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English learning motivation in a Taiwanese university context: a study of its dynamic nature from socio-dynamic perspectives

Chu, F.-I. (2019) English learning motivation in a Taiwanese university context: a study of its dynamic nature from socio-dynamic perspectives. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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Abstract/Summary

This study investigated the strength of 88 Taiwanese university students’ English learning motivation and what motivational factors influence the level of motivation in this particular context. The complex, contextual and dynamic nature of motivation and different motivational factors were examined via a mixed methods approach and various analyses. Four data collection instruments were applied in the study, namely a main questionnaire, a short weekly questionnaire, a semi-structure interview and classroom observation. Additionally, the researcher not only collected data at different time points, but also compared the data between two achievement groups: high and low achievers. According to the results, the dynamic interactions of the nine motivational factors identified in this study would impact the level of motivation. When the participants had a positive English learning experience and higher levels of Cultural diversity, Interest, Travel orientation and the Ideal L2 self, they tended to have stronger motivation. However, when the learners possessed higher levels of Ethnocentrism, Fear of assimilation, English anxiety and the Ought-to L2 self, these factors could have both facilitating and debilitating effects on their motivation. The findings also indicated that the participants were generally moderately motivated to learn English. Nevertheless, the strength of their motivation decreased over time and they might not regard themselves as working harder than their classmates, not greatly look forward to taking their English course and not consider that the English course was interesting enough to motivate them to learn. In particular, low achievers tended to have lower motivation. The implications of the findings are that (1) students’ motivation is influenced by different motivational factors and (2) motivation would be improved through English courses that make English learning more enjoyable, relevant and important for the learners and that help them to believe that they are able to learn it well.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Graham, S. and Li, D.
Thesis/Report Department:Institute of Education
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education
ID Code:84851
Date on Title Page:2018

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