Toward classroom-friendly models of motivation: A data-led investigation into student perceptions of motivating and demotivating classroom factors, and the relationship between student orientations and preferred classroom activities

| July 28, 2009
Title
Toward classroom-friendly models of motivation: A data-led investigation into student perceptions of motivating and demotivating classroom factors, and the relationship between student orientations and preferred classroom activities

Author
Julian Pigott
University of Birmingham
Abstract
This paper reports the results of a quantitative questionnaire study of 292 female Japanese university students. The questionnaire measured aspects of two areas connected to the field of second/foreign language (L2) motivation: 1) Integrativeness 2) The perceived importance – in terms of positive/negative effect on progress – of certain motivating/demotivating factors and class activities. The questionnaire design was based on the results of a preliminary, exploratory questionnaire, which is also presented here.
Course-specific and teacher-specific motivational components were found to be the most important to respondents. Conversation and pairwork were considered to be the most valuable activities. Factor analysis of the main questionnaire data suggests that perceived demotivating factors may factor together. If this conclusion is externally valid, the nature of demotives may be more complex than previously thought. That is, it may be simplistic to regard them simply as the negative counterparts of motives. Correlation analysis revealed small to medium correlations between integrativeness and the perceived importance of most motivational components and classroom activities measured, supporting Robert Gardner’s view that motivation and integrativeness are closely related concepts.
The process of analysis of the two sets of data highlighted the difficulty of using some existing theoretical models to classify student attributions of (de)motivation, due to the relatively straightforward ways in which students conceptualise motivation. It is argued that models of motivation that substitute theoretical comprehensiveness for more generalised, student-perceived categories may have a useful complementary role to play in classroom settings. One such model, the Student-Perceived Motivation Construct (SPMC) is presented in the current study.
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Category: Thesis