Motivating Adult students through anecdotes

by | 04.16.2014
 Adult  learners  are  too challenging  but  when  you  achieve  to ” win their hearts”,  they  are  too  supportive  of  each other,  they  share  experiences,  and  what  is  more  important  they  learn  English.  But how do I win their hearts? How do I show them what I expect them to learn? What was that that would motivate my students to take part in discussions, to use English? According to Wlodkwoski “teacher’s experiences are very important to the students”. They want to know more about their teachers, their private life, their experiences, and their different stories.

For these reasons I use anecdotes. Anecdotes are short stories that could work as ice-breakers, or as a way to give them an important message. In my classes I have used anecdotes as a way to motivate, communicate and enhance cooperation in the learning process.
In  every  class  that  I  teach  I  try  to  use  anecdotes  to  attract  their  attention.   I  always  relate  the  anecdotes  with  the  topic  that  will  follow.  I  use  them  as  ice-breakers   and  also  as  a  motivational  tool  for  the  class.

Why  do  we  use  anecdotes ?

First,  anecdotes  enhance  classroom  interaction  and  personalize the  language  tasks. 
Second,  through  anecdotes  we  can  enhance  cooperation.
 “Fragmented  groups,  characterized   by  uncooperative  cliques,  can easily  become  ineffective,  thus  diminishing  the  individual   member’s  commitment  to  learn”  (Ehrman  &  Dorney 1998).  to  share  their  stories.
Third,  students  come  to  the  EFL  classes  to  learn  English.  What  is  our  job?  To  impart  this   knowledge  through  the  most  effective  means.  Students  learn  best  when  they  enjoy  their   classes.  So,  by  using  anecdotes  we  turn  the  English  classes  into  ones  of  enjoyment  and   participation
So  it  is  best  advised  that  the   students  spend  time  together  and  share  group  history,  learn  about  each  other.  An  effective   instructor  should  make  use  of  the  anecdotes  in  very  class.  He  should  ask  all  of  them  to participate  and  cooperate  with  their  classmates, 

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