The Mindset Shift That Unlocks Motivation Ep 739

Succeed in English Every Day

📝 Author: Hilary

📅 Published:

💬 3698 words ▪️ ⏳ Reading Time 19 min

📥 Download MP3 & PDF 13.1 Mb ▪️ 👓 Read Transcript ▪️ 🎧 Listen to Lesson

English Speaking Practice: The Mindset for Language Learning

Money Talks, But Does It Motivate? Uncover the Truth About Paying for Grades. Explore effective motivational techniques for academic success and personal growth while immersing yourself in an great English listening experience.

Definitely worth the 10 minutes:

  • ✅ Improve your motivation with practical tips.
  • ✅ Learn English by listening to interesting topics.
  • ✅ Improve speaking fluently through listening repetition.

✔ Lesson transcript:

Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.
⭐ Socrates

In today's English lesson we explore the intriguing psychology behind motivation—using the example of parenting strategies from a recent Sky News article.

Discover how understanding motivation can not only help in parenting but also enhance your language learning.

Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.
⭐ Pelé

Explore practical learning strategies on our podcast. Listen on Spotify, watch on YouTube, or visit!

More About This Lesson

A lesson exploring effective motivational techniques for both academic success and personal growth. This English listening lesson will help enhance your fluency and understanding of complex concepts.

Motivation comes from working on things we care about.
⭐ Sheryl Sandberg

Don't miss out on improving your language skills the interesting & easy way:

  1. You hear natural English speech at a moderate pace, helping you improve listening comprehension.
  2. Vocabulary, idioms, and expressions are explained, expanding your English knowledge organically.
  3. You learn useful vocabulary related to motivation, education, parenting, and dog training topics.
  4. The conversational style exposes you to English used in real-life discussions and debates.
  5. You practice focusing and sustaining attention on extended spoken English passages.
  6. Listening multiple times reinforces language learning through spaced repetition.
  7. The engaging content and personal stories make the lesson interesting and relatable.
  8. You gain insight into cultural perspectives on motivation, parenting, and education in the UK.
  9. The clear enunciation and moderate speech rate help speed up comprehension for intermediate learners.

Gain insights into the power of motivation. By understanding how to motivate yourself and others, you can significantly boost your learning effectiveness and enjoy the journey of mastering English.

The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.
⭐ Aristotle

Engaging with this lesson offers more than language learning. It provides a deeper appreciation of cultural contexts and psychological insights. From historical figures like Leonardo da Vinci to modern neuroscientific research, understanding motivation can revolutionize your approach to learning and personal growth.

Follow and subscribe for more great English listening podcasts that help you improve your English effortlessly!


  1. How can you effectively motivate children to succeed academically? The transcript explores the debate around offering monetary rewards for good grades. While some parents find this motivates their children in the short term, psychologists warn that external incentives can undermine intrinsic motivation and the joy of learning over time. A balanced approach is recommended:
    • Encourage children to find satisfaction in their own efforts and curiosity rather than relying solely on external rewards.
    • Set reasonable expectations based on each child's abilities and celebrate their individual progress.
    • Instill a love for lifelong learning by highlighting the inherent rewards of knowledge and personal growth.
  2. What role do household chores play in a child's development? Involving children in age-appropriate household tasks from an early age can teach valuable life skills and personal responsibility. The key points are:
    • Avoid suddenly imposing chores on unwilling teenagers, as they may expect payment or resist contributing.
    • Establish the expectation that all members of the household help maintain it as a shared responsibility.
    • Completing chores without payment fosters a sense of ownership and prepares children for adult life.
  3. How does the transcript approach the topic of effective dog training? The transcript draws a parallel between using treats excessively in dog training and relying too heavily on external rewards for children. The main points are:
    • Overusing treats can create a transactional relationship where the dog only behaves well in anticipation of a treat.
    • Building a strong bond through positive attention and praise is often a more effective and sustainable approach.
    • The goal should be to foster intrinsic motivation and good behavior, not just compliance for external rewards.
  4. Why is intrinsic motivation important for language learning? Learning a language like English requires significant and consistent effort. The transcript emphasizes the importance of intrinsic motivation:
    • As an adult, it's unlikely someone will offer you money or external rewards for improving your English skills.
    • You must cultivate an internal desire and find joy in the language learning process itself.
    • Intrinsic motivation is essential for sustaining the long-term commitment needed to achieve fluency.
  5. How does this English lesson engage and immerse the listener? The podcast-style format creates an immersive listening experience through various techniques:
    • The conversational style and use of personal anecdotes draw the listener in and make the content relatable.
    • Explanations of key vocabulary and concepts reinforce language learning throughout the lesson.
    • Inviting listeners to share their thoughts and experiences encourages active engagement with the material.

Motivation is the wind propelling your English ship forward. This lesson unfurls the sails, harnessing intrinsic joy through compelling narratives. Let the motivational currents carry you as you explore effective techniques for academic buoyancy and personal growth. Immerse yourself - English surrounds like the boundless sea!

