Reflection on My Interactions With Student J Within the Framework of Motivational Interviewing


Current pedagogies for supporting academically struggling students mainly include tailoring learning contents to meet their differentiated needs or offering one-on-one interventions to improve their self-management. However, using counseling approach to elicit behavioral change has not been explored much. This case study analyzes my three conversations with an academically struggling student in a rural primary school English class in southwest China within the framework of Motivational Interviewing (MI). The goal is to evoke a behavioral change in the student and help him become more engaged in class. I had been teaching this student named J since Fall 2021. His initial disturbing behaviors (e.g., making noises, sprinkling ink over his desk) in class revealed that he might lack the confidence in learning English, so our interactions focused on making him realize his capacity of learning well and obtaining a sense of achievement through continuous effort. Through MI-embedded conversations, J became less disruptive and more engaged in class. He also became more accepted by his peers and perceived himself more positively. I applied MI strategies of Open-ended Questions, Affirmations, Reflective Listening and Summaries in interacting with J. After each conversation, I reflected on the stages of change that J went through, including his ambivalence and change/sustain talk. Finally, I evaluated my interaction with J centering around MI spirits: partnership, evocation, acceptance and compassion. I concluded about the three factors in cultivating a trustful partnership with an academically struggling student: acceptance, sustained attention and forward-looking approach (shift focus from past frustration to future possibilities).

Author Information
Jiayi Song, Longqiong Primary School, China

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2023
Stream: Education & Difference: Gifted Education

This paper is part of the ACE2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Song J. (2024) Reflection on My Interactions With Student J Within the Framework of Motivational Interviewing ISSN: 2186-5892 The Asian Conference on Education 2023: Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon