I’ve been reading a lot about student motivation and I wrote a post last summer about extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. The focus of that post was student choice in what they talk and write about so that the motivation to use the foreign language is self-motivated (intrinsic) rather than the motivation being a grade or to please the teacher (extrinsic). The more I have searched the internet and communicated with teachers in my Personal Learning Network (PNL) the more I have found that students can take a more metacognitive approach to motivation. This will help to make motivation that is typically more extrinsic more intrinsic.
It essentially comes down to changing how students approach challenging linguistic situations. This is reminiscent of Vygotsky’s Private Speech, which is speech spoken to oneself for communication, self-guidance, and self-regulation of behavior. He argued that children use private speech when learning to navigate the word around them, including language development. If students change the words and questions they use to approach their work, the outcome will be different. A mindset that is more focused on growth and overcoming challenges will lead to higher confidence and a clearer understanding, whereas a fixed mindset causes students to limit their confidence and potential (Carol Dweck, Mindset).
Here are some examples of self-talk (private speech) that follow a fixed mindset along with a change in approach that is more focused on a growth mindset. The examples are in English, Spanish and French as they can be easily assimilated into the world language classroom. Perhaps students can write their own growth statements.
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