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ERIC Number: EJ821381
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0033-6882
The Tip of the Iceberg: Factors Affecting Learner Motivation
Littlejohn, Andrew
RELC Journal: A Journal of Language Teaching and Research, v39 n2 p214-225 2008
Teachers' informal discussions of learner motivation often emphasize the need to find ways to motivate learners, most usually through "fun" or "dynamic" activities. This paper starts from the assumption, however, that part of the work of the teacher is to avoid the "demotivation" of learners, and that there is a need to consider the overall structural organization of teaching and learning, not just the kinds of activities which learners do. The paper reviews four factors significant in affecting learner motivation: "the locus of control," "a sense of value and purpose, self-esteem," and "feelings of success." These concepts are then used to interpret interview data from two school-aged learners. The causes of their apathetic reaction to English classes are explained by reference to these factors, as evidenced by how they describe the nature and purposes of the activities they do. They appear to see their classes as mainly consisting of "exercises," free of any memorable content. It is suggested that they experience their classes as "endlessly contemporary," with no clear sense of a past, present or future and that that, combined with a lack of involvement in classroom decisions, conspires to produce learners who simply comply because they are required to do so.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A