A Cross sectional Study of Contextual Causes of Demotivation among Algerian University Students of English


Master's Thesis, 2016

117 Pages


Excerpt

Table of Contents

Dedication

Acknowledgements

Abstract

List of Abbreviations

List of Figures

List of Tables

Table of Contents

General Introduction
1. Statement of the Problem
2. Aims of the Study
3. Hypothesis
4. Research Methodology
5. Structure of the Study

Chapter One: The Study of Motivation in Second Language Learning
Introduction
1.1. A Historical Overview on the Study of Motivation in Second Language Acquisition
1.1.1. Definition of Motivation
1.1.2. The Major Phases in the Study of Motivation in Second Language Acquisition
1.1.2.1. The Social Psychological Period (1959-1990)
1.1.2.2. The Cognitive-Situated Period (during the 1990s)
1.1.2.3. The Process-Oriented Period (in the Turn of the Century)
1.2. Theories of Motivation in Second Language Learning
1.2.1. The Behaviourist Theory
1.2.2. The Cognitive Theories
1.2.2.1. Expectancy-Value Models of Motivation
1.2.2.2. Attribution Theory
1.2.2.3. Self-Efficacy Theory
1.2.2.4. Goal Theory
1.2.2.5. Self- Determination Theory (SDT)
1.2.3. The Humanistic Theory
1.2.3.1. Maslow’s Theory of Growth Motivation
1.3. Integrative and Instrumental Motivation
1.3.1. Integrative Motivation
1.3.2. Instrumental Motivation
Conclusion

Chapter Two: Demotivation in Second Language Acquisition
Introduction
2.1. Definition of Demotivation
2.2. Studies of Demotivation
2.2.1. Chamber’s (1993) Investigation
2.2.2. Oxford’s (1998) Investigation
2.2.3. Ushioda’s (1996) Investigation
2.2.4. Dornyei’s (1998) Investigation
2.2.5. Muhonen’s (2004) Investigation
2.2.6. Sakai and Kikuchi’s (2009) Investigation
2.2.7. Hirvonen’s (2010) Investigation
Conclusion

Chapter Three: Practical Framework
Introduction
3.1 The Sample
3.2. Means of Research
3.3. The Students’ Questionnaire
3.4. Data Analysis and Discussion
3.4.1. Analysis of Students’ Questionnaire
3.4.1.1. Section One: Background Information
3.4.1.2. Section Two: The Students
3.4.1.3. Section Three: The Teacher
3.4.1.4. Section Four: Materials and Teaching Programs
3.4.1.5. SectionFive: The Course
3.4.1.6. Section Six: The Classroom
3.4.1.7. Section Seven: The Administration
3.4.1.8. Further Suggestions
3.4.2. Discussion of the Results
3.4.3. Limitations of the Study
3.4.4. Pedagogical Recommendations
Conclusion

General Conclusion

References

Appendices

Résumé

Acknowledgements

First of all, we are very grateful to our supervisor Dr. Boukezzoula Mohammed for his guidance, encouragement, patience, and assistance. We are greatly indebted to him for his understanding, valuable references, and precious advice.

We would like to thank the board of examiners who have devoted their time and expertise to read and improve this dissertation.

Our sincere thanks go to first, second, and third year students at the department of English at Mohammed Seddik Ben Yahia University for their contribution in the development of this research.

Finally, we would like to express our gratitude to our teachers at the English department for their guidance and help.

Abstract

The present study seeks to identify those factors causing demotivation among students of English so as to raise teachers and administrators’ awareness to those factors, and consequently, to render foreign language leaming/teaching in the Algerian context more motivating to students. It is hypothesized that there are certain contextual factors that demotivate English learners, the identification of which is a first step towards rendering foreign language leaming/teaching more motivating. In order to achieve the aim of this study, a questionnaire has been administered to sixty English students from the three license levels at Mohammed Seddik Ben Yahia University, Jijel. The results obtained from the analysis of the students’ questionnaire revealed that some demotivating factors, particularly teachers’ personality type, students’ low self-confidence and administrative obstacles, are largely responsible for causing demotivation among students. Raising awareness to these factors will certainly contribute to rendering our context of the English language teaching at the university level more motivating to the students and hence more conducive to higher levels of proficiency in English among our students.

