Now that I have finished marking for the term I'd like help with a problem
that crops up periodically -- that of student motivation particularly in a
program that is not one of first choice for most students.

I coordinate a Foundations program within the school  of General Arts &
Science -- a program for students whose language skills are far below
college level.  This last term I taught English to classes on two different
campuses, classes with the most markedly different levels of motivation
that I have ever come across.  On one campus, the students were financially
poor, had very weak skills, had to cope with incredible family problems and
generally lived with extremely high levels of stress -- but they were
wonderful.  They worked non-stop, they appreciated everything, they never
missed class and they wrote and re-wrote because they wanted to improve.
On the other campus, the students were financially better off although many
had student loans, they were very pleasant, (perhaps thought of themselves
as urban sophisticates) and their skills were marginally better, but still
very weak.  However, they wouldn't put themselves out, their attendance was
much weaker, they didn't seem to care.  As a result, many of them have

I expect this to happen with the occasionaly student, but the numbers this
time upset me.

Do you have suggestions for dealing with / helping the lazy, unmotivated


Judith Wintonyk,
ext. 5379