Free Motivating teachers and students Dissertation Example
Motivation to Teaching and Learning English as a Second Language (ESL) — an Analysis of the Saudi Arabian Context
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AcknowledgementEveryone understands the levels of commitment that it takes to complete a project of this magnitude. In most cases, one cannot manage on their own. With this consideration, I would like to thank several groups and individuals for their valuable help they offered me during the study period. First, my sincere gratitude goes to my family for the emotional, social, and economic support I received from them during the study period. At times, I almost gave up, but they rekindled my motivation through advice and prayers. Second, I want to thank my academic team, my instructors, supervisors, and course mates for the time, advice, and support I received from them both during the training and the completion of this dissertation.
DedicationI would like to dedicate this dissertation to [please insert the name and person to whom you would like to dedicate the paper]
DeclarationExcept where cited, I declare that the information in this paper is original, and it is a reflection of the concerted effort undertaken during the collection of information, analysis of data, and compilation of the results. The paper is only submitted to the University of Portsmouth for academic accreditation and may not be used anywhere else for any other reason.
Table of Contents
TOC o “1-3” h z u Acknowledgement PAGEREF _Toc522369999 h 2Dedication PAGEREF _Toc522370000 h 3Declaration PAGEREF _Toc522370001 h 4Abstract PAGEREF _Toc522370002 h 7Chapter 1: Introduction PAGEREF _Toc522370003 h 10Chapter Overview PAGEREF _Toc522370004 h 10Contextual Background PAGEREF _Toc522370005 h 10Gap in Literature PAGEREF _Toc522370006 h 12Aim of and Objectives PAGEREF _Toc522370007 h 13Research Questions PAGEREF _Toc522370008 h 14Importance of the Study PAGEREF _Toc522370009 h 14Dissertation Outline PAGEREF _Toc522370010 h 14Chapter 2: Literature Review PAGEREF _Toc522370011 h 162.1. Chapter Overview PAGEREF _Toc522370012 h 162.2. The Significance of Motivation in Teaching and Learning Second Language PAGEREF _Toc522370013 h 162.3. Theories of Motivation PAGEREF _Toc522370014 h 202.3.1. Instinct Perspective PAGEREF _Toc522370015 h 212.3.2. Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation Theories PAGEREF _Toc522370016 h 212.3.3. Self-Determination Theory PAGEREF _Toc522370017 h 232.3.4. Arc’s Model PAGEREF _Toc522370018 h 242.3.5. Social Cognitive Theory PAGEREF _Toc522370019 h 252.3.6. Expectancy Theory PAGEREF _Toc522370020 h 262.4. The Relationship between Culture and Motivation in Education PAGEREF _Toc522370021 h 272.5. The State of Teaching and Learning ESL in Saudi Arabia PAGEREF _Toc522370022 h 312.6. Chapter Summary PAGEREF _Toc522370023 h 36Chapter 3: Methodology PAGEREF _Toc522370024 h 383.1. Research Design and Rationale PAGEREF _Toc522370025 h 383.2. Population and Setting PAGEREF _Toc522370026 h 383.3. Method PAGEREF _Toc522370027 h 393.4. Data Analysis and Presentation PAGEREF _Toc522370028 h 413.5. Conceptual Model PAGEREF _Toc522370029 h 423.6. Hypotheses PAGEREF _Toc522370030 h 433.7. Sampling Technique PAGEREF _Toc522370031 h 453.8. Strengths and Weaknesses of the Methodology PAGEREF _Toc522370032 h 453.9. Ethical Considerations PAGEREF _Toc522370033 h 45Chapter 4: Results, Analyses, and Discussions PAGEREF _Toc522370034 h 47Chapter 5: Conclusions and Implications for Practice and Research PAGEREF _Toc522370035 h 59References PAGEREF _Toc522370036 h 62Appendix PAGEREF _Toc522370037 h 69
List of Figures
Figure 1: The age statistics of respondents used in the study___________________________39
Figure 2: The gender statistics of the respondents used in the study______________________39
Figure 3: The adopted conceptual model of the research ______________________________43
Figure 4: comparative ranking of the four types of motivations investigated in the survey____53
Figure 5: Comparing intrinsic motivation with other types of motivation _________________54
Figure 6: Mean comparisons according to gender____________________________________57
Motivation — external and internal factors that push people into staying committed to the accomplishment of activities. In the context of this report, it refers to the urge of respondents in Saudi Arabia to learn English.
Intrinsic motivation — a type of motivation whose sources relate to factors other than those simulated from personality and individual perception.
Culture — elements of a given people defined in arts and music, social habits, religion, cuisine, and language among others.
English Second Language — for this study, it refers to native speakers of English.
English First Language — it refers to people who learn English as another language apart from their native one.
Extrinsic Motivation — at type of motivation whose sources emanate away from individual characteristics; those that come from the environment.
Integrative Motivation — a type of motivation defined in a favorable perception of people from a specific language group.
Instrumental Motivation — relates to the learning of a language because of specific reasons.
AbstractThis study probes the connection between motivation and the development of English second language (ESL) competence among fifty-five students in Jazan City of Saudi Arabia. The study focuses on the value of intrinsic motivation, and the contributions of cultural values in the study region of learning and mastering English. The research adopts a quantitative methodology in which questionnaires are utilized in the gathering of information in a survey of the respondents. The researcher applies the SPSS software in conducting basic statistical analyses of the mean, standard deviation, percentages, and T-tests to determine the correlation among the studied variables. The findings of the study reveal interesting ideas about the state of teaching and learning ESL among Saudi students. Since the findings provide mixed themes. The author reluctantly generalizes their implications but argues that the high motivation levels among the study sample could be indicators of an untapped potential of the learners in the study setting to advance their language proficiency. The study also finds significant relationships between culture and intrinsic motivation to assist in learning English in the study region.
Key words: Saudi Arabia, motivation, intrinsic motivation, culture, English Second Language
Chapter 1: IntroductionChapter Outline
This part introduces the research paper through outlining its contextual background, identifying the gap in extant literature, describing the aims and objectives of the study, and defining the questions to be studied. Furthermore, the chapter describes the significance of engaging in this type of research and concludes with giving the outline of the entire dissertation.
Contextual BackgroundThe Saudi government has made remarkable steps towards empowering its citizenry through education. Among the most significant projects, which the government has undertaken over the years is funding educational programs for students wishing to study abroad. For instance, the number of scholarships provided by the government has risen tremendously since the initiation of the King Abdullah scholarship, which started in 2005 (Alkaabi, 2016). Because of these programs, the number of Saudi students studying abroad, including those in the UK and American universities, has ballooned over time. Accompanying this rise in the popularity of overseas studies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the growing need for students in the nation to develop proficiency in the English language. One cannot underestimate the significance of English proficiency in overseas educational programs, especially in nations, such as the US and the UK. The success of international students enrolled in these programs relies fundamentally on their levels of English language proficiency (Andrade, 2006). To the context of Saudi Arabia, English is treated from the perspective of a foreign language—Saudi nationals have little motivation for learning foreign languages, especially those that are not spoken in the Middle East. This factor makes it necessary to study motivational aspects underpinning the teaching and learning of ESL in the country.
Even though the populace in Saudi Arabia—ignoring those involved in academia—has a formed negative perspective of ESL, it is notable that Saudi students have shown enthusiasm and motivation in learning English over time. Their levels of motivation are always depicted in the fact that they strive to attend their classes regularly, complete their schoolwork, attempt to interact with English First Language (EFL) students, tolerate foreign cultures, and other activities that would improve their ESL acquisition (Alkaabi, 2016). It is unfortunate that a decline in the motivational levels of the students, and at times the development of negative attitudes towards the language and ESL instructors, is inevitable for most of them. In fact, it should be noted that researchers, such as Ushioda (2009), report a steady drop in the motivational levels among this group of learners as soon as the initial novelty and enthusiasm of learning English starts waning. Therefore, understanding the intrinsic motivation of teaching and learning—the two elements are inseparable—among specialists in the area of education is paramount.
A reduction in the levels of motivation could translate gradually into the lack of motivation among Saudi students, both in local and international institutions of learning, to learn English. If this happens, it is sad to note that the phenomenon might jeopardize the academic achievements and professional ambitions of a majority of them who would like to work or learn overseas. The problem could be worse in cases that would result in the development of negative perceptions of ESL and its language community. Notably, for Saudi students undertaking their studies in the UK, a number of factors could be responsible for probable fall in their levels of motivation to learn English. The nature and orientation of the motivational aspects of the learning or acquisition of ESL that students from Saudi Arabia have in the UK educational system might not be to the required levels of efficiency that would sustain high motivational levels.
Various motivational types, including extrinsic and intrinsic, are often with different intensities in the levels of motivation (Ryan & Deci, 2000). The cited authors argue further that cultural shock plays a significant role in enhancing motivation to learn English among Saudi students. Geert Hofstede’s cultural diversity study reveals a significant variation in the cultures of the East and the West, which means that Saudi Arabia, the US, and the UK, for example, have significantly varied cultures that strengthen the cultural shock that Saudi students would experience with ESL (Pintrich, 2012). Several researchers, for example, Suleiman (1993), argue that students who have had unpleasant encounters with ESL or its speakers appear to have adverse attitudes towards the language and the English-speaking people. The wide variations in the systems of education of Saudi Arabia and the UK are yet another factor contributing to the gradual decline in the levels of motivation among Saudi students who take ESL lessons (Alrashidi & Phan, 2015). It is also worthwhile noting that international students, such as those from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, are often pressured by their educational institutions—from the international perspective—to learn English as fast as possible, which could produce negative experiences with the language. Again, these factors make it necessary for researchers to delve into the subject of motivation in relation to teaching and learning ESL.
Gap in LiteratureFirst, it is useful acknowledging the efforts of academia for the results realized so far in contributing to the wealth of knowledge in the given field or area of motivation to learn English among Saudi students. In this case, studies have explored the research area using different approaches, most of which have been qualitative. For instance, Al-Khairy (2013) investigated the perceptions of parents, teachers, and students concerning ESL. Alongside this approach to the topic, other researchers Khan (2011) have studied the barriers to effective teaching and learning of ESL among Saudi Arabian students. It is also noted that researchers have analyzed the element of intrinsic motivation in matters of second language competency. Overall, one notes that the topic is almost discussed exhaustively. Second, the fact that a larger percentage of the studies have to pay attention to Saudi students learning in an overseas institution motivates this study. Specifically, the current research paper concentrates on the issue of motivation to ESL acquisition by focusing on ESL instructors and learners in the national borders of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Though researchers, such as Moskovsky and Alrabai (2009), have used before the method used the current study seeks to collect the views of teachers and students of ESL in the country to determine factors motivating or demotivating their pursuance of the program. The author pays critical attention to the contributions of culture to the research variables, which extant studies rarely tackle. It is suggestive that the author of the current study identifies minimal focus by academia on the cultural perspectives contributing to intrinsic motivation to engage in ESL programs in Saudi Arabia.
Aim and ObjectivesHaving identified the area in research that current literature appears to have ignored, the current study aims at investigating the cultural perspectives of Saudi Arabia that motivate or demotivate the engagement of students and language instructors in ESL. Through focusing on this research aim, the research seeks to realize the following objectives:
To develop an understanding of the cultural differences between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UK and their relationship with educational accomplishment, especially in learning English.
To establish the perceptions of Saudi learners and teachers of ESL concerning English language, and the factors that motivate them to engage the ESL programs.
To determine the level to which the cultural differences between the UK and Saudi Arabia affect motivation and demotivation to engage in ESL programs for both students and students.
Research QuestionsThe research aim and objectives developed for this study result in the necessity for the researcher to answer the following questions:
What contributions does culture have to the development of education in the study region? Does the cultural variation between the UK and Saudi Arabia have implications on the teaching and learning of ESL in Saudi Arabia?
What is the perception of Saudi Students and language instructors towards English? Which of these perceptions relate to intrinsic motivation to engage in ESL programs?
Significance of the Research
The findings of this study contribute significantly to the wealth of information on the correlation between culture and education. Besides this contribution, and perhaps of the most critical importance, is that this study highlights the importance of cultural factors in motivating the learning and teaching of English as the second language in a foreign culture. Therefore, policymakers and teachers alike will have a chance of formulating culturally sensitive programs that would enhance the teaching and learning outcomes related to ESL.
Dissertation OutlineThis research paper has five chapters, which follow each other as indicated below:
Chapter 1 introduces the research paper, most significantly highlighting the background, identifying the gap in literature, aim and objectives of the study, the research questions, and describing the significance of the research.
Chapter 2 reviews extant literature on motivation ranging from the significance of motivation, the theories of motivation, the relationship between culture and motivation in education, and the state of teaching and learning ESL in Saudi Arabia.
