Lisa Stewart on making boring or hard work more enjoyable or tolerable for students:
“I try to deal with this situation by bringing that topic out into the open for discussion. I remind studens that there are things they want to learn and things I feel are important for them to know, so we'll negotiate the two. I usually make the offers (so that something totally undoable doesn't come up).
"How about we do the harder, less interesting aspects of the lesson up front while you're at your most attentive, then we'll play a vocabulary game, and if time allows you can begin your homework (so that they don't have to do it at home)." Often students are satisfied; the negotiating shows them I care about what they want and they're willing to reciprocate.