List of Abbreviations

CET: Cognitive Evaluation Theory EFL: English as a Foreign Language FL: Foreign Language

ICT: Information and Communications Technology

L2: Second Language

MA: Master of Arts

SDT: Self-Determination Theory

SLA: Second Language Acquisition

SLL: Second Language Learning

UK: United Kingdom

List of Figures

Figure 01: Maslow’s (1943) Hierarchy of Needs

Figure 02: Maslow’s (1970) Extended Hierarchy of Needs

List of Tables

Table 01: Ages of Students at the Different Levels

Table 02: Students’ Gender

Table 03: Students’ Proficiency Levels

Table 04: Students’ Choice of Studying English at the University

Table 05: Students’ Perception of Studies at the University

Table 06: Interest in Learning English

Table 07: Perceptions of Language Learning Difficulty

Table 08: Opportunities Given by Teachers to Practice English

Table 09: Loss or Decrease in Motivation to Study English

Table 10: Classmates as a Potential Source of Demotivation

Table 11: Students’ Feeling of Inferiority in Terms of their English Proficiency

Table 12: Students’ Anxiety of Speaking inside the Classroom

Table 13: Perceptions of Teachers’ Personality Type

Table 14: Perceptions of Competence in Teaching

Table 15: Perceptions of the Teacher-Student Relationship

Table 16: Perceptions of Treatment ofLearners’ Errors

Table 17: Students’ Reception of Encouragement from their Teachers

Table 18: Students’ Perceptions of their Teachers’ Evaluation

Table 19: Students’ Opinions about their Teachers’ Favouritism of Students with High Levels of Proficiency

Table 20: Students’ Attitudes about the Techniques Used by Teachers during the Lesson

Table 21: The Frequency of Receiving Negative Feedback from Teachers

Table 22: Perceptions of the Teaching Programs

Table 23: Students’ Opinions about the Teaching Materials

Table 24: Frequency of Using the ICTs during Lessons

Table 25: The Level of Courses in the University

Table 26: The Weekly Intensity of the Number of Modules

Table 27: Students’ Opinions about the Influence of the Courses’ Workload on their Learning

Table 28: The Availability of Irrelevant Modules According to the Students

Table 29: Students’ Specification of the Modules which are Considered Irrelevant

Table 30: Students’ Opinions about the Time Allocated for Each Module

Table 31: Students’ Perceptions of the Classroom Atmosphere

Table 32: Students’ Consideration of the Number of Students in Classrooms

Table 33: Perceptions of Gender-bias in the Classroom

Table 34: Transparency of the Scoring Criteria

Table 35: Availability of References in the Library

Table 36: Access to the Internet inside the University

General Introduction

1. Statement of the Problem
2. Aims of the Study
3. Hypothesis
4. Means of Research
5. Structure of the Dissertation

General Introduction

1. Statement of the Problem

The important role that motivation plays in foreign/second language learning is well referenced in the existing second language acquisition literature (Brown, 1981; Clement, Gardner, & Smythe, 1981; Domyei, 1990; Oxford, 1994; Schmidt, Boraie, & Kassabgy, 1996; Ushioda, 1994). Dömyei (2005) put forth that motivation “provides the primary impetus to initiate L2 learning and later the driving force to sustain the long and often tedious learning process” (p. 65).

While the factors affecting language learners’ motivation have been probed with reasonable depth in second language acquisition, the contextual factors that inhibit learning and lead to learners’ demotivation have long been under-researched in those studies. This situation, however, has begun to change; some recent studies have been carried out in order to shed light on demotivating factors and the role they play in preventing learners from achieving high levels of proficiency in second language acquisition. Dornyei (2001) defined demotivation as “Specific external forces that reduce or diminish the motivational basis of behavioural intention or an ongoing action” (P. 243). But, to the best of our knowledge, and as opposed to the study of motivation, despite its importance, studying the factors that cause demotivation among the Algerian university learners of English continues to be a neglected issue. This study seeks to answer the following research question:

What are the major contextual causes of demotivation among the Algerian students majoring in English as a foreign language?

2. Aims of the Study

The current study aims at identifying the possible factors that lead to demotivation among EFL undergraduate students in the Algerian context so as to raise teachers and administrators’ awareness of those factors, and consequently rendering foreign language learning and teaching more effective.

3. Hypothesis

To answer the research question of the present study, it is hypothesized that, there are certain contextual factors that demotivate learners of English and that the identification of those demotives would render foreign language learning or teaching more conducive to higher levels of proficiency.

4. Means of Research

In this study, the sample is cross-sectional; the participants are (60) English learners (out of 732) who have been randomly selected from the three license levels (20 students from each level) at the University of Mohammed Seddik Ben Yahia, Jijel. Data collection is carried out through a 36-item questionnaire which is administered to an equal number of first, second, and third year license students of English in order to find out which factors demotivate them to learn English, to determine whether the demotivating factors are the same or differ across the three levels and to gauge the degree to which those factors increase or decrease as students advance in the curriculum.