Chapter 3 outlines the methodology adopted by the researcher. In specificity, the chapter describes the research design, the population and setting, methods used, data analysis and presentation, theoretical and conceptual models, research hypotheses, the technique of sampling, strengths and weaknesses of the adopted methodology, including the threats to the methodological validity, and the ethical considerations.
Chapter 4 describes the findings of the study and discusses them in relation to the theoretical and conceptual framework. The author further relates the findings with existing literature within this chapter.
Chapter 5 provides the conclusions of the project, recommendations, and implications for practice and further studying.
Chapter 2: Literature Review2.1. Chapter Outline
This section appraises extant studies in four areas. One of the issues that the author highlights is the criticality of motivation in the teaching and learning of English among alien speakers of the language. The chapter also discusses theories of motivation, especially those associated with learning. Next, the section reviews literature on the relationship between culture and motivation in education. Lastly, the author puts the study into the context of Saudi Arabia through reviewing existing research on the state of teaching and learning ESL in the country.
2.2. The Significance of Motivation in Teaching and Learning Second LanguageIt is impossible to underestimate the significance of motivation as an aspect of learning. In the literature on the acquisition and learning of the second language, the huge role played by motivation in the development of adeptness in the non-primary languages is acknowledged enormously (Moskovsky & Alrabai, 2009). Therefore, it is hardly a surprise that the past half a century or so has seen the emergence of a pool of literature describing different elements of the aspect of motivation about learning and teaching second languages. Most of the researchers in this field proposed the need for academia to develop deeper comprehensions of motivation as a concept and a theoretical model that would be used in describing its application to education (Oxford & Shearin, 2012). The researchers’ concern has also been on the need for academia to deal with practical aspects of motivation that would allow practitioners in the field of education to realize the benefits described in research. Historically, researchers have focused predominantly on the integrative motivational dichotomy that Lambert and Gardner (1972) originally proposed. It is notable that it has only recently that the focus of researchers shifted to additional elements of motivation that relate to the acquisition of second language proficiencies, including the element of intrinsic motivation (Deci & Ryan, 1985; Hodell & Lepper, 1989).
There exist different conceptualizations relating to intrinsic motivation in literature. For instance, some researchers (e.g., Purkey& Schmidt, 2007; 2009) suggest that intrinsic motivation entails the enhancement of self-concept of people by involving them in issues that have motivational effects. Other academicians have given simpler and broader definitions of intrinsic motivation—in aspects of what people are likely to do in the absence of external inducement (Sansone & Harackiewicz, 2000). It should be noted that intrinsic motivation has further been identified as the urge for one to involve in any activities for its own sake (Hanus & Fox, 2015). The fact that intrinsic motivations have been defined in different ways in extant studies is not important. What is critical and worth noting is the idea that the definitions are harmonious. In fact, they complement one another in the articulation of the real concept of intrinsic motivation. Therefore, it is useful understanding that the conceptualization of intrinsic motivation, especially from its broader sense, does not defy the constructs of integrative and other forms of motivation—with the exception of extrinsic motivation, of course.
According to Hodell and Lepper (1989), intrinsic motivation has four primary factors underpinning it, which are fantasy, control, curiosity, and challenge. In their argument, the authors posit that teachers should be conscious of the existence and meaning of these factors if they are to use them in the intrinsic motivation of their learners. Other researchers, such as (Vockell, 2001), accept the validity of these four primary factors that Hodell and Lepper proposed. However, it is notable that the cited author argues that the four factors are only operational at the individual level since they are a reflection of the personality and cognitive features of individuals. Another argument that Vockell advanced is the idea that interpersonal factors are also at play besides the four. Specifically, according to him, recognition, cooperation, and competition are three interpersonal factors that determine the levels of intrinsic motivation (Vockell, 2001). The author noted in addition that the three factors operate at the group level, and that they help in the stimulation of learners to subscribe to learning activities with the potential benefit of leading them to higher learning achievements.
It is imperative reviewing the conceptualization of each of the factors that literature identifies in relation to intrinsic motivation because of their significance in this research—they provide the basis for the development of the questionnaire used in data collection. In this respect, it is notable that (Vockell, 2001) suggests that challenge has its foundation on the notion that learners will probably be motivated by difficult and challenging tasks. In a further elaboration of this construct, Vockell argues his point using four ideas. First, he emphasizes that learners will always attempt to set and try achieving clearly defined goals. Second, the cited author indicates that learners do not perceive the set objects as extremely easy or hard. Third, Vockell conceptualizes that learners receive encouraging feedback concerning their progress in relation to difficult tasks. Lastly, the theorist contests that intrinsic motivation related to the element of challenge happens when the learners develop self-confidence upon attaining success with challenging tasks.
On the element of curiosity, Vockell suggests that it entails an assumption that students are always better motivated when they are given more stimulating and interesting cognitive and sensory environments (Vockell, 2001). The article suggests further that the element of control that learners have concerning what they do, and the manner in which they handle the learning tasks is critical. Vockell argues, “learners are likely to develop stronger senses of being in the control of what they do when they realize the activities of learning are relevant to the tasks that they are attempting to accomplish…,” (Vockell, 2001). He adds that motivation also arises from the realization that learners have chosen the learning activities freely as opposed to someone else, in this case, the teacher, imposing such activities on them. The study also indicates that fantasy infers the ability of the learners to utilize their imagination in the visualization of make-believe events that are correlated with learning material that also satisfies the emotional desires of the students.
In addition to the identified factions, Raffini (1996) (cited in Fukofuka, 2007) argued that enjoyment is another factor contributing to intrinsic motivation related to learning a second language. The author argues that learners require experience of enjoyment during their learning processes if they are to develop intrinsic motivation. It is also notable that the same study elaborates the interpersonal element of competence. In this case, the author assumes that for one to elevate the levels of intrinsic motivation among students, the development of environments that prompt the students to realize that their concerted effort to learn allows them to attain academic competence is a prerequisite. In his ideology, the author also indicates that despite the variations in the effort and time needed for academic attainment among learners, each one of them requires to develop a feeling of competence that is associated with achievement.
According to Clement et al. (1994) (cited in Dörnyei, 2001), cooperativeness and the element of group cohesion could be significant contributors to the motivation of learners. In the same school of thought, Schmuck and Schmuck (1974) (cited in Fukofuka, 2007) established in their study that the academic achievements of young learners were developed in their childhood when such students showed the willingness to support and help each other and when the classroom was significantly characterized by dispersed friendship. In his comment on the element of recognition, which is another interpersonal factor, Vockell (2001) asserts that students feel satisfaction if other people in their environments realize their accomplishments and appreciate them. The author elaborates that recognition should not be confused with competition in the sense that it does not entail a comparison with the levels of performance of others.
Several studies have established considerably significant correlations between the development of second language proficiency and intrinsic motivation. For instance, Ryan and Deci (2000) argued that intrinsic motivations elevate learning qualities among students. They indicate further that findings from different experimental research point at the fact that intrinsic motivation could be related closely to academic motivation. Extant studies indicate further that a connection exists between motivation and the greater interest of the learners in their course material, as well as higher academic performance. Findings from other research projects, such as (DePasque & Tricomi, 2015) suggest that intrinsic motivation could be beneficial to long-term proficiency development in a second language. This argument appears to coincide with that of Visser-Wijnveen, Stes, and Van Petegem (2014), who asserts that continuing students seem to be more motivated intrinsically compared to those who chose to discontinue their language studies.
Following this synthesis of literature on intrinsic motivation towards learning, it is plausible arguing that academia finds significant connections between intrinsic motivation and the development of second language competency. What remains is to put the theoretical ideas described in the literature in the context of Saudi Arabia.
2.3. Theories of MotivationUnderstanding the concept of motivation requires significant input from the theoretical perspective. To this idea, it is worthwhile comprehending that academia is full of studies proposing and affirming the significance of theories of motivation. What is notable about these theories is the fact that each one of them appears to be limited in its scope. Nevertheless, through an analysis of the primary ideas underpinning each theory, one may comprehend the entire idea of motivation. Though many ideas exist concerning the theoretical framework of motivation, this section of the chapter identifies only a handful of them, as described subsequently. It is useful understanding that the author of this research chose the theories for analysis according to their relevance to education.
2.3.1. Instinct PerspectiveInstinct theorists argue that persons are always motivated to act in specific ways since they are programmed to act so voluntarily. This approach to explaining motivation is founded on the idea that people use their inborn behavior patterns to be motivated in their actions. It is notable that in his argument for the instinct theory, William James (2003) developed a list outlining human instincts that entailed items, such as love, modesty, shyness, fear, anger, shame, play, and attachment. The choice of this model is founded on the fact that related studies indicate that it is the root of all the theories of motivation that was developed according to the psychology. It means that the model suggests that motivation is involuntary, which is why several factors underpin it.
2.3.2. Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation TheoriesAccording to Purkey & Schmidt (2007), intrinsic motivation relates to the depiction of activities that are done for the contentment of oneself, which means that they happen without external anticipation. It is described in the previous section of this chapter that intrinsic motivation is correlated with educational attainment. What is new in this section is the need to understand that this theory of motivation directs that people should engage in activities without the anticipation of external gifts, rewards, or under any pressure or compulsion (Ryan & Deci, 2000). The cited author also posits that intrinsic motivation is useful in spreading positivity and in making knowledge obtained through the learning process sustainable for a long time.
While intrinsic motivation is described adequately in this research, the aspect of extrinsic motivation—though quite necessary for the scope of the research paper—is yet to be covered. The inclusion of this theory in this analysis of literature draws relevance from the need to understand the existence of any overlapping or distinctive factors prompting motivation according to the two theories. In this regard, it should be noted that understanding the influence of motivation on the development of second language competence could be triggered by external factors, which is the core of the extrinsic model of motivation. It implies that the extrinsic model of motivation is the contrast of the intrinsic one. For this reason, (Alrashidi& Phan, 2015; Pintrich, 2012; Ryan & Deci, 2000) argue that this model of explaining motivation focuses on external activities, such as rewards. In the same line of thought, (Andrade, 2006) argues that compulsion could also lead to motivation, while (Vallerand, 2001) considers that punishment is also an external factor determining motivation.
The underlying perspective of the extrinsic motivational theory is the idea that persons are motivated when they receive rewards from their activities or when they are subjected to some form of compulsion or pressure. In comparison with the other model, apart from the elements of internal and external factors, another notable variation between the two models is the degree to which the motivations last. For instance, according to Ryan & Deci (2000), extrinsic motivation always depicts greater willpower of the students to engage in any learning activity, yet the same will fades off within a shorter time compared to intrinsic motivation. The same study suggests that if students become accustomed to extrinsic motivation, they are likely to develop a habit of engaging in specific activities only because they would like to receive associated rewards. Nevertheless, when individuals are unwilling to perform because of extrinsic and intrinsic factors, studies indicate that ‘amotivation’ occurs—a state in which neither of the two motivations occurs (e.g., Vallerand, 2001). In addition, the cited literature indicates that both types of motivation are critical to the learning process because they overlap in their causes.
2.3.3. Self-Determination TheoryAlso known as the SDT, the Self-Determination Theory is an evolution of the intrinsic and extrinsic motivations as argued by Wehmeyer and Shogren (2016). The theory holds that the learning environment serves to promote the performance and motivation of students as argued by Taylor et al. (2014). The cited author suggests that self-determination comprises of cognitive evaluation theory (CET) and psychological approach, which are handy in explaining how external factors affect internal motivation as discussed by Nie et al. (2015). These ideas bring to light the essence of autonomy and competencies by promoting intrinsic motivation, which are not only key to the learning process but also to co-curricular activities, such as sports and other related domains.
A number of scholars have defended the Organismic Integration Theory (OIT) together with Causality Orientation Theory (COT) ten years after the CET. The above is divided into two phases namely impersonal/ motivational stage and the Basic Psychological Needs Theory (BPNT). Equally, Impersonal phase emphasizes on the competence of an individual to deliver more, whereas BPNT has the desires of a person broken down to autonomy, competence, and understanding as reasoned by Mahmoudi et al. (2018). Furthermore, scholars persist that craving for satisfaction is core if only motivation is engaged helping translate into positive progress and realization of the objectives. More so, the Goal Contents Theory (GCT) puts an insight into the differences that exist between satisfaction of basic needs and prosperity, both are hinged upon intrinsic and extrinsic motivation (Gunnell et al., 2014). Besides, inherent goals as shown in the social settings are essential to the educational system, it primarily affects students who aim for both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation hoping to achieve better academic performance.
2.3.4. Arc’s ModelAccording to this model, human motivation is hinged on the behavioral and emotional aspects (Aşıksoy & Özdamlı, 2016). The strength of the model lies on both the learning process and the hope to succeed academically (Chang et al., 2015). This means that students’ motivation emanates from the attractiveness and satisfactoriness of the learning materials as supported by Busri et al. (2018). Based on Chiang’s et al. (2014) arguments, Attention, Relevance, Confidence and Satisfaction (ARCS) model efficiently boosts determination and triggers positive motivation in the learning process. Therefore, the model relies on Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction as determining factors that embrace students’ in entirety.
