When you teach English as a second language online, practices that Impact Reading Motivation



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Almost all agree that some amount of reading is vital to becoming a good reader. Teaching expertise does not arise without active participation in best teaching online jobs. Some educators would advocate that the best way to become a proficient reader is by reading widely and frequently. But other educators suggest that gaining proficiency may not be so simple for many students who may need more contextual support.

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Contextual support is extremely valuable for gaining reading proficiency, but we are suggesting that, while explicit instruction and appropriate texts are valuable, an often overlooked factor has been motivational support. For online ESL jobs home based, we propose that when the classroom encourages the powerful motivations for reading, students acquire proficiency steadily and predictably.

Intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation

When students read a passage or a book, they usually have a reason for doing it. Likewise, when they avoid reading a text that they may be expected to read, they usually have a reason for their resistance. The most prominent reason for recreational reading is “I enjoy it.” This reason refers to interest or intrinsic motivation, which means doing something for its own sake, and these motivations are internal to the student.

Students who consistently read for their own interest are often quite competent and are usually highly achieving readers. Students who are intrinsically motivated spend 300% more time reading than students who have low intrinsic motivation for reading. Compared to 10 other motivations, intrinsic motivation for reading was most highly associated with whether or not students read widely and frequently on their own accord.

In elementary school, when you teach English as a second language online, external motivations are usually not negatively correlated with reading competence, but in secondary school, the external reasons for reading become negatively related to achievement. By secondary school, students who read only for the reason of avoiding getting in trouble, or only to avoid feeling ashamed for failing, show low and declining achievement.

The reasons for reading, then, are crucial. Simply reading is insufficient. When internal motivations such as intrinsic motivation and interest energize students’ reading, students interact with text deeply and gain relatively high amounts of knowledge or aesthetic experience. If students’ reading interests are weak, their competency grows little and their quality as readers diminishes.

Motivation, Reading Achievement, and CORI

In this article, we present motivations that have been widely found to foster achievement.


Associated with these, we share the reasons for reading when the motivation is affirming (positive) and the reasons for avoiding reading when the motivation is undermining (negative).

Most importantly, there are classroom practices that encourage these five reasons for reading, and each practice can be implemented in the short term or the long term. We present classroom practices that impact internal reasons for reading, according to empirical studies. We draw on a variety of research, including studies of Concept-Oriented Reading Instruction.

What makes CORI and other motivational programs different from traditional reading instructions are the focus on increasing not only reading comprehension but also reading engagement for students at all reading levels. This is achieved through the explicit inclusion of motivation support in the classroom. In CORI, teachers are trained in five motivational practices, and these are embedded in the curriculum. We will also refer to other research that confirms these practices.

Intrinsic Motivation

Students who read for the sheer enjoyment of reading are intrinsically motivated. They are not reading for the external rewards sometimes offered by teachers, such as toys, food, candy, or grades. These students also choose to read during their free time both in and out of school, initiating reading without promises of either reward or punishment. Teachers can implement practices in the classroom that either support or undermine student intrinsic motivation.

Assuring Relevance Builds Intrinsic Motivation

When the reading material is made relevant for students, they are more likely to become engaged and competent readers. When teachers encourage intrinsic motivation in students in best teaching online jobs by making the reading activity in class relevant, students initiate and persist with the reading tasks.

To assure relevance, text, and activities should be linked to real-life experiences, hands-on activities, a conceptual theme, and should be culturally relevant. This is the purpose of hands-on science activities in Concept-Oriented Reading Instruction that we have examined extensively. Activating the background knowledge of students before, during and after reading helps them to make connections between their own lives, their interests, and the text. For example, having a discussion about a child’s recent trip to the city may help get students’ minds set for an upcoming text about urban architecture.

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For situations where students have little or no existing background knowledge, hands-on activities help to bring personal experience of a new concept to the class. Dissecting an owl pellet and observing the animal bones, skulls and hair found within is a good way to bring quick personal experience to a text about the survival mechanisms of the owl. These are some of the activities used in Grade 3 implementations of Concept-Oriented Reading Instruction.

As well as selecting texts that connect to students’ interests and backgrounds, teachers encourage intrinsic motivation in students by making the reading activity in class relevant for students. Relevance gives them a reason to initiate and persist with the reading task. Students are also more likely to be engaged in reading if there is an ongoing, relevant conceptual theme. Teachers who create units of study that focus on some conceptual theme based on student interest are encouraging students to enthusiastically read the expository and narrative texts over a prolonged period of time, sustaining engagement.

Non-relevance Undermines Intrinsic Motivation

When teachers do not assure the relevance of text or reading activity, students tend to avoid reading. For example, students may experience low relevance when there are multiple unrelated topics within one lesson, with few or no links to background knowledge. Teaching texts and topics that have no basis or connection to students’ background knowledge disengages students and gives them a reason not to read the text.

If they are consistently given texts and reading activities that are outside of their own experiences, with no regard to student interest or preferences, there is little reason for students to initiate reading the text and even less chance that students will become immersed in the reading. Over time, the readings will be seen as tedious chores. Disliking the texts, students will tend to avoid reading.



Students who feel ownership of their reading is more likely to become engaged in that experience. Too often, teachers create an environment in the classroom that emphasizes the teacher’s authority and ownership of the space, the materials, the curriculum, and by extension, the learning that takes place. Once students are placed at the center of the learning experience and are encouraged to think of reading as their own personal asset, they will see the value of investing their time and energy in reading.

Affording Choices Strengthens Ownership

There are opportunities throughout the school day to offer meaningful choices to students. These choices can be manifested in several ways that effectively give students a sense of ownership that becomes one of the reasons to read.

The main factors to consider when providing choice are whether the choice is meaningful, whether it is relevant to the activity, and whether the level of choice is appropriate for the student. If the choices provided by the teacher meet these criteria, the result is an increased sense of ownership that the student feels towards reading, as well as an increased self-regulation and investment in the acquisition of reading strategies. Experiments show that giving choices of what to read or how long to spend on specific texts increases students’ sense of being “in charge” and their time spent reading.

Students have individual interests and preferences when it comes to text genre, format, and topic. Even if the topic has been set by the teacher, a variety of texts can be offered that appeal to students, giving them a sense of responsibility; once they choose a particular text, there is now a responsibility to read and follow through with that choice. One research team observed teachers in a brief, 10-minute lesson on how to solve a problem. Afterward, they asked students about their motivation and their sense of being in charge of their learning.

Students were demotivated when the teacher did the following: talked constantly, gave detailed directions, asked controlling questions, gave deadlines, criticized students, and gave answers before students finished. In contrast, online ESL jobs home based, students reported feeling engaged and motivated for the tasks when teachers did these things: listened, asked what students wanted, provided a rationale for work, picked up on student questions, gave encouraging feedback, and recognized challenges.

Happy Teaching!    

Teacher Daniel 🙂

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