5. Structure of the Dissertation

This dissertation is divided into three chapters: two theoretical and a practical one. The first chapter deals with motivation, its definitions, a historical overview on the construct and the most influential motivation theories. The second one is mainly concerned with demotivation, its definitions in addition to the most important studies that have dealt with the issue. The third chapter is devoted to the practical part; it explains the methodology of the study and discusses the data and results generated by the students’ questionnaire.

Chapter One: The Study of Motivation in Second Language Learning
Introduction
1.1. A Historical Overview on the Study of Motivation in Second Language Acquisition
1.1.1. Definition of Motivation
1.1.2. The Major Phases in the Study of Motivation in Second Language Acquisition
1.1.2.1. The Social Psychological Period (1959-1990)
1.1.2.2. The Cognitive-Situated Period (during the 1990s)
1.1.2.3. The Process-Oriented Period (in the Turn of the Century)
1.2. Theories of Motivation in Second Language Learning
1.2.1. The Behaviourist Theory
1.2.2. The Cognitive Theories
1.2.2.1. Expectancy-Value Models of Motivation
1.2.2.2. Attribution Theory
1.2.2.3. Self-Efficacy Theory
1.2.2.4. Goal Theory
1.2.2.5. Self- Determination Theory (SDT)
1.2.3. The Humanistic Theory
1.2.3.1. Maslow’s Theory of Growth Motivation
1.3. Integrative and Instrumental Motivation
1.3.1. Integrative Motivation
1.3.2. Instrumental Motivation
Conclusion

Chapter One The Study of Motivation in Second Language Learning

Introduction

Motivation plays a determining role in foreign/second language learning. The more learners are Motivated to achieve their goals, the more successful they become in the task of language learning. On the basis of this assumption, a huge number of studies have been carried out to refract the construct of motivation and to foreground the role it plays in language learning. This chapter sketches and analyses the major issues evoked by motivation studies in foreign/second language acquisition literature. The aim of this presentation and analysis is to provide the necessary background for a better appraisal of the construct of demotivation which is the object of this study. In this chapter motivation is briefly defined, then a brief historical account is mentioned, and after that some influential motivation theories are introduced.

1.1. A Historical Overview on the Study of Motivation in Second Language Acquisition

1.1.1. Definition of Motivation

Motivation is a vital element for a successful learning. It increases students’ willingness to learn and drive their desire to achieve intended goals such as passing an examination. Motivation is considered to be a very complex construct which is difficult to define. However, several definitions are offered in the literature. For Williams and Burden (1997) motivation is "a state of cognitive and emotional arousal which leads to a conscious decision to act and which gives rise to a period of sustained intellectual and/or physical effort in order to attain a previously set goal (or goals)" (p. 120). Hence, motivation according to this definition is responsible for “why people decide to do something, how hard they are going to pursue it and how long they are willing to sustain the activity” (Domyei & Ushioda, 2011, p. 4). In another definition offered by Loewen and Reinders (2011), motivation refers to “a psychological construct that refers to the desire and incentive that an individual has to engage in a specific activity” (p. 119). In an attempt to accentuate the role of psychological factors over contextual factors, Kanfer (1998) defined motivation as “psychological mechanisms governing the direction, intensity, and persistence of actions not due solely to individual differences in ability or to overwhelming environmental demands that coerce or force action” (p. 12). Moreover, Weiner (1992) stated that motivation is “triggering, direction, intensity, and persistence of a behaviour directed towards a goal” (p. 1). In few words, “the concept of motivation is very much part of our everyday personal and professional life and few would ignore its importance in human affairs in general” (Dornyei, 2001, p. 1).

1.1.2. The Major Phases in the Study of Motivation in Second Language Acquisition

The study of L2 motivation has been developed as an abundant and independent research field, dealing with the social, psychological, behavioural, and cultural requirements for acquiring a new language. The history of L2 motivation theory goes through phases. Dornyei (2005) has identified the following three distinct major phases:

1.1.2.1. The social psychological period (1959-1990)

This period is characterized by the work of Robert Gardner, Wallace Lambert, and their associates in Canada. They tried to understand the Canadian social context including the French and the English speaking communities. Gardner and Lambert (1972) (as cited in Dornyei, 2005) viewed second languages as mediating factors between different ethnolinguistic communities and thus regarded the motivation to learn the language of the other community as a primary force responsible for enhancing or hindering intercultural communication and affiliation.