Conversely, the approach captures students’ attention and priorities while aiming at not only gaining knowledge but also engaging and sustaining the student in the learning process. Ideally, ARCS is relevant as it offers the student the option of relating to the topic, consequently, once students know that the topic in discussion relates to their position leading to the willingness to be fully attentive. Confidence, on the other hand ensures the positive inclination of the emotional status of the student by encouraging the learner to participate in the learning process. Therefore, satisfaction is regarded as the last part used to gauge the effects of the learning process on the student. Additionally, lack of appreciation puts more pressure to both the teacher and student to go past their limits; however, it also acts as a demotivating reason for the student to give up and look for other alternative. To sum up, different scholars like Loorbach (2015) insist that the students motivated by this model are driven by curiosity and eagerness to learn translating to achieving quality results.
2.3.5. Social Cognitive Theory
According to Stacey et al. (2015), a proponent of the Social Cognitive theory, deliberation on the implementation process is being witnessed in different institutions of communication and psychological fields resulting into little doubt about its validity. Furthermore, the theory refers to acquiring knowledge directly by observing, interacting and experiencing outside influencers to an individual’s wellbeing (Young et al., 2014). Font et al. (2016) and Tougas et al. (2015) who researched on the effects of social systems on individuals, including children, communication from different entities in the community help advance the ability to learn and construct new ideas.
Furthermore, as in the SCT theory, is the existence of the relationship between an individual and the environment in that they live in. The link is definite as an action on one part is bound to affect operations on the other side. The theory is an illustration of how individuals gain behavior patterns and provision of necessary strategic intervention behaviors. Classification under the social and physical environment places an insight on the influence the natural environment has on the individual. Socially, the situation refers to the people next to an individual including friends, colleagues, and enemies while the physical environment, on the other hand, is the natural weather condition, and the comfort one has (Boateng et al., 2016). As argued by the SCT, Taylor, et al. (2016), by employing an interactive learning process, the theory helps learners to gain confidence through the repetitive practice.
2.3.6. Expectancy TheoryThe expectancy theory’s development is based on the teachings of Hsu et al. (2014) stating that the development process focuses on the creation of an environment that motivates employees to perform their chores better, however, the theory was later revised expansively to accommodate other aspects of the motivation process as argued by Cheng and Chu (2014). The belief in the theory is that correlation exists in the efforts directed to a particular task and the realization of satisfying results. Additionally, the theory includes the satisfaction derived from the completion of a specific job. The theory creates a belief that, the stronger the effort, the better the performance will be, as well as the reward for the exemplary performance. The motivation energy is demonstrated through the successful accomplishment of a task. Yang and Xu (2017) argues that the relationship between performance and intrinsic benefits positively relates to the development of the human being. However, the rewards are not instantaneous leading to preference of different steps to motivation. Student motivation is guaranteed by knowledge of the expected outcome and the reward that comes along with good performance; as it makes students work with hope without wavering as stated by Martinez (2016). For instance, the changes ought to be rewarded by the set price as it will ensure future projects are tackled with due diligence. Lastly, the reward should carry the same value as stated beforehand, anything short of what was expected is only bound to mess up the learners ‘capacity to concentrate and deliver on their assignments.
One notes that the extensiveness of academia in addressing the theoretical models of motivation to learning recognizes that literature finds significant connections between the different theories reviewed through learning, even though they do not tackle the process of learning a new language. The findings could be attributed in part to the fact that the theories were developed to deal with the element of motivation to learning in general and not to address a narrowed aspect of the learning processes, such as ESL. While the theories described in this section of the chapter vary in their premises, it is plausible arguing that motivation is relative. For instance, different learners could be having different factors motivating them—the levels of motivation will always vary from student to student.
2.4. The Relationship between Culture and Motivation in EducationCulture, motivation, and education have a unique connection, but research did not fully unveil the relationship until recently. However, culture and motivation have been researched widely, and the results show an inseparable bond. It should be understood that approaching culture and motivation as a subject limits the importance of their contribution to other fields like education. For instance, King and Mclnerney (2016) criticized the negligence traditional research approaches to have had a concern on the importance of culture to educational processes. Indeed, most empirical studies on the relationship between culture and motivation in education reflected wealthy, mono-cultural western societies.
However, the relationship between education and culture continue to attract the attention of researchers, as evidenced by works of Nadhirin (2018) who approached motivation in education as a function of behavioral modification based on acquired values. The cited author indicates that culture in a learning environment does not fully confine to the diversity of learners, but it is also relates to the norms schools nurture to enhance learning as a step towards the achievement of success. Deal and Peterson (2016) postulated that a positive culture reinforces an urge to student’s eagerness to learn because school culture enhances focus among learners. It is also reported that steady leadership has critical influence on the performance outcomes of students in any learning environment (Deal & Peterson, 2016).
Lin-Siegler et al. (2018) concluded in their study that even renowned personalities like Albert Einstein achieved their academic fame because of an, “achievers’ culture” in their respective schools. Additionally, culture influences motivation to learn but the age of the learner may significantly influence the extent of learning as a continuous process. Culture stimulates motivation to learn, however, the impact of motivation to learn differs between adult learners and their young counterparts (Wlodkowski & Ginsberg, 2017). Additionally, technological advancement has added a new approach to culture and motivation to learn through research. For instance, technology challenges the traditional sense of “the learning setting” because learners taking online courses lack the benefits of teachers’ physical presence, common in a brick-and-motor classroom setting (Witworth & Chiu, 2015). However, culture alone may not motivate positive influence on learning if the learner was the lone object in the motivation process because teachers’ motivation to impart knowledge influences the student’s overall attitude towards learning. Approaches to research in culture and motivation in education continue to expand the scope of “culture,” a mix of not only parental influence on the behavior of learners during pre-school days, but also the impact of motivation on learning after dropping out of school. Apparently, parents have an early influence on the beliefs and overall behavior of learners, albeit not in the learning environment. However, little research knowledge has been conducted about the motivation process of people to learn own cultural practices.
