important role as motivators,
by appreciating my dedication, and by trusting that I was always doing my best. Even if I got a
bad grade, they never judged me badly, but were always optimistic about it, saying that I still
could do it, and get better at it. I recall many difficult moments when I would go home and cry to
my mom saying that I was scared that I would not be able to learn a given subject, and she would
always say that she knew I could do it. My parents only have basic education (1 st to 4th grade in
Brazil) and they have always prioritized work over education.
As discussed in the classroom, teachers and parents are important agents in the literacy
acquisition process. Parents can influence the early stages of literacy acquisition by exposing the
child to the language and helping them by reading and motivating the child to learn. On the other
hand, if parents do not have great participation or interest in the childs literacy acquisition, the

teachers might be the most influential motivators. Therefore, it is important that teachers are
prepared to deal with different students and that they consider their students background in order
to know what the best attitude is, in order to help their students.
Parents and teachers can also demotivate students if they are not attentive to the
childs/students needs, and learning styles. It is not simple work, but teachers should be able to
make literacy interesting, and show its value, so that students are motivated to learn.

Moje, E. B. (2006). Motivating texts, motivating contexts, motivating adolescents: An
examination of the role of motivation in adolescent literacy practices and
development. 10-14. Retrieved October 11, 2014, from