Students never enjoy completing their homework. It is always a major struggle for teachers and tutors to motivate reluctant students to complete their homework on time. Most students leave homework for the last minute and hurriedly hand in incomplete or poor work. English teachers are often frustrated by students who consistently miss deadlines and submit work that doesn’t live up to their potential.
How can teachers motivate their students to complete their English homework?
The basic problem lies in the fact that students dislike homework because they find it tedious and unnecessary. The easiest way to combat this problem is to make homework more interesting and to ensure that students understand and appreciate the importance of completing their English homework on time.
- Students need clarity and consistency.
- Lay out your expectation clearly at the beginning of the academic year.
- Ensure that your students understand the quality and frequency of the work that is expected of them.
- Rewards and Incentives:
- Students work best when motivated by a reward system.
- Assign credits to evaluate homework. This motivates students and gives them a sense of healthy competition. It makes them take their work seriously as they know they are being evaluated. Further, this makes them aware of the consequences of submitting unsatisfactory work or missing deadlines as this will affect their grades.
- With a subject like English, there are ways to incentivize and encourage students beyond grades and credit. It is a creative subject and students take pride in their work. It could be a good idea to read out the best answers and essays in class in order to boost class morale and enthusiasm.
- Homework Schedule:
- A homework schedule is a great way to ensure that your students keep track of their assignments.
- Assign work consistently and regularly. Daily schedules with a break for the weekend works better than weekly schedules. Students tend to procrastinate with weekly homework as the workload is larger and feels more spaced out. As a result, they tend to finish weekly homework hurriedly at the last minute.
- Students respond better to homework schedules that assign small workloads at short, consistent intervals.
- Goal Oriented Assignment:
- Do not set tedious, meaningless assignments to keep students busy and out of mischief.
- The homework you assign should have a purpose, like revision, application of theories, field work, independent research, teamwork or evaluation of progress.
- Students are smart. They will recognize unnecessary assignments. However if you explain the purpose of the assignment to the students, they will not resent it quite as much. In fact, they may even come to enjoy it once they understand how their assignments benefit them. For example, a small refresher assignment on Shakespearean Tragedy will make sense if you explain that it is essential to their understanding of Marlovian Tragedy, a topic which you will be covering in their next class.
- Think outside the box:
- A great way to make English homework fun for students is to make it relevant to them.
- Assign topics that are of interest to your students.
- Give students a chance to participate in the process of choosing their own assignment topics. This helps them feel more involved in their work and makes it more enjoyable.
- You can keep things interesting by assigning innovative topics. Remember to incorporate multiple mediums in the form of paper presentations and audio visual presentations to break the monotony of regular written assignments. Feel free to mix and match with everything from Shakespeare to contemporary music and pop Innovative topics are sure to pique your students’ interest and make them want to produce such unusual assignments.
- Assign group projects or study partners. Assignments are a lot more palatable when students get to do it with their friends. Further, this encourages students to cooperate and work together in groups, qualities that will hold them in good stead in the future.
- Make homework personal. This is one of the best ways to get students involved in their English homework assignments as they will relate to such topics. Homework of this kind encourages students to share and can also give you an insight into your students that helps you understand them better.
- Follow up :
- It is not enough to just cover topics in class and complete the syllabus. In order to ensure your students enjoy and complete their homework, they need to understand it.
- Be involved and follow up with your students to ensure that their concepts are clear and they have understood what has been taught in class.
- Enlist the help of parents to help encourage their wards to be regular and productive. An assignment schedule helps parents keep track of their children’s work as they know when it is due. Personally following up with parents will also help you keep tabs on a student’s progress at home and keep you up to date on any personal developments that may affect their productivity at school.
- Students enjoy a certain amount of personal attention and they are more likely to put in an effort for teachers who they feel are invested in their progress.
At the end of the day, as teachers, you will try to motivate students to complete their homework. You will do your best to do homework and learning an enjoyable experience for your students. However, it is important that you remember that every student learns at a different pace. While you will try your best, you may not always succeed. There will still be students who will be reluctant and uninterested in their English Homework and some who will continue to submit abysmal work. Do not let this discourage you. All you can do is helping your students help themselves; you cannot do their homework for them. So do your best but understand when to take a step back and use these Top Tips to make your students love English homework and enjoy the results.