On Emotional Factors in English Teaching

By Craig Kelly,2014-09-11 19:32
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On Emotional Factors in English Teaching


    The success of English teaching not merely depends on the intelligent factors, such as the learners' attention, observation, memory, thinking etc, but still depends on the emotional factors, such as the learners' mood, attitude, motivation, inhibition etc. A famous educationalist H.H.Stern once said: “Emotion is at least the same important, or even more important, as cognitive skill to English learning.” J. H. Schuman even thought that one's emotion or character is the engine that is necessary for his cognitive skill to have an effect. From these words, we can see the importance of the emotional factors in language teaching. So, in English teaching, teachers should pay more attention to learning the function of emotional factors, exciting and leading the positive emotion, getting ride of the passive one, and making the students study more happily, and successfully.

1. The Role of Emotional Factors in English Teaching

     The emotion has a motive force function on people's cognition and activities. The production of emotion combines development with in-depth knowing under the prier quite of it .As the old saying goes:The more he has known, the deeply he

    loves.That is to say, the emotion has a great impact on people's cognition and activities. Positive emotion is the impulse for people's cognition, while the passive one is the resistance. So, in English teaching, only pay the students with great enthusiasm, could the teachers encourage them studying hard. Lenin once said: Nobody will seek after truth if he has no emotion. Much teaching experience


    also shows: successful experience sprouts interest, strengthens confidence, and evokes the inherent power of the learners' It improves the effect of their study greatly. On the contrary, angst, sorrow, failure emotion, setback sense and other passive emotion will make students lose confidence, feel unworthy, or even give up with hopeless.

    Good mood makes people think that all the things are beautiful, just aseverything's turning out as you wish.Good classroom atmosphere and students'

    individual mood play positive roles in the process of teaching, which determine theteaching result. There are the following several points in the function ofemotion in Englishteaching.

    1.1 Good Mood Helping to Excite the Learning Motivation

    At the explanation of psychology, motivation refers to a psychological course to cause a certain behavior, keep this behavior and lead it to some goal. There is always producing a certain motivation in the course of peoples' action, and this motivation causes excitement to peoples. Learning motivation too, like this, is a double mpulse for teachers, as well as for the students. One of an important source of the learning motivation comes from teachers' attitude towards students. In the English class that full of teachers' enthusiasm and hope, the learners will make self-esteem and more self-confident to their owns learning ability, and have passion for their study even more. Another source of it comes from interest. An ancient educationalist of our country Confucius said,“It is not so good as liking to

    knowing, like not so good as interest. Only liking it and being interested


    in it, can the students have a great enthusiasm, lasting interest and strong curiosity for knowledge. In the teaching process, if teachers learn about the students' psychological state and their characteristics, use interesting leading language and adopt skillful asking in a lively atmosphere to cause their passion, they can excite the students' strong study enthusiasm and interest, and make them produce a strong curiosity and the leaming motivation.

    1.2 Good Classroom Atmosphere Arouses Students' Corresponding


     Psychological research showsA relaxed and happy study atmosphere can

    make students study and think with a happy mood to obtain knowledge. At a world out-look form stage, Middle school students' thought has not finalized the design yet, their physiology and psychology are changing obviously. Because of their strong self-esteem and sensitivity to external reflection, their behavior is often influenced by the fact that others expected. So the teachers' praise and punishment always play different influences and functions on students. Teachers' dull intonation makes students produce a drowsy feeling; Reprimanding the students for their mistakes will dampen their enthusiasm and self-esteem; Wantoning to wave teachers' point or strike the blackboard may bring psychological uneasiness to them. But if the teachers are rich in emotion, and their attitude is affable, amiable and natural when they are giving lessons, just as having a heart-to heart talk with their friends, they can create a happy atmosphere and make the students learn happily. 1.3 Emotional Information Helps to Express and Understand Clearly in

    English Communication


     In class, teachers' using emotional expressions appropriately, such as posture expression, facial expression, movement expression and speech expression etc, can improve students' study interest effectively and enliven the classroom atmosphere, receiving an ocular teaching result. To different contents, teachers should do various movements, for instance, playing basketball, shooting, reading, writing, sitting down, setting Up, leaving,' drawing, dancing, running, and the expressions of crying, smiling, getting angry etc. Then ask students to answer: “What am I doing?” According to the actions and emotion, they will quickly get the answers