Most Unusual Words:

  • Meritocracy: A system where people are rewarded for their skills, talents, and hard work.
  • Intrinsic: A basic characteristic or quality that is naturally present.
  • Incentive: Something that motivates or encourages a person to do something.
  • Erode: To gradually diminish or destroy something over time.
  • Transactional: Involving an exchange or transfer of goods, services, or funds.
  • Chore: A routine task or minor piece of work, especially housework.
  • Unwilling: Not ready or prepared to do something.
  • Fuss: To make a lot of unnecessary commotion or attention over something.
  • Lifelong: Continuing or lasting for the entirety of one's life.
  • Preferable: More desirable or acceptable than something else.

Most Frequently Used Words:


Listen To The Audio Lesson Now

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Transcript: The MINDSET SHIFT That Unlocks Motivation

Exploring motivation: how to incentivise your children (and dogs!)

Hi there. Today an interesting topic inspired by a Sky News article with the title "Should you offer your kids money for good grades?". And the article offers "Here's what psychologists think". This opens up a broader discussion about 'motivation', that's M-O-T-I-V-A-T-I-O-N. How do we motivate our children and how do we find motivation in ourselves? Are there good ways to do it and less good ways perhaps? This is a discussion initially about how to motivate children to work hard for their exams. But it's one that moves into other areas, like how to train your dog and how we motivate ourselves. This is an interesting topic and it relates to language learning. Learning a language demands significant motivation, consistent effort and a good reason for doing it. Let's discuss this juicy topic while your brain, your mind, is getting its weekly English lesson all through listening. Don't forget to listen a number of times so that your brain can learn any new words or vocabulary so it's automatic. A bonus? Keep listening right to the end to hear my opinion on teenagers doing household chores and dog training!

Hello, I’m Hilary, and you’re listening to Adept English. We will help you to speak English fluently. All you have to do is listen. So start listening now and find out how it works.

Boa sorte, com seu aprendizado, da lingua inglesa!

Please don't forget to share our podcast and send us your comments. We love to hear from you and your comments make a huge difference to the success of Adept English and how many language learners we can reach. So please comment, review, give us five stars, give us feedback, every bit of it counts. And while I'm here, a quick 'Muito obrigado' to the teacher and students from Brazil who commented on Spotify about how much they enjoy the podcast. Boa sorte, com seu aprendizado, da lingua inglesa! Hope that makes sense!

Boost Your Learning With Adept English

Can money truly motivate our children?

So it will soon be exam season in the UK and many other countries and worried parents are concerned about whether their 15 and 16 year olds have got the motivation to work hard enough for their exams and achieve good grades. And the Sky News article asked the question, "Should you offer your kids money for good grades?" In the UK GCSE exams are taken at 15 and 16 years old and they result in a grade, G-R-A-D-E. The grades are given as a number and the highest is 9 and anything down to a 4 is a pass. Below that it's a fail. The Sky News article talks about how some parents are offering their children as much as £100 for each grade 9, 8 or 7. £50 maybe for a 6 or a 5 and £20 for a grade 4 in their GCSE exams. Another example was to give £250 as a reward for a grade 9 and a scale of £50 less for each grade below that. My first thought is that this seems extremely generous and many parents wouldn't be able to afford this. It could also get very expensive. 16 year olds take up to 11 GCSE, supposing they got all 9s? But it also means that parents are paying for lower grades like 5s or 4s. Even if you think these amounts are too much it could be tempting to offer your child £50 for each grade 9 or whatever is a high grade for them. Would this work? I don't know but I can understand why some parents might take this approach.


Learn English & Boost Motivation

©️ Adept English 2024

Training for Meritocracy?

In the article the views are mixed. Some parents think that this is a good idea and that it reflects the general meritocracy in life. That word 'meritocracy' may exist in some form in your language. M-E-R-I-T-O-C-R-A-C-Y. And it means 'a way of thinking or a social or political system where people are rewarded for their skills, talents and hard work'. That's a 'meritocracy'. And I agree it's the system that operates in many countries including the UK. However I prefer the idea of your children earning money. I like the idea that on their 16th birthday in the UK children receive their National Insurance (NI) number. That means they can work and be paid. I prefer to see 16 year olds with extra money in their pockets which they've earned from a Saturday job.

That experience can be really valuable especially if it's on minimum wage. 16 year olds realise just how long it takes to save up for something that they want on minimum wage.'Minimum wage' means 'legally the smallest amount that an employer can pay'. It means kids can start to appreciate the value of money and can be a good lesson. But if you reward children with money for exam results, if you treat them for something that they should be putting effort into anyway, surely that's more of a lesson in being gifted than it is in earning and enjoying your success for its own sake?

Would earning money for good grades change your study habits?

The parents who have promised their children money for better GCSE results say that their children do seem to have improved their grades and are working harder. However I can't help feeling that this is a short-term gain and that if this is what motivates children in their GCSEs there could be a problem with subsequent exams if the same incentive isn't on offer. Exams at 16 are quite important I believe, important for a child's development. It's opportunity to learn good study habits and opportunity to work on how you motivate yourself.

