What defines motivation?

-It's the state or condition of being motivated or having a strong reason to act or accomplish something.

-It's the reason for people's actions, willingness and goals.

-It's a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way.

The simplest definition of motivation boils down to wanting.


Motivation is your responsibility! You cannot expect your teachers, friends, parents or anyone else to provide you with it, because it is something that comes from within and is unique to you.

I think encourage and motivate often get confused in regards to education and teachers responsibilities. I create a motivating atmosphere by encouraging students and making participating fun, but it's up to the student to engage. If there was a motivation button on the back of a students head, I'd push it! Students can be encoruraged to see how their beliefs are able to influence their expectations, feelings, behavior and motivation but it's up to them.

Now are you lazy or unmotivated?

-Laziness is being unwilling to work or use energy.

-Unmotivated means you don't have enthusiasm or interest for what you're doing.

There is no cure for laziness!

Nobody likes being called lazy and it's one of the toughest problems English teachers deal with. Students show up, don't try and then complain that English is too hard.

Most times they're just in the wrong kind of school.

For the unmotivated:

With kids: Parents make them go to an English school or it stops being fun for them once they need to give more effort.

With adults: It's often boredom. From experience, unmotivated adults don't come to class prepared and don't self-study. Honestly, I'm bored as well! I'm bored, because superficial conversation traps us in a loop of "nothing talk."

What's your motivation?

Intrinsic motivation vs. extrinsic motivation

Intrinsic motivation comes from within, while extrinsic motivation arises from outside.

When you’re intrinsically motivated, you engage in an activity solely because you enjoy it and get personal satisfaction from it. As I wrote before, you need to remember: Just about every English school in Japan wants students to have fun and learn English. Every school is not the same and it's on you to find the right one. My school teaches conversation and social skills without the use of textbooks.

When you’re extrinsically motivated, you do something in order to gain an external reward. This can mean getting something in return, such as a raise at work, entrance into a school or passing an exam. You don't need conversation or social skills if you only want to pass a test.

How can we get motivated?

Be honest with yourself about your goal so you can pick the right English school to achieve it.