ERIC Number: EJ1088703
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 46
Instrumental Reasons for Studying in Compulsory English Courses: I Didn't Come to University to Study English, so Why Should I?
Fryer, Luke K.; Ozono, Shuichi; Carter, Peter; Nakao, Kaori; Anderson, Charles J.
Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, v8 n3 p239-256 2014
In numerous Asian-Pacific tertiary contexts--students' chosen department not-with-standing-- second-language study is a requirement for both entry level and graduation. A practice by which Second Language motivation research could benefit from First Language procedures is to acknowledge instrumentality in such nonelective classes. Instrumental goals are central to the learning process and its outcomes; thus, students' lack of choice must be considered as a factor affecting both goal-setting and motivation. This study adapts Simons et al.'s inventory to a compulsory language-course context and then qualitatively validates it. First-year mixed major university students (n = 1071) taking compulsory English classes completed a 20-item inventory addressing instrumental reasons for studying within the university program. Exploratory factor analysis of the data (n = 535) suggested four clear factors: distal, social, proximal external, and personal. Confirmatory factor analysis (n = 536) replicated the four-factor solution well. Students' qualitative perceptions of the importance (r[superscript 2]=0.29) and utility (r[superscript 2]=0.16) of English each explained a meaningful amount of learners' quantitative distal goals. The strong relationship between distal goals and perceptions of the importance of English suggests that teachers might support students' instrumental motivation both by stressing the importance of English and aiding students' in developing distal goals for English.
Descriptors: English (Second Language), Required Courses, Second Language Instruction, College Freshmen, Factor Analysis, Student Attitudes, Student Motivation, Foreign Countries, Qualitative Research, Focus Groups, Statistical Analysis, Student Surveys, Likert Scales, Gender Differences
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan