AbstractsEducation Research & Administration

Motivational strategies: The perceptions of EFL teachers and students in the Saudi higher education context

by E Alshehri

Institution: University of Salford
Year: 2014
Keywords: Subjects outside of the University Themes
Record ID: 1393904
Full text PDF: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/31666/


Motivation has a significant role in the L2 learning process (e.g., Dörnyei, 1994; Gardner, 1985), leading many researchers to investigate the strategies which might generate and maintain students’ motivation in EFL classrooms. Previous studies of motivational strategies have examined the views of either EFL teachers or students (e.g., Deniz, 2010; Dörnyei & Csizér, 1998), and the relationship between teachers’ use of such strategies and students’ motivated behaviour (Papi & Abdollahzadeh, 2012). However, little research has investigated the perceptions of both EFL teachers and students in the same context. This study examines EFL teacher and student views about motivational strategies used in Saudi EFL classrooms in order to investigate potential mismatches. A mixed methods approach was used to collect quantitative and qualitative data in the context of three women’s universities in Saudi Arabia. The initial stage of research used exploratory interviews with six EFL teachers and five students to guide the construction of a questionnaire concerning perceptions about the use of motivational strategies. The questionnaire was then administered to 96 EFL teachers and 345 students. The final stage of the research involved individual in-depth interviews with three EFL teachers and three EFL students in order to further explore key issues from these participants’ viewpoints. The results indicate that the role of teachers in motivating students in EFL classrooms is appreciated by both teachers and students. However, there is a discrepancy in their beliefs about how the students should be motivated. Teachers believe strongly that students are mainly motivated by strategies which help achieve academic outcomes. Therefore, they tend to focus on the motivational strategies which meet these academic achievements. Students, on the other hand, seem to be more motivated by strategies which relate to the actual learning process and promote the social aspects of learning, such as participation and interaction. Students also appear to value the role of social L2 learning outcomes in the development of their L2 motivation, including communicating with L2 speakers and using English when travelling abroad. A key implication of this research is that teachers should be encouraged to develop a more balanced view about L2 motivation and motivational strategies within this context.