1.1.2.2. The Cognitive-Situated Period (during the 1990s)

It is characterized by work drawing on cognitive theories in educational psychology. The publication of Graham Crookes and Richard Schmidt’s (1991) influential article on “Reopening the Motivation Research Agenda ” along with the need for alternative research perspectives to renew the field of L2 motivation and several other publications calling for change, have led to the emergence of cognitive-situated period. This period has two essential characteristics: the need to correlate language with the ongoing cognitive revolution in psychology, and the intention to make a move from the broad perspective of L2 motivation to a more situated analysis of motivation in specific learning situations (Dornyei, 2005).

1.1.2.3. The Process-Oriented Period (in the Turn of the Century)

This period is characterized by an interest in motivational change. According to Dornyei (2005), When motivation is examined in its relationship to specific learner behaviours and classroom processes, there is a need to adopt a process oriented (approach) paradigm that can account for the daily ups and downs of motivation to learn, that is, the ongoing changes of motivation over time (...) looking at it from this perspective, motivation is not seen as a static attribute but rather as a dynamic factor that displays continuous fluctuation (p. 83).

1.2. Motivation Theories in Second Language Learning

Motivation is a relatively complex issue that has generated a wealth of theory and research over the last decades, evoked considerable debate and disagreement among scholars, and produced many theoretical models including different variables and different understandings of the construct of motivation (Domyei & Ushioda, 2011, p. 3).

1.2.1. The Behaviourist Theory

The behavioural perspective linked motivation to external processes. Motivation is regarded as a change in the form of a behaviour, its rate and frequency of occurrence as triggered by external stimuli. Behaviourists like Pavlov, Skinner and Thorndike ignored mental abilities and attempted to understand the causes of a particular behaviour. Behaviourists believed that our behaviours are determined by rewards and punishments. In other words, an individual’s behavior is likely to be repeated if it is followed by a reward, but when it is punished, it is likely to be weakened. As written by Thorndike (1913) (as cited in Boulfelfel, n.d., p. 121) “when a modifiable connection between a situation and a response is made and is accompanied or followed by a satisfying state of affairs, that connection’s strength is increased. When made and accompanied or followed by an annoying state of affairs, its strength is decreased” (p. 4).

In general, the role of cognition in taking actions has been neglected by the behaviourists since their focus was specifically on the importance of external factors in controlling individuals’ behaviours.

1.2.2. The Cognitive Theories

Cognitive theories, unlike behavioural theories, highlight the importance of mental structures, the processing of information and beliefs in determining individuals’ behaviours. Motivation is seen as internal, it is within the individual and we can only observe its resulting behaviours. Although, there was a general consensus on the role of mental processes in shaping motivation among all cognitive approaches, there has also been a variation in the range of cognitive-mediational process considered to be the most important by various. Several different cognitive theories of motivation emerged (Dornyei & Ushioda, 2011, p. 13).

1.2.2.1. Expectancy-Value Models of Motivation

The expectancy-value models assume that motivation is the result of two key factors: the individual’s expectancy of success in a particular task and the rewards that will be obtained for the successful performance of the task as well as the value the individual associate with success in that task. The more an individual expects success in a given task and the more the incentive value of the goal is, the more the degree of the individual’s positive motivation increases (Dornyei & Ushioda, 2011, p. 13). Therefore, Dornyei and Ushioda (2011) stated that “expectancy-value frameworks theorise that individual’s motivated decisions to engage in particular task and their performance and persistence can be explained by their expectations of how well they will do on the task and how much they value its achievement” (pp. 13-14).

Some early motivation theories such as Tolman’s and Lewins theories have dealt with the expectancy and value concepts. In 1974 these constructs were reintroduced in Atkinson’s achievement motivation theory. Atkinson believed that achievement behaviours determined by expectancy of success and incentive values. Then, two extra components, namely, need for achievement and fear of failure have been added in the model. For Atkinson, need for achievement refers to the fact that individuals with high need for achievement are concerned with excellence more than external rewards it can bring. On the other hand, fear of failure means that the main impetus for individuals’ good achievements is not their desire to reach positive outcomes but rather to avoid negative ones (Domyei & Ushioda, 2011, p. 14).

Eccles et al. (1983) proposed an expectancy-value model of achievement performance and choice trying to understand adolescents’ performance and choice in Mathematics achievement domain. They assume that task-specific beliefs (such as ability and task difficulty) influence children’s expectances for success on that task and the value attributed to success on that task (Wigfield, 1994, p. 50). The expectancy component in this model has been defined as “children’s belief about how well they will do on an upcoming task” (ibid). While the construct of value has been defined as “beliefs about desired end states” (Rokeach, 1973, 1979, as cited in Wigfield, 1994, p. 52). Eccles et al. (1983) (as cited in Wigfield, 1994, p. 52) suggested four types of subjective values:

- Attainment value: it refers to the importance of one’s good performance on a particular task.
- Intrinsic value: implies the pleasure obtained from the performance of the task.
- Utility value or usefulness: refers to how well a task fits into one’s future plans and goals.
- Cost: refers to choices the individual has to give up to do a given task and the effort required for the achievement of the task.

1.2.2.2. Attribution Theory

This theory was based on the work of Bernard Weiner (1992) (as cited in Domyei & Ushioda, 2011, p. 15). It is based on the idea that individuals attempt to understand the reasons of their past successes and failures and that these reasons have different effect on their future action (Domyei, 2005, p. 79). For example, a student who failed his writing test may attribute his failure to lack of competence, insufficient preparation, task difficulty ... etc.

The perceived causal attributions can be classified along three different dimensions: locus, stability and controllability. The first dimension, locus of causality, refers to the perceived location of an attribution as internal or external. For instance failure can be attributed to an internal factor such as lack of ability or lack of efforts. On the other hand, it can be ascribed to external factors like luck and difficulty of the task. Another dimension of causal attributions is stability which concerns the potential changeability of a cause from time to time. For example, ability is regarded as stable although it may be perceived as unstable if learning is possible, even luck might be considered unstable though it may be thought of as a trait of a person (lucky or unlucky). The third dimension of causality represents the controllability of the cause. Controllable attributions are changeable whenever a person wants to do so. While, uncontrollable ones cannot be easily changed (Weiner, 1985, pp. 548-551).

1.2.2.3. Self-Efficacy Theory

Self-efficacy theory has been developed by Albert Bandura in the late 1970s. Perceived self-efficacy refers to people’s beliefs in their abilities to successfully perform specific tasks. Efficacy beliefs determine the way people think, feel, motivate themselves and behave (Bandura, 1995, p. 2). A low sense of self-efficacy decreases people’s confidence in their capabilities to accomplish difficult tasks which are viewed as personal threats, consequently they are likely to fail. In contrast, people with a strong sense of self-efficacy believe they can accomplish even difficult tasks (Domyei & Ushioda, 2011, p. 16). According to Bandura (1994, pp. 2-3) selfefficacy beliefs can be influenced by four main factors: mastery experiences, vicarious experiences, social persuasion, and somatic and emotional states.

- Mastery experiences

For Bandura (1994), they take place when individuals attempt to execute courses of actions and they succeed, in other words, they have a mastery of these actions. Selfefficacy is increased most effectively through mastery experiences because people tend to have an intuition that they can do a new task if it resembles an already accomplished one. So far, it would be thought that it is relatively easy to master something new through practice. However, if people experience only easy successes and avoid difficult tasks and obstacles, then a strong sense of efficacy would not be developed.

- Vicarious experience

It is another factor that affects self-efficacy. Observing people similar to oneself succeed by perseverant effort increases observers’ beliefs that they are also able to achieve similar tasks. Conversely, seeing people who spent huge efforts to do something fail, decreases observers’ self-efficacy and debilitate their motivation. In short, the way competent models deal with the encountered obstacles can teach observers effective skills to cope with every day situation.

- Social persuasion or verbal persuasion

It is also a factor that has a great influence on self-efficacy. People who are convinced verbally that they are capable to do a task, are more likely to work harder to attain the desired goal. But people who have been convinced that they are incapable to do a task have a tendency to give up quickly when facing obstacles and challenging activities.

- Somatic and emotional states

It means that people’s capabilities can be judged on the basis of their somatic and emotional states. Stress reactions and tension are interpreted as indications of weakness leading to poor performance. In challenging activities, fatigue, aches and pains are considered as signs of physical debility. Perceived self-efficacy is also affected by people’s mood. That is to say, being in a good mood raises self-efficacy while being in bad mood weakens it. People’ beliefs about their efficacy can be changed through reducing their stress reactions and modifying the wrong perception and interpretation of their emotional and physical states.

In a nutshell, self-efficacy theory assumes that mastery experiences, vicarious experiences and somatic and emotional states influence our self-efficacy and consequently our behaviour.

1.2.2.4. Goal Theory

The construct of “goal” has replaced that of need which was the basic component of Maslow’s (1970) hierarchy of needs. This theory assumes that goals are the main incentive for human actions (Dornyei, 1998; Dornyei & Ushioda, 2011).

Two goal-theories, namely, goal setting theory and goal orientation theory have received special attention during the past decades.

1. Goal Setting Theory

It was advanced by Locke and Latham in 1990. Locke and Latham (2005) stated that “goal setting theory rests on the premise that goal-directedness is an essential attributes of human action and that conscious self-regulation of action, through volitional, is the norm” (p. 128).

According to Locke and Latham (2013, pp. 4-5) goals have two main properties, namely, content and intensity.

a. Goal content refers to the desired outcome. Up to 1990, most research on goal setting theory concentrated on the influence of the specificity and difficulty of a goal on the performance of a task. It has been found that the more specific and difficult the goal is, the highest the achievement that can be attained.
b. Goal intensity refers to the amount of effort required to reach a goal, the belief in the importance of the goal, and the commitment to attain it.

2. Goal Orientation Theory

It was specifically developed for the aim of explaining children’s learning and performance in classroom context. (Dornyei & Ushioda, 2011, p. 21).

As Ames (1992) summarizes, the theory outlines two types of goal orientation:

- Mastery orientation is also called “task performance goals ” or “learning goals It includes the development of competence through gaining new skills and knowledge with a sense of mastery.
- Performance orientation for ‘ego-involvement goals’) involves showing one’s ability through demonstrating the superiority of performance (outperforming other students).

Thus, students with mastery goals look for gaining competence and improving it, however, learners oriented towards performance goals are interested in achieving a goal and gaining publicjudgement.

1.2.2.5. Self-Determination Theory

The self-determination theory (SDT) is one of the most influential theories in motivational psychology (Domyei, 2003). This theory was developed by Deci and Ryan (1985). According to Deci and Ryan (2008), “self-determination theory addresses such basic issues as personality development, self-regulation, universal psychological needs, life goals and aspirations ,energy and vitality, nonconscious processes, relations of culture to motivation, and the impact of social environments on motivation, affect, behaviour, and well-being” (p. 182). SDT distinguishes two types of motivation:

A. Intrinsic Motivation

According to Ryan and Deci (2000),

Intrinsic motivation is defined as the doing of an activity for its inherent satisfaction rather than for some separable consequences. When intrinsically motivated, a person is moved to act for the fun or challenge entailed rather than because of external product, pressure or reward (p. 56).

For instance, a student who engages in an activity for his or her pleasure without any external pressure tends to have intrinsic motivation. Despite the fact that intrinsic motivation is found within individuals, it also exists in the relation between a person and an activity .Not all activities are intrinsically motivating to people and not all people are intrinsically motivated for a given activity (Ryan & Deci, 2000, p. 56). A subtheory of self-determination theory, namely, cognitive evaluation theory (CET) argues that intrinsic motivation will be undermined if an event is perceived to have a negative influence on an individual’s feelings of autonomy and competence. In contrast, it will be enhanced supports someone’s feeling of autonomy and competence (Ryan et al., 2009, p. 110).

Vallerand and Rattelle (2002) posit three subtypes of intrinsic motivation:

1. Intrinsic motivation to learn refers to the engagement in a specific activity for the purpose of getting the pleasure and satisfaction of discovering new things.
2. Intrinsic motivation towards achievement which means the engagement in a specific activity for the pleasure of challenging obstacles and achieving goals.
3. Intrinsic motivation to experience stimulation refers to the engagement in a given activity to please oneself.

B. Extrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic motivation is defined as:

A construct that pertains whenever an activity is done in order to attain some separable outcome. Extrinsic motivation thus contrasts with intrinsic motivation, which refers to doing an activity simply for the enjoyment of the activity itself, rather than its instrumental value (Ryan & Deci, 2000, p. 60).

Thus, it means performing an activity to obtain an extrinsic reward such as good grades or praise from others. For instance, a student who does a homework to receive a reward (such as getting extra marks) or to avoid punishment from the teacher is considered to have extrinsic motivation.

According to SDT, extrinsic motivation has been placed on a continuum of three types depending on the extent to which goals are self-determined. The first type, external regulation, refers to individuals’ engagement in activities which are determined by external sources such as rewards or threats. The second type of extrinsic motivation is introjected regulation which means that performing an activity can be due to a feeling of external pressure which is partially internalized; this pressure pushes the individual to act in order to avoid the feeling of shame or guilt. Identified regulation lies at the end of the continuum; it takes place when individuals pursue a particular activity because they think it is important and useful for achieving their goals (Deci & Ryan, 2000, p. 237).

Self-determination theory suggests that extrinsically motivated behaviours can differ in their relative autonomy. For example, a student who learns a language only to avoid feeling ashamed if he or she does not know it is extrinsically motivated. Similarly, a student who learns a language because he or she thinks it is important for his or her carrier is also extrinsically motivated because she or he is learning it for its value and not for their interest in the language itself. Both behaviours are intentionally performed, however the first example shows a purely external control of the behaviour while the second represents a self-endorsed and volitional behaviour (Ryan & Deci, 2000, p. 60).

