What is motivation?
Motivation is a push or pull force that drives our behaviour. Everything we do involves some level of motivation and effort, even though we may not realise it. Everyone needs some level of motivation and effort to learn. READ more (LINKKI NURMI)

Types of motivation
Motivation to act can come from within individual (intrinsic motivation) such as interesting, challenging and joyful activities which provide internal satisfaction, or it can come from something external (extrinsic motivation) such as a reward system in classroom which is not related to the learning of the skill itself (Deci & Ryan, 1985).

Why motivation is needed in reading?
Children who read frequently and consistently, without being told or forced are likely to be intrinsically motivated to read. They read because they enjoy reading or want to discover new things through the process of reading. While this may be true, reading frequently and widely is not something that comes naturally for every child.

Some learners need motivational support from their environment in order for them to read, be it for entertainment or academics. Children who read for fear of getting into trouble if they do not read, or because they expect to get a reward or to avoid punishment or failure, operate on extrinsic motivation. Such learners do not choose to read on their own and will try to avoid reading as much as possible.

Therefore, reasons for reading are very crucial. Children’s motivation in reading contribute to students’ reading activity and to the amount of reading which, in turn, promote their reading performance. When learners are interested in reading and are energized to read (intrinsic motivation). They can gain a lot of knowledge in many different areas. Most importantly they will begin to read for comprehension and their reading levels will continue to improve the more they read.

However, if learners are only extrinsically motivated to read, their reading interests are likely to be weak and their reading competency levels increase slowly, their quality as readers is likely to diminish.

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Teacher as a facilitator for motivation to read
As a teacher, the practices you engage in to motivate learners are very important.

Teaching practices are sensitive to the development of children’s autonomy, self-efficacy, and social interaction with peers can support their interest for reading (Deci & Ryan, 2001). Use teaching techniques that motivate learners to read:

  1. Support children’s sense of autonomy in reading goals and behavior.
    – Identify what each leaner is interested in reading.
    – Provide the opportunity for learners to choose what they would like to read.
    – Provide material for each learner that is appropriate to the reading level of the learner.
    – Pay attention to the interests, strengths and weaknesses of each student.
  1. Support children’s competence beliefs with tasks and classroom work.
    – Know your student’s names and use their names as often as possible.
    – Foster their interests, reward their strengths and strengthen their weaknesses.
    – Try and establish the different levels of motivation for each student and what motivates them.
    – Identify the different reading levels of your learners.
    – Provide feedback to learners on their reading
  1. Support children’s connection with others in classroom.
    – Promote reading related activities which facilitates equal participation of all children in the classroom.
    – Create a warm and kind relation with your students – the use of smile and calm tone of voice will help.
    – Create lessons on reading that are relevant to children´s daily lives and activities that they can participate in classroom discussions.

Partnership between home and school
Parental behavior can promote their children’s language and reading skills development with shared reading, library visits and to support reading at home. Create a connection with home to support parental behavior.

Please reflect:
– What other things can teachers do to make their teaching exciting?
– What do you do as a teacher?
– As a teacher how do you motivate your learners to read?