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Motivation , a Driving Force in Second language Learning. A research paper submitted for MA TESOL with the University of Manchester, UK. Outline!!. Overview Background Research on motivation My two cents Findings New emerging goals Future Implications. Paths L2 learners take.
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A research paper submitted for MA TESOL with the University of Manchester, UK
TESL 2012: Shazia Nawaz Awan
Research on motivation
My two cents
New emerging goals
Research study on women ESL learners in Canada whose first language is Arabic
Two different scenarios - academic and non-academic.
The qualitative research design using two data resources:
The study focuses on finding answers to the following questions:
What motivates immigrant women (in Canada), whose first language is Arabic, to learn English as a second language?
How and whether their motivational orientations change over a period of time?
The results of this research are not meant to generalize the typical language learning behaviors of the whole group.
However, the study provides a valuable insight into certain aspects of second language learning behaviors and can be helpful in many ways.
“The reason why somebody does something or behaves in a particular way” (OALD*)
Motivation to learn a second language, not as a ‘trait’, but as a ‘characteristic’ of an individual
“It is relatively stable, because of its presumed antecedents, but it is amenable to change under certain conditions.”(Gardner, 2006:2) .
*Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary Online
It is dynamic…
Dornyei (2. 2001:9):
“In a general sense, motivation can be defined as the dynamically changing cumulative arousal in a person that initiates, directs, coordinates, amplifies, terminates, and evaluates the cognitive and motor processes whereby initial wishes and desires are selected, prioritized, operationalized, and (successfully or unsuccessfully) acted out.”
(Dornyei& Otto 1998:65, cited in Dornyei 2001:9)
Social Dimension of ESL motivation…
“Second Language learning motivation has an inherent social dimension, and that is why it is different than learning other school subjects. While rules of grammar or lexical items can be taught explicitly, it is also socially and culturally bound.” Dornyei(2003:3-4),
The more the learner has a positive attitude towards the target language and the culture, the higher is the achievement.
Motivation, a driving force:
“The motivated individual is goal directed, expends effort, is persistent, is attentive, has desires (wants), exhibits positive affect, is aroused, has expectancies, demonstrates self-confidence (self-efficacy), and has reasons (motives)”
are inseparable in nature
come to the surface with passing time
change and alter
modify with successful language experience
facilitate new set of goals
“Arab-Canadian male students are primarily instrumentally motivated towards learning English as L2, while Arab-Canadian female students are integrativelymotivated.”Abu-Rabia (1995:323)
Schumann uses two key concepts to explain the attitude of the minority group learning second language in multi-ethnic settings (1978 in Dornyei , 2001).
Seminars, presentations, and workshops
Local festivals and events (multicultural potlucks, Halloween, blueberry/strawberry/apple picking, Natal Day parades, etc.).
These factors affect their attitude to learn the language of the target culture and help them set their personal goals for their enhanced inter-ethnic contacts.
L2 learning requires inclusion of a wide range of social elements:
power relations between different ethno-linguistic groups
Dornyei (2003:4) refers to Gardner (1979, cited in Dornyei, 2003) and Williams ( 1994, cited in Dornyei,2003)
Length of residence in the target language area,
The amount of anxiety experienced in the new environment,
Personal goals for learning the target language (motivational orientations/integrative and/or instrumental),
Egoistic rigidity of every individual
Quantitative Close-ended questionnaire
One point of time
Qualitative Case Study
Extended period of time
Needs assessment surveys
Goal orientation workshops
Semi structured interviews
Semi formal email communications, and
Placement tests or official language benchmark assessment
Semi structured interviews
helped elicit additional information and more detailed personalized answers through open-ended questions rather than choosing from a set of provided answers (surveys/close-ended questions).
helped collect data of ‘participants’ behavior and actions’ and reactions in the learning context (Mackey & Gass (2005:176)
Goal orientation, and self efficacy’ etc.
Two types of Interviews
Intake Interviews Notes
Results of the intake interviews demonstrated that more learners were interested in improving their listening and speaking skills in order to be able to communicate with the English speaking society.
In-class observations Vignettes
Final Interviews Notes
Setting One: Non-Academic
six adult female (women) Arab immigrants.
one to eight years of stay in Canada
wide range of age group of 27-55 years.
immigrated to Canada under the ‘family class’ category with their spouses and children.
speak Arabic as their first language at home.
Setting Two: Academic
Both integrative and instrumental constructs of motivation were found.
The two orientations, however, appeared inseparable.
Change in psychological attitude to the local language and culture was observed.
The passing time results in wider interaction and deeper integration.
Successful language learning process helps them aim at a new set of goals.
The ESL competence helps learners in goal orientation and goal setting. These goals may be related to
learners need to adopt a more positive attitude towards the target language and culture
learning environment and the pedagogical techniques must be tailored towards attaining higher level of success.
learning environment should also be supportive of giving the learners more awareness of ESL development
language teacher should have better understanding of the difficulties and challenges learners are usually faced with
teaching materials should raise help meeting the L2 learners’ needs in terms of language development, cultural understanding, and goal orientation