To sum up, self-determination theory distinguishes two different categories of motivated behaviours: the first category represents those behaviours that emanate from the self, i.e., selfdetermined behaviours; the second category encompasses behaviours that are governed by some interpersonal or intrapsychic force, i.e., controlled behaviours (Deci & Ryan, 1985).

1.2.3. The Humanistic Theory

From a humanistic point of view, motivation means encouraging people’s inner resources, that is, their sense of competence, self-esteem, autonomy, and self-actualization. One of the most influential humanistic theories is Maslow’s (1943) theory of human motivation.

1.2.3.1. Maslow’s (1943) Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow developed a five-level hierarchy of needs. Physiological needs and safety needs are located in the bottom of the hierarchy and considered to be low-level needs, followed in an ascending order by social, esteem and self-actualization needs which are considered high-level needs (McLeod, 2007). The hierarchical order of these needs reflects the differences between them in terms of strength and importance; low-level needs must be satisfied before higher-level needs are pursued (ibid.). For instance, if a person does not meet his or her physiological needs (such as food and sleep), he or she ceases trying to reach safety needs until physiological needs are fully satisfied.

Figure 01 Maslow ’s (1943) Hierarchy of Needs

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Maslow’s (1943) original hierarchy of needs includes:

Physiological needs refer to the basic body needs required for sustaining human life. These needs include food, water, air, sleep, and sexual satisfaction.

Safety needs refer to one’s need to avoid physical and emotional harm such as living in a safe areajob security, protection from physical danger, etc.

Social needs are also referred to as love and belonging needs. These needs are related to a person’s desire to be affiliated to a group and to interact with its members seeking the opportunity to love and to be loved.

Esteem needs include the need to gain people’s respect and appreciation, and the need to have power and reputation. Satisfying these needs enables one to realize not only self-esteem but also others’ esteem.

Self-actualization is the summit of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It refers to the desire to fulfill one’s potential as a person. Self-actualization needs include truthjustice, wisdom and meaning.

Maslow’s five stage model has been extended to include cognitive and aesthetic needs (Maslow, 1970a) and later transcendence needs (Maslow, 1970b). According to Maslow cognitive needs are the needs to know and understand yet aesthetic needs has to do with appreciation and search for beauty, balance, form, harmony, etc. Transcendence needs are related to helping others to reach self-actualization.

Maslow (1968) referred to the first four needs (physiological, safety, social and esteem needs) as deficiency needs. When these needs are unmet, they increase people’s motivation to fulfill them. Maslow called the three upper levels of needs (cognitive, aesthetic and selfactualization) being needs. Unlike deficiency needs, the achievement of being needs does not cease people’s motivation, but rather pushes them towards further fulfillment.

Figure 02 Maslow ’s (1970) Extended Hierarchy of Needs

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

1.3. Integrative and Instrumental Motivation

Motivation is one of the most significant constructs in the field of second language learning. Gardner and Lambert’s original work on attitudes and motivation posits two types of motivation, namely, integrative and instrumental motivation. The kind of motivation that a student may possess depends on his or her learning goals and the learning environment. It is also assumed that integrative and instrumental motivation have an impact on students’ achievements.

1.3.1. Integrative Motivation

It is defined as “a sincere and personal interest in the people and culture represented by the other language group” (Lambert, 1974, p. 98). According to Gardner (2001),

Integrativeness reflects a genuine interest in learning the second language in order to come closer to the other language community. At one level, this implies an openness to, and respect for other cultural groups and ways of life. In the extreme this might involve complete identification with the community (and possibly even withdrawal from one’s original group). But more commonly it might well involve integration within both communities (as cited in Dornyei, 2010, p. 75).

Hence, the major aim of integratively motivated learners is to integrate in the culture of the target language and to communicate with L2 community members.

1.3.2. Instrumental Motivation

According to Dornyei (1994) instrumental motivation “is related to the potential pragmatic gains of L2 proficiency, such as getting a better job or a higher salary” (p. 274). In other words, instrumental motivation drives students to learn the second language for the utilitarian benefits it brings for the learner (Gardner & Lambert, 1959).

Despite the importance of integrative and instrumental motivation in learning a second language, there was a debate among researchers about the most important kind for learners. For instance, Lambert (1974) considered integrative motivation to be of utmost importance particularly in classroom settings since it predicts students’ linguistic achievements. In contrast, Dornyei (1990) opposed Gardner, who put much of his emphasis on integrative motivation, by pretending that instrumental motivation is more important with regard to students’ achievements in learning foreign languages.

