Presentation on theme: "Motivation, a Driving Force in Second language Learning"— Presentation transcript:
1 Motivation, a Driving Force in Second language Learning A research paper submitted for MA TESOL with the University of Manchester, UKTESL 2012: Shazia Nawaz Awan
2 Outline!! Overview Background Research on motivation My two cents FindingsNew emerging goalsFuture Implications
3 Paths L2 learners take..Improving English from communication oriented proficiency (Evening and LINC classes) to professional oriented proficiencyImproving specific language or language functions needed for the workplace (ESP) (EWP)Improving English Language proficiency and score to get into university programs (EAP)
4 Overview!!The FocusResearch study on women ESL learners in Canada whose first language is ArabicTwo different scenarios - academic and non-academic.The qualitative research design using two data resources:observationinterviewsExplain academic and non academic settings…
5 Questions needed to be answered!! 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?What motivates young women planning to join a university program who speak Arabic as their first language to learn English as a second language or English for academic purposes?
6 Just a Caution!!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.
7 What is motivation…general concept “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 OnlineOut of affective and cognitive domain as teachers, we naturally emphasize the cognitive domain in our teaching. After all, students think and learn with their brains (we hope!). Yet the affective domain can significantly enhance, inhibit or even prevent student learning. The affective domain includes factors such as student motivation, attitudes, perceptions and values. Teachers can increase their effectiveness by considering the affective domain in planning courses, delivering lectures and activities, and assessing student learning.
8 What Researchers say! 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)Affective Domain: values, feelings, attitudes, and stereotypesCognitive Domain: Synthesis, comprehension, recollection, evaluation and analysis
9 What Researchers say! 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),According to Gardner’s ( , cited in Dai: 2) theory of ‘Socio-educational Model’ “language achievement is influenced by integrative motivation more than it is influenced by language aptitude.”
10 What Researchers say! Positive Attitude: 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)”(Gardner, 2006)Gardner (2006), in his own words, has extensively researched motivation and its role in second language learning for over 45 years. Before we go further in what motivates the learners to learn a second language and how the motivation shifts from one point of success to the next level of goal setting, we should look at a very comprehensive definition of motivation by Gardner* (2006) himself.
11 Integrative and instrumental constructs: are inseparable in naturecome to the surface with passing timechange and altermodify with successful language experiencefacilitate new set of goals
12 Integrative and instrumental goals- mutually influencing each other upgrade their personal and professional profilereduce the social and psychological distance with the target language group by uplifting social status through linguistic improvement.enhance self confidence and competencechange learners’ attitude towards language and cultureIt can be inferred that the integrative and instrumental goals may co-exist (obviously with varying degree) and they are inseparable. In addition, the more confident and competent the learners grow in their second language the more changes occur in their language learning goals.Attitude towards language and culture..ME compared with language speaking environment
13 The application of theories of motivational orientations to the context “Arab-Canadian male students are primarily instrumentally motivated towards learning English as L2, while Arab-Canadian female students are integratively motivated.” Abu-Rabia (1995:323)Every participant in this study possesses individual traits and characteristics in addition to representing the Arab women class collectively.conducted research ‘to investigate the relationship between attitudes and cultural background of 52 Arab students in Canada
14 Acculturation TheorySchumann uses two key concepts to explain the attitude of the minority group learning second language in multi-ethnic settings (1978 in Dornyei , 2001).social-distancepsychological distance.He thinks that the process of acculturation is an important factor to facilitate or discourage the ‘social and psychological integration of the learners with the target language group’.
15 Steps to acculturation Seminars, presentations, and workshopsLocal festivals and events (multicultural potlucks, Halloween, blueberry/strawberry/apple picking, Natal Day parades, etc.).Field tripsThese 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.(according to HILC report 2009, 175 participants participated in 3 hour workshops of professional series workshop which focus on workplace specific language during the months of January 2009-July 2009);may affect the receptivity of language as well as the dynamism of redefining the language learning goals.
16 Requirements!L2 learning requires inclusion of a wide range of social elements:multiculturalismlanguage globalizationlanguage contactpower relations between different ethno-linguistic groupsDornyei (2003:4) refers to Gardner (1979, cited in Dornyei, 2003) and Williams ( 1994, cited in Dornyei,2003)which proves the fact why ‘motivation’ was originally initiated by social psychologists’. The social aspect might not be the only reason to motivate learners to learn English as L2, and there are number of other factors influencing motivational orientations of the learners, yet this study tries to draw attention towards this aspect as one of the strongest aspects to be considered in the bigger picture of second language acquisition, especially for the learners who cannot be classified under the terms like ‘high school students’ ‘elementary/young learners’ or ‘learners pursuing higher education at the universities’.
17 Factors influencing acculturation 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 individualThey also redefine their motivational orientations and linguistic goals for achieving higher levels of English language proficiency. However, the individual variables (also mentioned by Schumann(1978, 1986 cited in Dornyei 2001:74.).)
18 Research Method Quantitative Close-ended questionnaire Controlled InformationOne point of timeQualitative Case StudyDetailed descriptionLongitudinal ApproachExtended period of timeSince the focus is an individual or a very small group of learners, the case studies provide detailed descriptions with a longitudinal approach in which ‘the observations of the phenomena under investigation are made at periodic intervals for an extended period of time’. For this study, the main data were gathered using qualitative method.Initially, at the pilot stage (Developing Research Competence EDUC7010 September 2008-Janury 2009) of the research project, close-ended questionnaire was adopted and was given to the participants at one point of time, but for this research the instrument used was interviews and in-class task participation over the period of sixteen weeks. Open ended questions were asked, and the participants responded to the questions in a non-threatening environment. The participants had one-on-one sessions with the researcher and they answered the questions freely. I succeeded to gather/infer some information during these interviews which is recorded in the vignettes.
19 What I did for my research? Needs assessment surveysGoal orientation workshopsSemi structured interviewsSemi formal communications, andPlacement tests or official language benchmark assessmentThese steps help measure and determine the English Language proficiency level of the learners as well as the needs and goals they expect to fulfill from a specific language courseWhen we teach our introductory courses, we tend to focus on the cognitive domain of learning (e.g., content comprehension, assessment), however, research shows that if students' affective domain (e.g., emotion, motivation, attitude) is not addressed, learning decreases (Pekrun, 2002). How often do we think about this aspect of teaching when we plan our lessons? How can we increase student learning by making small shifts in how we approach our teaching? Is it possible that we might be able to increase student majors if we address these issues at the introductory level?
20 Why I did it this way.. 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).In-class observationshelped collect data of ‘participants’ behavior and actions’ and reactions in the learning context (Mackey & Gass (2005:176)Attitudinal orientationsGoal orientation, and self efficacy’ etc.Motivation being an ‘unobservable’ trait raises the need to be measured in a more interactive environment.It gave an insight to understand the participants’ attitudinal orientations towards learning English as a second language in particular and towards the English speaking society in general. It also helped derive theories like ‘goal orientation, and self efficacy’ etc.
21 Two types of Interviews What happened next..Two types of InterviewsIntake Interviews NotesResults 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 VignettesFinal Interviews NotesIn this study the information gathered through intake interviews (Appendix 1), was converted into notes which helped me understand the learners and changing attitudes over a period of time.The interview was given once at the time of the intake and once at the end of the program (Appendix 2).As the learners stayed in close contact with the researcher (me), it was easier to record their responses holistically. I kept recording notes and reproducing them in the form of vignettes.Response to role play activitiesDiscussion on cultural scenarios/attitude towards target language cultureAttitude to learning English as a second language in general
22 Participants’ profile Setting One: Non-Academicsix adult female (women) Arab immigrants.one to eight years of stay in Canadawide range of age group of years.immigrated to Canada under the ‘family class’ category with their spouses and children.speak Arabic as their first language at home.Under the ‘family class’ category, the principal applicant, which in most cases is the educated male member of the family, takes a language proficiency test for immigration. These women are mainly stay-at-home mothers and show no initial intention of pursuing higher education or desire to learn English as a second language in Canada or for that matter, most of them initially didn’t think that they would like to work.
23 Participants’ profile Setting Two: AcademicAdult female prospective students with Arabic language backgroundThe duration of their stay in Canada ranges from one week to 18 months.Participants belong to the age group of years.Most of them came to Canada under the ‘student visa’ categoryAll of the learners speak Arabic as their first language at home.
24 Findings!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.Both integrative and instrumental constructs of motivation were found, but the two orientations appeared inseparable.The study found out that while living in Canada, their psychological attitude to the local language and culture develops more positively and their desire to interact with the members of the local community growswith the local society. It becomes an influential element impacting their motivational orientations: search of a job or wish to upgrade their academic level by joining a course or a study program at a local university or school.This desire being instrumental in nature also helps them further grow their positive attitude to learning English as a second language when they still speak their first language at home with the members of their family or the other members of their ethnic group.
25 New goals emergingThe ESL competence helps learners in goal orientation and goal setting. These goals may be related toachieving language competence for their social integrationmoving upward into the target language culture and communityseeking jobs or upgrading professional qualificationunderstanding their needs better and adjust their goals accordingly
26 Implications for Future Practice learners need to adopt a more positive attitude towards the target language and culturelearning 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 developmentlanguage teacher should have better understanding of the difficulties and challenges learners are usually faced withteaching materials should raise help meeting the L2 learners’ needs in terms of language development, cultural understanding, and goal orientationThe second language learners need to adopt a more positive attitude towards the target language and culture in order to attain the required level of success in language learning process.The learning environment and the pedagogical techniques must be tailored towards attaining higher level of motivational and learning success.It should also be supportive of giving the learners more awareness of the productive changes ESL development can bring about in their individual as well as social self.The language teacher should be more a facilitator with better understanding of the difficulties and challenges of the learners.The teachers and educators may focus on teaching materials and awareness process that help meeting the L2 learners’ needs in terms of language development, cultural understanding, and goal orientation.This would give the learners better awareness and clarity to adjust their goals and transform their initial orientation into the secondary level of orientation.
27 ReferencesAbu-Rabia, S. (1995). Attitudes and cultural background and their relationship to English in a multicultural social context: the case of male and female Arab immigrants in Canada. Educational Psychology. Vol. 15 (3) 323Dornyei. Z. (2003) refers to Gardner (1979, cited in Dornyei, 2003) and Williams ( 1994, cited in Dornyei,2003)Dornyei, Z. (2003). Attitudes, orientations, and motivations in language learning: Advances in Theory, Research, and Applications University of Nottingham.Dornyei, Z. (2001) Teaching and Researching Motivation. London: Pearson Education Limited, 13Gardner, R. C. (2006). Motivation and second language acquisition. University of Western Ontario. This manuscript was the basis of an address by the author to the Seminario Sobre. Plurilingüismo: Las Aportaciones Del Centro Europeo de Lenguas Modernas de Graz, on December 15, 2006 at the Universidad de Alcalá, Spain.Mackey,A. & Gass, S.M. (2005) Second Language Research. Lawrence Erlbaum: Mahwah, New Jersey.Schumann, J. H. (1978). The acculturation model for second language acquisition. In Gingras, R. (Ed.) Second language acquisition and foreign language teaching. Centre for Applied Linguistics, Arlington, VA in Dornyei, Z. (2001) Teaching and Researching Motivation. London: Pearson Education Limited, 13