    “You are playing basketball.” “You are running.” “You are laughing.” “You are

    angry.” Because these emotional expressions and movements that can be felt and touched act on the students' eyes, ears and other organs directly, so it is easy to cause the nerves of the brain exciting, and excite the study interest.1.4 Sentimental state influences people’s memory understanding and intelligence Psychology showsIf a behavior can cause a happy sentiment, it will lead people to a tendency of imitating actively and repeatedly. While an unhappy sentiment makes people change the trend of his behavior. So teachers’ trust, kindness, their understanding and positive guide of the students’ sentiment can make the learning reach the

    teaching aim quickly.

    2. The Exciting of the Positive Emotion and the Eliminating or

    Suppressing of the Passive Emotion

     Positive emotion promotes teaching and learning harmoniously, while passive emotional factor disconnects teaching from learning, playing a hindering or


    suppressing role in English teaching. If an English teacher wants to be successful in his teaching, he must control the sentiment of the students', bring the sentimental massage, feed- back, the production of the positive sentiment and the restrain or disappearing of the passive one into the control meticulously designed.

    But, how to excite the positive emotion, and eliminate the passive emotion effectively in English teaching? The methods and ways are listed bellow: 2.1 The Training and Remaining of the Study Interest

     Interest refers to a positive attitude and a special inclination to a certain thing. And study interest is a kind of inclination of striving for realizing or reaching the study activities or learning objects. It takes shapes and develops in the practice of study.

     A Russian educationalist thought that the starting point to promote students' development is exciting their interest of learning, training the hope of study from their heart meticulously, and keeping their self-esteem and self-confidence which sprouted out from this. Einstein has even said: "Interest is the best teacher." The interest's cultivation and excitement make students have a high mood, energetic spirit and vigorous study enthusiasm. Students' study interest not only can be turned into learning motivation, but also can promote the development of intelligence, achieving the goal of improving the learning result. So, teachers should observe, lead and excite their interest constantly, creating a good environment and atmosphere to make respects:

    2.1.1 Purpose Education


    Lead students to learn about the purpose of English study to excite their learning motivation and train their study interest.

     The motivation is an inherent cause that encourages people taking action to achieve ones purpose. Strong learning motivation makes people take a positive aggressive attitude to the education aim. In middle school, a lot of students are afraid of studying English. They detest it and just deal with it passively. So it is the teachers responsibility to motivate their students. They should enlighten students to radiate the vigor of youth, light the flame of intelligence with their optimistic and broad mind, and lead their study psychology to be normal and full of desire for knowledge. It must be considered from several following respects to accomplish this.

    Theoretical Education Learn about the purpose of English learning

    through theoretical education. Middle school students are young and less experienced, and they often indeterminate to the purpose of English study, only regarding it as a subject that must be tested in the examination for entering school.So, when students contact English for the first time, teachers should do essential introduction to them on the purpose, contents, characteritics and the learning methods of the subject. While teaching new students, teachers should show to them that English is very important in our lives and the socialist modernization Especially, teachers must point out its important position as one of carries of transmitting imformation in the international association at the information stage, and encourage them learning English hard to contribute for the


    society. Through the purpose education, let students realize the importance and necessity of English study, becoming taking me to learn to I am eager for study !

     Practical Education Train the study emotion through practical education. If teachers want their students to become interested in English, besides promoting the importance of English study, they must create good condition and environment actively to make them read more multi purpose English and use it as much as possible. Through expanding reading, cause them to be crave for English; through using it, make them taste the enjoyment of English study. For this, teachers should lead student correctly to read some simple and easy English books and newspapers after class, and see some English countries' famous films to learn about their local condition and customs. Teachers also can organize all kinds of activities for students, such as English recitation, various English competitions, singing English songs etc, to train their study emotion in practice.

    2.1.2 Emotional Teaching

     Keep a good relationship between teachers and students to improve students' study ambience, enliven the classroom atmosphere and keep their interest of study.

     Teaching must be carried in the course of happy and cheerful emotional communication. During the course, teachers should create a harmonious and sympathetic class atmosphere, and excite the students' emotion according to its characteristics and rules. The key to create a relaxed and happy atmosphere depends on the teachers' emotion. "Teaching is valued for the deep feeling." The harmonious relationship between teachers and students, just like a bridge or a


    lubricant for teachers to teach knowledge, is the quality assurance of the foreign language teaching, Positive emotional communication can impel the atmosphere of the classroom to be harmonious, playing a role in exciting students .If a student likes a teacher, he will trust him and like what he say, then like the subject. But then how to establish a harmonious relationship and create a good study atmosphere?

     Firstly, teachers are required to have a good mood and be cultivated. Teachers should be knowledgeable, and always set a good example to students. If they want to create a good atmosphere, besides making meticulous preparation before class, teachers should infect students with high spirit and good mood in classroom. They should have a good impression on students in such aspects as dress, expression, poise, presence, giving them a grave, generous and active sense, then lead them into the lesson with a relaxed, lively greeting.

     Secondly, Care about students and pay more attention to the input of the emotion. A famous educationist XiaZunxi said: "What is the water above the education? It is the teachers' love for the students. If a teacher loses the love, it will have no pool, and can not escape from inanition." Love is not only the foundation to improve the teaching result for teachers, but also the power to study English well for students. So, if a teacher wants to be successful in the teaching field, except for a persistent love for education and the subject he teaches, he must pay more attention to the input of emotion, and exchange feeling with students with their sincere love. They must care about each student and help them unconditionally, respect their self-esteem to make students produce cordial sense and trust sense,


    and arouse love to their teachers with this, then extend the love as a good a pinion to the disciplines they studied, at last cultivate interest in the discipline from this kind of opinion.

     Moreover, Communicate in a democracy and equal atmosphere. In the course of teaching, teachers should rely mainly on students, and do not appear in the classroom as an authority or a supervisor and unlock their thinking, but make study achieve resonating with teaching in a kind of free, democratic and loose situation. "Liberate students' brain, let them think; liberate both of their hands, let them do; liberate their eyes, let them look; liberate their mouth, let them say; liberate their time and space, let them develop themselves freely, doing what they themselves

     [1] Llike to do?"et them participate in the whole course of learning under the most relaxed, best psychological condition with abandon, thus to keep their strong study interest..

    2.1.3 Situation Teaching

     For this point, teachers are required to change teaching forms and make the class content abundant, so as to keep students studying in a special situation to strengthen their study interest.

     The students' interest is not innate. It takes shape gradually under the teachers' cultivation. The main contact place where teachers and students communicate with each other is classroom, so doing class activities is the main way to cause students' study interest, and enliven the atmosphere of the classroom. While participating in varies activities, students can strengthen their, impression on the knowledge that


    they have studied, and get interest to study. Our requisition for class is "three main

    [2] facts", namely taking teacher as the leading factor, relying mainly on students, regarding training as the main thread. This requires teachers to design various forms of class activities, according to their active characteristics and the rules of the development of their thinking, to improve students' participation rate and strengthen their study interest. The main contents and forms are listed below:

     Discussion Organize a discussion on the content that the students have studied. This can not only train students' abilities to use English, but also make them use their mind fully to state their own views boldly with their creative thinking .For example, after finishing the text "Necklace", give students a discussion question to discuss about the woman protagonist Mathild in the article. Some students criticize the woman's petty bourgeoisie's vanity, while some others express sympathy to her miserable experience. In this way, the students not only consolidate the content of the article, but also use the knowledge that they studied further to express their own view, bringing along their study interest.

     Performance Make the content of the text into a short drama, then let students carry on performance in class, finally let the classmates choose the best performer or performers. This way can make students grasp the language knowledge in the textbook, improving their study interest. For example, after finishing the text "The Emperor's New Clothes", teachers divided the students into groups, then ask them to performance this play in class, and let others choose the best group. Thus, the atmosphere of the whole class will be active, and teachers can


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