The influence of parenting has captured the attention of researchers because parents play an essential role in the modeling of cultural beliefs in children before attaining school age. Wentzel (2018) argues that researchers have been reluctant to accept the importance of parenting styles to the cultural influence of motivation in education. Indeed, parenting is an important process to the overall alignment of culture to motivation in education. However, the approach of parenting to shaping one’s culture is not empirically analyzed through intensive research. Keller, Ucar and Kumtepe (2018), advanced the importance of the motivational power of culture in education by examining both global and distance learning environments. Froiland and Worrell (2016) hailed their idea, because they found that learning settings influence motivation in education besides culture. However, studies show that different types of motivation embrace the cultural quest differently. For example, learning goals, achievement, and engagement in a diverse environment depend on intrinsic motivation to culturally influence the learning process.
The question of diversity in a learning environment is important because culture is not the same in learning settings. Firstly, diversity implies that a learning environment may consist of students from different cultural backgrounds both at a national and global level. Pinpointing cultural differences and their influence on motivation in education remains an open field of research. Furthermore, cultural diversity implies that an ethnic community living in a different country may or may not influence motivation to teach (Olson, 2015). Interestingly, there is bias in research because the role of teachers towards recognizing the cultural influence of motivation to learning is not yet exploited exhaustively. Firstly, educationists allege that students could achieve higher grades if their learning needs were mapped to their cultural identities. Conversely, tailor-making syllabuses to reflect students’ learning needs based on cultural identity are the main challenge of diverse learning environments.
Much (2018) integrated the need to recognize the importance of barriers to the learning process as applicable to motivation in a learning setting. Researchers have given the introduction of barriers’ influence to the learning process a raw deal because students with, for instance, disabilities may be motivated differently from their normal counterparts. Consequently, researchers have neglected the importance of exploring the relationship between culture and motivation in education, especially concerning learners with special needs. Additionally, research has affirmed that culture has a great influence on educational motivation though knowledge gaps still exist especially when examining cross-cultural motivation levels. Overall, the quantification of the amount or concentration of motivation in education remains a mystery because researchers have reported comparable motivation levels in learning settings. Furthermore, many societies socialize differently along cultural values concerning gender perceptions. Dukhaykh (2018) concluded from a quantitative study that Saudi Arabian women were influenced negatively by their staunchly religious culture to underachieve in education compared to their male counterparts. This cultural orientation implies that culture motivates training in some societies, but hampers educational progress of specific gender (primarily female). Consequently, the impact of culture continues to open potential research areas as to how motivation is accomplished in a given society, which has a unique culture.
Lastly, recent studies have shifted research focus on the relationship between cultural motivations in education concerning personality traits. Burgess and Heller-Sahlgren (2018) alleged that the ethical nature of a learner’s culture is also important to educational achievement through motivation. The consciousness of a learner, they argued, is likely to influence the ethical and moral stances of the given learner’s culture. Furthermore, the ability of a religion to control a learner’s moral and ethical beliefs motivates educational achievement more than culture does, which does not enhance the moral uprightness of a learner. Studies show that some male learners from societies with high gender discrimination tendencies transfer such cultural beliefs to classroom settings. Eventually, males from such studies perceive female teachers’ abilities in education as inferior, leading to lower grades in subjects taught by female teachers.
In conclusion, researchers identify a significant connection between culture and education. The levels of socialization in communities around the world, for example, have been identified as the primary factors affecting the perception of education among people. It is plausible positing that supportive cultures developed from proper parenting skills, communal values, and other aspects motivate people to learn while negative ones could be potential sources of demotivation.
2.5. The State of Teaching and Learning ESL in Saudi ArabiaTeachers of English in Saudi Arabia have devised various strategies for teaching English as a second language in a country that predominantly speaks Arabic. In addition, the teachers have designed motivation strategies with the objective of achieving success in their teaching. The strategies consist of reflective and dynamic processes that encompass critical understanding concepts in the English language, which encourage learners. Teachers often adopt interactive approaches in their delivery of content, which allows learners to participate in the learning process, thus acquiring more confidence in their use of language. According to Chapman and Vagle (2011), interactive learning provides the best atmosphere for teaching language as it enables students to put concepts into context. Ideally, Saudi ESL teachers, or at least those concerned with teaching the language, understand that learning a language requires constant practice as opposed to the mastering of theoretical concepts.
Al-Seghayer (1997) indicates that identifying suitable strategies that motivate learners to learn a language complement the process of policymaking. For this reason, Saudi Arabian authorities attempt to motivate teachers of English by way of making English the main instructional language across all intermediate, as well as secondary schools. Teaching and learning ESL is critical in the Saudi context and the importance ranges from intermediate school all the way to Grade 12 where learners complete their high school studies. According to Nadar (2008), English is an international language, and one of the most admired global languages. The language remains the main instructional medium in the study of pharmacy, science, and medicine in most of the universities around the world, which explains the importance of studying the language among Saudi Arabian students. Additionally, literature emphasizes the teaching and learning of English by the Saudi Arabian authorities due to the increased the demand for English language skills by foreign employers.
Abalhassan (2002) indicates that despite the acceptance that English plays a crucial role in Saudi Arabia, only 25-30 learners enroll for EFL classroom in populous cities, including Jazan. He further notes that a population of 25-30 is insufficient to allow learners to learn conversational English. Learners attend 4-5 English language lessons in a week, which provides minimal chances for them to communicate accurately in English. Moreover, the classrooms have limited computer labs and magazines for students to continue learning English in their free time, which makes it even more difficult to grasp the use of the English language. Notably, teacher-centered methods stands are the most common teaching styles in places, such as Jazan City and entire Saudi Arabia. Therefore, that mode of delivery contradicts research findings that suggest interactive language learning approach as the best approach to language learning.
Al-Seghayer (1997) observes that Saudi Arabian learners, as do learners of foreign languages the world over, performed dismally in the English language. Moreover, Saudi Arabian students still post poor grades in the English language despite learning the same for six years before joining the university. He further notes that students joining universities experience difficulties expressing themselves in English. The author further finds that the problem in using English extends to both social and professional communication skills. Consequently, to address the challenge, the Saudi Arabian government, particularly the Ministry of Education, established a policy that teaching English begins at the elementary level, precisely at grade 5, in a bid to increase English language competence among students in their future years.
Zaid (1993) avers that a majority of ESL instructors in Saudi Arabia emphasize the teaching of reading skills and grammatical rules in the misguided thinking that these skills are the most important skills. Consequently, less attention has been given to competence in communication. However, the leading cause of poor performance in English emphasizes on the use of the Grammar Translation Method. Most Saudi Arabian ESL teachers have limited contact with native English speakers, which also limit their chances of learning the correct pronunciation of words. Consequently, teachers find it difficult to demonstrate to learners the correct pronunciation of English words contributing immensely to the limited grasp of the language.
