Happy New Year to you all. I know that people from all over the UK and some teachers in different parts of Europe read this blog, and you will therefore have experienced many different things during December and the early part of January already. We hope here in the north of England that the recent stormy weather and severe flooding will ease.

I mentioned in the post on 9th December, that I hope that 2016 might bring a shift in attitudes to valuing all marks that pupils achieve in language examinations if they have worked really hard and achieved their personal best. That is my personal view. I was fortunate to see several of my former students recently and it was such a joy for me to hear how well they are getting on and that those at university are doing what I suggested, namely opting as part of their degree courses to spend a year abroad and keep their current language knowledge alive and develop their fluency even more.

I was so pleased to see this article from the BBC on 30th December that I left it on the screen for sometime!


We all recognise that being motivated to do something helps!  How important is motivation in our field? I think that sometimes it is useful to compare our role with other professions. Barry Schwarz and Amy Wrzesniewski have been carrying out ‘ a longitudinal study of more than 10,000 cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point to determine the relative success of those who were motivated by intrinsic rewards versus those driven by “instrumental,” or extrinsic rewards.’  This blog post on MindShift (and others on this site) are worth a read, particularly if you and any colleagues at your school are interested in Growth Mindset. They both believe ‘that a thoughtful and attentive college professor has the power to affect how students are motivated.’

What do you think about this?

Over the coming weeks we will look at practical ways of engaging and motivating learners of all ages and helping them to be successful and ways in which the changes coming our way this year will give us opportunities. In each of the key stages there are different approaches we can explore and I will be asking some people I work with to write some guest posts with their suggestions!