Motivating EFL/ESL students can be one of the biggest challenges teachers may face while designing their lesson plans. It does not matter the years of experience they have in the field, there is also a difficulty in making students feel "connected" to the class. 

Throughout the years, I have seen this problem many times and tried to design my classes incorporating technology, flashcards, videos, listening exercises and many more activities thinking that they can motivate my students. Sometimes, they have worked out but sometimes they have not which has been kind of disappointing because of the hours and hours of preparation.

Motivation is something more than presenting nice instructional materials, using the best technological resources or being super energetic teachers in front of the students … it is more focused on the students themselves and their perceptions towards learning.

In one of my learning theories classes at Virginia Tech, I met Dr. Brett Jones who shared the MUSIC® model of motivation (Jones, 2015). In his lecture, he explained its usefulness in designing any instructional event. MUSIC is an acronym that stands for:


If you want to know more about Dr. Jones and his work, you can visit his website by clicking hereYou can also buy his book on amazon here

This model caught my attention and contacted Dr. Jones who he kindly agreed on having me develop a personal/class project using his model. The final product of this learning experience is presented in this website which includes the analysis of the MUSIC model of motivation to help EFL/ESL teachers design their classes.

On the left screen menu, you will find the five teaching strategies with their corresponding descriptions. Also, you will find a compilation of documents with ideas and suggested activities retrieved from different authors that support each strategy.


Jones, B. D. (2015). Motivating students by design: Practical strategies for professors. Charleston, SC: CreateSpace.