Furthermore, most classes in Saudi Arabia are overpopulated, which makes the teacher spend more time in maintaining class discipline rather than delivering the content. In addition, the high teacher-student ratio makes it difficult for the teachers of English to give individual attention to learners. Teachers of any language require giving each learner personal attention to identify the challenges they face in the learning of language and address them (Zaid, 1993). Alabbad (2009) indicates that the primary objective for instructing ESL in Saudi Arabia is for use in communication, but the teachers of English have not internalized that objective, which is why they emphasize the perfection of written grammar. This misplaced emphasis has resulted in students performing well in written examinations, but failing apply the lessons in practical communications.
Generally, the environment in Saudi Arabia also frustrates the learning of English because Arabic remains the national language of communication—this is a significant cultural aspect underpinning learner motivation in the nation to learn English. For instance, the learners practice English only 4-5 times a week during the English classes, and after that, they go back to their homes where Arabic dominates (Alabbad, 2009). Moreover, the shift from Arabic to English has been problematic considering the fact that Arabic does not use alphabets. Most students find it very difficult to transition from the Arabic language to English since most of them believe that a language bears peoples’ culture, therefore, learning a foreign language amounts to the learning of a foreign culture. Alabbad (2009) notes that change in attitude by students towards learning English will enhance the acquisition of communication skills.
Overall, Saudi Arabia has made significant advancement in the introduction of the English language as an instructional medium of communication. However, the policies implemented by the Ministry of Education ought to put more focus on equipping teachers of English with the appropriate skills for delivering content. Moreover, addressing the teacher-student ratio will also help in facilitating the learning process (Alabbad, 2009). Saudi Arabia also needs to increase interaction between the teacher for English and native English speakers to ensure that they grasp the correct pronunciation of words and the proper context of using the same words for purposes of demonstrating for students.
Cultural factors, especially gender and native language issues, define education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. For instance, Edwards, Watson, and Chan (2012) aver that the cultural orientation of Saudi women affects their quest for education. The Saudi culture and religion by extension demand that men take up all the family responsibilities, including taking care of their wives. Most Saudi Arabians view education as an avenue for one to get gainful employment, which means that they experience a conflict of interest between domestic issues and schooling (Edwards, Watson, & Chan, 2012). Another interesting idea from the cited study is the argument that men opt to pursue education, acquire a job, and sustain their families and, thus they see no need for women to enroll in schools. Furthermore, lack of responsibilities also makes women reluctant to pursue education to completion.
Alabbad (2009) indicates that even though Saudi Arabian students interact with individuals from diverse cultures, the interaction does not equip them with the intercultural competence one would expect. At the university or the college level, Saudi students find the situation reversed: in this case, they have to contend with the consequences of the misunderstandings attributed to their superiors. Notably, in school setups, teachers are superior to students, which mean that the students expect their teachers to protect them from all adverse circumstances whether pleasant to them or unpleasant. This situation provides a suitable scenario where cultural misperception, particularly on motivation and work ethics, hinder a student’s progress in attaining their language goal can be realized.
Alrashidi and Phan (2015) indicate clearly that intercultural incompetence among a majority of Saudi students affects their classroom work negatively. In addition, they point out that Saudi students find Western culture and education practices challenging and marginalizing. To the authors, the marginalization idea explains why Saudi students struggle at international universities since they feel discriminated by teaching practices that appear incomprehensible and unorthodox in comparison to their upbringing. Consequently, Saudi students develop a negative attitude towards their teachers and the education process. A negative attitude towards learning often results in poor performance. According to Edwards, Watson, and Chan (2012), expatriate teachers ought to orient themselves with the Saudi culture before taking up the teaching jobs. The culture clash between the expatriate teachers and the Saudi students make it difficult to achieve a favorable classroom environment where learning can occur.
According to Edwards, Watson, and Chan (2012), Saudi Arabian male students perform dismally in school as they waste a lot of time defending their religious and cultural practices at the expense of learning. Students interact with expatriate teachers and spend a lot of time explaining to the teachers why they do not regret holding on to those practices. Moreover, most of them suffer prejudice and, therefore opting to keep out of school and concentrate on their families. Interestingly, most of the Saudi men find it difficult embracing foreign cultures despite living in the same households with foreigners who serve as domestic managers in their houses. In addition, children belonging to wealthy families often travel abroad to London, Bahrain among other countries and as a result have sufficient exposure but still find it challenging to accommodate diversity in the school environment. The expatriate teacher often goes through a difficult time handling the students due to their conservative nature.
Though literature does not identify the state of teaching and learning ESL in the Saudi Arabian context per se, by extension, it points at the challenges that instructors and students alike meet in their endeavors. From this perspective, it would be proper to summarize that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not have suitable environment that supports the teaching and learning of ESL that compares other countries, especially the native English-speaking ones. Reasons given by academia for the challenges range from gender role division to the dominance of Arabic language to the perception of English language as alien to the cultural framework of the nation among Saudi students and the entire community.
2.6. Chapter SummaryHaving undertaken such a thorough analysis of existing studies, several points emerge concerning ESL in Saudi Arabia. The first idea that studies have indicated is that motivation is relative, and that it depends on several factors, including individual and environmental ones. As a result, it is stands out that motivation is a primary factor in developing ESL competency. It is also notable that despite the existence of numerous theories explaining motivation, students and instructors of ESL should always find reasons to motivate themselves since motivation has different sources. The reviewed literature also identifies the fact that culture plays a significant role in motivation. For example, in the Saudi context, religion, the dominance of Arabic language and gender roles define the motivation of students and teachers to learn English.
Chapter 3: Methodology3.1. Research Design and RationaleThis research adopts the quantitative approach to studying. It is imperative noting that though the qualitative approach would have been suitable for the nature of this study, the author chose otherwise because of the need to interpret numerical data associated with the motivation of teachers and learners of ESL in the study region. Another factor informing the choice of this methodology is that it sought to test the formulated hypotheses that were developed following a thorough review of literature. Therefore, since the qualitative approach would not provide proper means of testing the hypotheses, the researcher overlooked its applicability to the current study. It is also mentioned in the introduction of this paper that extant studies in the field appear to favor the qualitative approach, which is why the current study adopts the quantitative one—the researcher seeks to contribute to the volume of studies explaining motivation to learn ESL in the Saudi Arabian Context using the quantitative methodology.