Do they get motivated because they want to do well in their exams or to get mum and dad off their back or to earn the money that's been promised? GCSEs are important because it's the point at which many teenagers realise 'Who am I doing all this studying for?' 'Hmm maybe it's me! I'm the one whose life these results are most going to affect! It's down to me!'. And this is an important part of growing a more mature attitude to life. You can't expect someone else to take care of you all your life. In the nicest way it's down to you! You have to take care of yourself and you have to take care of your own motivation. You can't expect someone else to do that for you.

Does sitting exams teach us something valuable about study and work ethic?

And an interesting phenomenon with some of the students who were the COVID generation. Those are the ones who didn't get to sit exams because of pandemic lockdowns. Many of these students are now 18 to 22 years old and going through university. Some tutors on university courses report that they find themselves dealing with students who have yet to learn that simple lesson - 'It's down to you and your effort' and 'it's not the job of your university lecturer to push you through your academic studies like your teachers may once have done'. As you become adult the motivation is up to you.

That's an important life lesson but having missed the experience of sitting exams some of the students are struggling with this idea - 'It's down to you'. It's another unforeseen consequence of lockdowns. But what's called 'intrinsic motivation' is really important. That's 'intrinsic' - I-N-T-R-I-N-S-I-C. 'Intrinsic' is an adjective and it means 'there as a basic characteristic of a person or a thing. An aspect of character which is naturally there'. That's 'intrinsic'. So it's best if the want to learn is 'intrinsic'. As an adult you have to look after your own motivation. As an adult it's unlikely that someone's going to give you money for passing your English language speaking exam. You have to want to do it yourself out of 'intrinsic motivation'.

Reward for effort rather than absolute results?

A word here for all those teenagers and adults who aren't naturally academic or who find themselves disadvantaged by things that get in the way of studying. When I'm talking about 'good grades' I don't just mean grade 9s at GCSE. For some people getting a grade 4 or 5 in Maths will be a glorious achievement. The expectations need to be adjusted to the level of difficulty that a person may have. Reward for effort and motivation is important.

“Here’s what psychologists think!”

The Sky News article promises. "Here's what psychologists think". Let's do our more difficult English language practice with a quote.

Firstly Dr Kath Lowther. She's General Secretary of the Association of Educational Psychologists. Here's what she said. "External motivators like money can help children focus in the short term but eventually they kill off intrinsic motivation". She said that "All children are intrinsically interested in learning but external incentives erode the engines of motivation that cause them to find joy in learning or set and achieve their own goals".

I think that that's well put and broadly I agree with it. Other arguments put by the psychologists? Paying for good grades changes the dynamic between parent and child. Potentially they're no longer working hard because they want to achieve success for themselves. They're doing it for the money. Another psychologist commented. "What about those parents who can't even afford to buy breakfast for their children?" True. A fair comment.

Children and household chores - learning to do stuff you don’t want to do!

But for me it's a little bit like that debate over whether you pay children to do 'household chores' - 'jobs in the home' that means. My view is that you don't. Past a certain age it's reasonable to expect your children to contribute to the running of your household. To keep their rooms tidy or tidy-ish and to regularly do household chores outside of their own bedrooms. It shouldn't need payment. All human beings make mess and we need to learn to clear up after ourselves.

I find the key with children is to start early. A 10 year old can set the table, feed the cats and maybe sweep the floor. But if you suddenly spring these expectations on an unwilling teenager you'll have a battle on your hands. By then they may have learned that you're there to serve them and they may expect to be paid to contribute to household tasks and chores. I think the UK has much to learn from other countries where children are often expected to take on much more of the work in a household.

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Rewards and dog training - what we can learn!

And I had an interesting conversation this week with someone about dog training. We shared an opinion that 'dog treats are overused in dog training'. A 'dog treat' is a little snack, a reward that you give your dog for good behaviour. Bear with me, this is important! I've observed recently that in training their dogs people are encouraged to use treats very frequently. Little dog snacks as constant rewards. Now it's been a while since I had dogs.

I did have three and I can't claim that they were model dogs in their behaviour and I'm not a dog trainer! But I feel strongly that if you want to train a dog you build a relationship with the dog. You treat him well, you give him attention and you make a great big fuss of the dog when he does something well or shows behaviour that you want to encourage. This positive attention is enough reward for most dogs. It grows the relationship, the bond between owner and dog.

Surprising Ways Stress Improves Your English Fluency!

Nothing is as rewarding as the owner's attention. Whereas if you treat a dog with a little snack every time he does something well, surely you're setting up a relationship which is 'transactional', where the dog only behaves well if he thinks a treat is coming. Surely that's not the point and it's not what you want to set up in your children either. The world is mainly based on meritocracy but the rewards of having a good job, good pay, a successful career can seem very far away when you're 16 years old and you need to study for your exams.

It's much better for children to learn other motivating factors like the satisfaction of doing a task well, the reward of curiosity when you read around your subject, enjoying being knowledgeable, enjoying your own success and setting up this idea of everyone being a lifelong learner. Education shouldn't stop when school ends and exams are over. Surely this is preferable?


There's an opinion for you. Let us know what you think in all the usual places.

Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.

Thank you so much for listening. Please help me tell others about this podcast by reviewing or rating it. And, please share it on social media. You can find more listening lessons and a free English course at



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