The ability to focus

Today I participated in the workshop “Creating learning: helping the students pay attention” by Chaz Pugliese. He talked about the importance of focusing in the classroom. Students need to be ready to learn in order to actually learn something. In addition, he claimed that this readiness of students must be created by the teacher. Teaching is about paying attention to people because “you don’t teach furniture, but actual people. Teachers do have to worry about the emotional state of their students.”

He presented a model to make the learners ready to learn and keep them motivated. The model consisted of three main parts, namely group affiliation, priming, and surprise  (short GPS). He stated that group affiliation was important, because the learners need a community to have a positive learning experience. The term priming describes ways of “getting students into a state of readiness”. This can be music or a special handshake as Professor Mercer showed in the morning.

Last but not least, he talked about the surprising element of teaching. “Pedagogical effective” surprises and fun would help to improve students’ performance. Especially physical activity helps learners to perform better, because the brain is provided with more oxygen. Creativity, so Pugliese, is a must in the language classroom in order to keep learners focused.

In the workshop Pugliese showed us all kinds of activities, which can help learners to focus and get them ready to perform in the language classroom. As you see in the picture, “the ability to focus is one of the biggest contributors to learning”, which he emphasised to great extent.

Pugliese also said something very important about learners’ motivation: “Motivation is not linear, you need to motivate students every time you teach them”.

His workshop was very practical and showed me new ways to motivate my future students.



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