“Why Do I Have to Learn Spanish? I Speak English”: Catering to Multiple Intelligences in Order to Motivate Second Language Learners

Thelma Uzeta, Spanish, Providence High School

(Abstract PDF)

(Unit PDF)         


We all have heard at some point in time that learning a second language is important. It helps the learner to develop more understanding of their first language, contributes to underlying language proficiency in general, it helps the learner to built on prior knowledge and understand how to construct new knowledge from authentic experiences, it helps the learner to communicate in a wider range of cultures, and it helps the brain to increase mental acuity. All these is very good for the development of all people especially children.


Unfortunately we have also heard that learning a second language is complex and difficult, as well as that the younger you are the easier it is to learn a language. As a second language teacher I have to fight the negative view of my students on how difficult and long the whole process of acquiring a language is. These mixed views have given me the idea to compile research based best practices to motivate the students in the second language setting. In this unit is my intention to help myself as well as other second language teachers to develop lesson plans that will not only increase the production of the target language, but also will keep the learners interested, motivated , and engaged. The learners will not only participate in class, but also in the establishment of class goals and cultural topics. They will feel that they have certain control over the class and this always helps with motivation. This unit can help teachers to empower their students by using differentiate instruction.