Teachers' Blog

Students’ motivation

Motivation is the force that leads to Objective!


Students’ motivation

Students’ motivation is one of the most important factors that a teacher must know and apply.

I am going to write a few articles on the subject of the reasons of motivation, to share my ideas and methodologies; I have developed these ideas starting both with my personal experience and with reading articles on the subject. I’d love to get feedback and suggestions based on your experience.

What I am going to review is applicable in any training environment: in the classroom, in small groups, individual lessons or in a distance learning because these ideas focus on person sphere in general and not on teaching methodology.



Internal and External Motivation

Let’s start with very important distinction: “internal motivation” contrapposta alla “external motivation”.

  • The “internal motivation” is a internal phenomenon of the person, that is born from the interest and determination that the person cultivates naturally compared to what interests him. This motivation is the strongest and it is crucial to know how to recognize it and support it.
  • The “external motivation” is the set of external personal stimuli, which aims to create an interest and trigger the action. There are the techniques to inspire people and bring them to mobilize the energies, which otherwise would devote to other things. The ultimate goal, which is the most important result of external stimuli, is therefore to engage and develop the birth of internal motivation.


Alice and Carlo

To provide a context of reference and get a better view of the mechanisms of motivation, we will see an example of Alice and Carlo, two imaginary characters:

  • Alice has decided to start studying the Italian language because she wants to pursue her dream: to travel alone in Italy and participate in a cooking course, to meet a great italian chef and make new friends. You should know it is very important to know the Italian language for traveling in Italy! 🙂
  • Carlo must start studying the English language because the company needs to enter the international market to find new customers. Carlo is not very happy about the idea of studying, he would rather use this time to devote to football, but he can’t do it.


Let’s talk about Alice

The Motivation felt by Alice about the study is strongly endogenous. She has a personal interest: she wants to travel, wants to access information in the Italian language, wants to meet new people. Nothing will stop her, right?

Well, no, that’s wrong!

Alice has a huge internal motivation, but ,being teachers, we know that the language study is a long process and requires patience; often the slowness of progress leads students to be frustrated and unhappy.



Professional Tip: Alice’s motivation, in the course of her training should be monitored and cared for constantly! This is very important, as we can let her feel comfortable about the course, let her achieve her goal and be proud of our teacher’s work!

Remember Icarus who was going to reach the highest goal and then failed, and risked plunging the most crushing disappointment. Our task is to help our Icarus, without losing heart and to continue to set high aims.


Let’s talk about Carlo

We must be honest and acknowledge the evidence: Carlo does not want to study, but is forced to do it, so he begins with a very low desire.


In Carlo’s head there are thoughts such as:

  • “I do not want to ‘waste time’ studying”
  • “I tried that at school, but I have never learnt anything”
  • “I lose too much time even studying it at home”
  • “The English are obnoxious because I don’t understand their way of speaking and it makes me feel stupid”
  • “I don’t like English”

We faced with an example where there isn’t an internal motivation but only an external professional goal.

Obviously Carlo will begin to study the English language, but you already know that he has no desire to do it, that he will make a big effort and that he will be concentrated much more on his failure than on his progress.


Professional Tip: In cases like this, the teacher must address the issue of motivation right from the start and with the utmost dedication. It is crucial for Carlo and teacher’s success to create internal positive energies, instead of pleasant and stimulating lessons.

Starting with the right way helps you to prepare the rest of the journey: be prepared to sacrifice a few minutes of grammar in favor of stimulation of your students. If you manage to turn their interest on, it will be them, who will autonomously study even what you didn’t explain during the lesson.



Well, what are the tools available for the teacher? I’m going to tell you one by one in my next articles.

If you are interested in exploring the themes of motivation or if you want to start your adventure as a teacher, please contact me! I am available to teach you the fundamentals of which I speak in my articles and tell you about resourcefulness, entrepreneurship, student management.


In the next articles we will talk about

  • Active listening
  • Perception of progress
  • “I will lose time even if I study at home”
  • Positivity
  • ..and others!

7 thoughts on “Students’ motivation

  1. Having spent
    My career in alternative education and Adult Ed, I agree with you basic definition of internal motivation. I look forward to future articles.

  2. An interesting article, thanks. When we know the student is not very motivated, I think we should focus more on how to help him/her be interested in what s/he is studying. We need to “search” for information to help them learn.

  3. I was excited to find this site. I wanted tto thank you for
    ones time just for this fantastic read!! I definitely enjoyed every bbit of it
    and i also have you bookmarked to look at new stuff in your site.

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