Drives – a motivation activity

An activity exploring our motivations

Step 1

Read the example of Dan talking about a time when he felt very motivated

“Recently I did my first half marathon. Ten weeks before the race I found a training schedule on the internet which told me when and how far to run each week. I printed it and put it on the wall in the kitchen. It was magic! That little piece of paper made me run four times a week… and I always did it. I’ve been running for a couple of years but I was never as motivated before. Not surprisingly, since the race I usually only go running once or twice a week.”

Write about a time when you felt very motivated about something. It could be at school or at home, a hobby, a personal goal or a project of some kind.

Step 2

Think about what you have written. Try to identify important motivational factors. In Dan’s case we could point to

  • the race as a motivator. Dan has something to prepare for, an event which will measure his progess in some way.
  • Dan’s autonomy. He made the decision to print and follow a training schedule and he chose the best schedule for him.
  • Dan’s discipline. He kept to the schedule and didn’t give up.

Compare with a partner or in small groups. What common factors are there in your stories? What differences are there?

Step 3

Relate what you have talked about to your English learning. What can Dan learn from his marathon training experience that he can apply to improving his Spanish? What can you learn from your motivation stories which you can apply to learning English?


4 Responses to Drives – a motivation activity

  1. Pingback: Coaching learners of all ages | Kate's Crate

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  3. Hi Gabby,

    Your point about using L1 as the language of reflection on motivation is a very important one. Clearly, if the concepts are beyond the scope of the students’ English level, then the students’ own language must come into play. This will be especially pertinent in the case of metacognitive activities (thinking about learning), but even instructions for listening activities and so on could be in L1 if the learners and teacher think this is the best idea.
    If you do translate any of our activities, I’m sure other teachers would appreciate it, so do send it to us as a comment. That’d be great!

    Really glad to see you’re using the materials. Thanks for your feedback – look forward to hearing how it goes with your conversation class.


  4. gabby says:

    Again, an interesting activity! One thing comes to my mind though, which is the student’s level. In order to complete the questionnaire, I guess the students should be at least at a pre-intermediate level. Could the same activity be carried out in the students’ L1 if necessary? It would still be valuable and valid, since the main objective is not that the students practice the language but that they think about their learning process and how important motivation is in anything we do in our lives.
    Thank you!

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