Though the opposing views of researchers concerning the importance of integrative and instrumental motivation, both types are considered to be equally important, a learner might be successful in learning an L2 with an integrative motivation or with an instrumental motivation, or indeed with both (Cook, 1991).

Conclusion

In a nutshell, the importance of motivation in second language learning has generated much research on the issue. Many scholars have attempted to explain and understand the concept of motivation from different perspectives. Therefore, the negative side of motivation which is demotivation has remained a neglected issue for years. This chapter has dealt with motivation including a brief historical overview of the construct which embraces three distinct phases through which the history of L2 motivation has moved. In addition, this chapter discussed the various motivation theories in reference to the different schools of thought: Behaviourism, Cognitivism, and Humanism. We also mentioned the two forms of motivation: intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. We ended this chapter with a distinction between two types of motivation, integrative motivation and instrumental motivation.

Chapter Two: Demotivation in Second Language Acquisition
Introduction
2.1. Definition of Demotivation
2.2. Studies of Demotivation
2.2.1. Chamber’s (1993) Investigation
2.2.2. Oxford’s (1998) Investigation
2.2.3. Ushioda’s (1996) Investigation
2.2.4. Dornyei’s (1998) Investigation
2.2.5. Muhonen’s (2004) Investigation
2.2.6. Sakai and Kikuchi’s (2009) Investigation
2.2.7. Hirvonen’s (2010) Investigation
Conclusion

Chapter Two Demotivation in Second Language Acquisition

Introduction

As we have seen in chapter one, motivation has been exhaustively studied over the past decades. While many researchers held that motivation is necessary in learning a second or foreign language focusing mainly on the positive forces that motivate L2 learners, little attention, however, has been paid to the other side of the issue of motivation, i.e. demotivation which concerns those factors which negatively affect L2 learning. This chapter aims at introducing the construct of demotivation, and summarising the most significant studies on demotivation in L2 learning.

2.1. Definition of Demotivation

Since the construct of demotivation is relatively new in the field of L2 motivation research, small amount of empirical literature is found on it. Dornyei and Ushioda (2011) defined the term demotivation as “specific external forces that reduce or diminish the motivational basis of a behavioural intention or an ongoing action” (p. 139). For instance, a student may lose his motivation to study English if he or she makes a mistake and the teacher mocks him or her. Therefore, a demotivated learner is a person who used to be motivated but for some reasons lost his or her commitment and interest. These reasons which diminish the existing motivation are called demotives which are the opposite of motives. Whereas motives increase the tendency of an action, demotives de-energize it (ibid.).

It is worth noting that not all negative influences are considered to be demotives. According to Dornyei and Ushioda (2011) the following negative factors are not regarded as demotives. First, powerful distractions such as playing video games instead of doing a homework are not demotives. Second, the gradual loss of interest in an ongoing activity does not involve demotivation. For instance, a runner may lose speed because of exhaustion or ageing rather than by a particular incident in a particular race. Third, demotivation is not involved in case of an internal process of deliberation without any particular external incentive, such as recognizing that it is too hard to attend a course of study in the early morning after keeping up late in the night. So, they believe that demotivation does not imply the total cancellation of the positive influences that made up motivation to behave, but some other positive motives may remain functional (pp. 138-139).

2.2. Studies of Demotivation

After defining the term demotivation, it is necessary to review some SLA studies which have attempted to study this phenomenon. The former studies conducted on demotivation are discussed thoroughly to provide a good understanding of this area of research and give a glance on how the practical part of this dissertation would be. Despite the central role demotivation plays in L2 learning, there have been only few studies which addressed students’ demotivation. L2 demotivation has aroused the interest of instructional communicative researchers since it is an apparent problem in the field of education (teachers’ interaction with the students) which is generally characterized by language learning failure (Dornyei & Ushioda, 2011, p. 142).

Below the findings of the studies on demotivation by Chambers (1993), Oxford (1998), Ushioda (1996), Dornyei (1998), Muhonen (2004), Sakai and Kikuchi (2009), and Hirvonen (2010) are presented.

[...]

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Title
A Cross sectional Study of Contextual Causes of Demotivation among Algerian University Students of English
Author
Year
2016
Pages
117
Catalog Number
V981632
ISBN (eBook)
9783346338174
ISBN (Book)
9783346338181
Language
English
Tags
cross, study, contextual, causes, demotivation, algerian, university, students, english
Quote paper
Seyfeddine Baka (Author), 2016, A Cross sectional Study of Contextual Causes of Demotivation among Algerian University Students of English, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/981632

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