3.2. Population and SettingThe study collects data from some fifty-five respondents concerned with ESL in Jazan City of Saudi Arabia. The researcher obtained the study sample from an intermediate school, a technological institute, two universities, and two secondary schools in Saudi Arabia. The recruited respondents ranged in their ages from twelve years to twenty-seven years. It means that the mean age of the students was 20.5 years, which figure 1 indicates. From figure 1, it is realized that the modal age of the respondents was twenty-two years. Considering the statistics on the gender aspect of the study sample, it is useful understanding that the researcher strived to stick to the requirements of gender balance, which is why twenty-six (47.27 percent) males and twenty-nine of them (52.73 percent) were females, as indicated in figure 2.
Figure 1: The age statistics of respondents used in the study
Figure 2: the gender statistics of the respondents used in the study
3.3. MethodThe research uses data collected using a structured questionnaire (see the appendix for the information on the questionnaire) that was administered during a survey. The use of questionnaires as a method of data collection is lauded in literature as among the most effective approaches. For instance, according to Creswell (2002), questionnaires provide reliable responses from study populations because they allow them enough time to think about the responses to specific questions. In addition, the author of this study chose the survey approach to collection of data because it allows one to collect more information in limited time. Since one of the challenges that the researcher faced during the collection of data was the time constraints, conducting a survey was appropriate. Before the researcher administered the questionnaires used in the survey, it is imperative noting that they provided recruited respondents with comprehensive information concerning all elements of the project, which ranged from its objectives, to the methodology, to other relevant information. It is also notable that the researcher provided the respondents with enough instructions that would enable them to complete the questionnaires.
Fifty-three out of the fifty-five respondents who were recruited for data collection (96.37 percent) returned their questionnaires with all the questions duly answered. The remaining two respondents did not complete their questionnaires, which is why they were ignored in the final analysis of data. The researcher modeled the questionnaire administered during the study on the model that Watanabe and Schmidt (2001) proposed. The researcher focused on the elements of intrinsic motivation and the possible sources. It does not imply, however, that the questionnaire overlooked questions that target other types of motivation, especially extrinsic, instrumental, and integrative, since some of them are included. The reason for the addition of these questions is the thought that since the study incorporates elements of culture, some external factors influence the motivation of students in the chosen research region to learn ESL. The entire list of questions used in the survey is found in the appendix of this research article (table 1).
The administered questionnaire contained twenty-seven items that were structured to investigate the four primary types of motivation. Specifically, questions one to twenty measured intrinsic motivation, question twenty-six assessed extrinsic motivation, questions twenty-three and twenty-four dealt with integrative motivation while questions twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty-five, and twenty-seven concerned instrumental motivation. The questions dealing with intrinsic motivation were further designed such that they captured the sources of this type of motivation among the respondents. In this case, questions thirteen and fourteen dealt with culture and the curiosity of learners in the study region to learn ESL, questions eight, nine, eleven, and twelve assessed competitiveness, while questions one to seven spanned the issue of enjoyment. It should be understood further that question fifteen assessed the idea of the control of respondents over the process of learning, question twenty dealt with cooperativeness in the classroom environment, while questions sixteen to nineteen concerned challenge. Respondents in the study were required to pick any of five options that were assigned numerical values, as table 1 indicates. Questions six, seven, and nine (the only negatively worded items) were assigned opposite values for obvious reasons.
Option Strongly Agree Agree I don’t Know Disagree Strongly Disagree
Numerical value 4 3 0 2 1
Table 1: numerical options attached to responses that the study population was required to choose for each question
3.4. Data Analysis and PresentationThe researcher subjected the collected information to basic statistical analyses that included the standard deviation and the mean using the SPSS software. The research utilized the mean of the hits to specific questionnaire items in the establishment of the relative levels of the tested types of motivation. In this case, the author conceptualized that a higher mean suggested an accompanying high level of motivation and vice versa. The researcher applied the standard deviation statistics because they wanted to determine the relative levels of disagreement in responses that were given for every questionnaire item. Table 1 in the appendix provides a summary of the findings. Notably, the table also gives numerical values for percentages of the positive responses indicated in table 1 provided in this chapter that respondents gave for each of the questionnaire items. Furthermore, table 2 in the appendix provides a comparative ranking for each of the questionnaire items in relation to the percentages of the positive responses.
It was also imperative that the researcher analyzes the collected data using age and gender variables. Concerning the former aspect, the researcher divided the respondents into groups of over and under eighteens, and the cut-off point was the transition age of the respondents from junior schooling levels to institutions of higher learning. The research further applied ANOVAs to the four primary types of motivation as a means of establishing the statistical significances among their differences. Lastly, it was needful to conduct T-tests on the types of motivation to establish the existence of statistical variations in the obtained responses in relation to gender and age variables.
3.5. Conceptual ModelThe four types of motivation that this study investigated relative to each other have five different factors that promote them, as indicated in related literature reviewed in chapter 2. For instance, according to chapter two, motivation could be related to cooperativeness, recognition, challenge, curiosity, competitiveness, and enjoyment. In addition, the same literature indicates that cultural factors influence the levels of motivation to learn ESL in the context of Saudi Arabia. The most significant factors considered for this study are the fact that Arabic is the dominant language in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and that custom defining gender roles in society influence motivation. Though the study questions do not explicitly use gender-specific terms — the author recognizes the fact that Saudi Women do not recognize it as an issue per se—comparing the findings from female and male respondents provides insight into the issue. The research adopts the following conceptual model.
Perception of ESL
MOTIVATION to learn ESL
The red arrow represents a negative correlation
The blue arrows indicate a positive correlation
Perception of ESL
MOTIVATION to learn ESL
The red arrow represents a negative correlation
The blue arrows indicate a positive correlation
Figure 3: the adopted conceptual model of the research
3.6. HypothesesThe conceptual model in figure 3 indicates the existence of several relationships between motivation and factors drawn from literature. The following hypotheses, therefore, can be drawn from the conceptual model and reviewed literature:
H1 — Enjoyment has a positive correlation with the perception of ESL among Saudi students and instructors of the language, which has a further positive relationship with motivation.
H2 — Competitiveness has a positive correlation with the perception of ESL among Saudi students and instructors of the language, which has a further positive relationship with motivation.
H3 — Curiosity has a positive correlation with the perception of ESL among Saudi students and instructors of the language, which has a further positive relationship with motivation.
H4 — Challenge has a positive correlation with the perception of ESL among Saudi students and instructors of the language, which has a further positive relationship with motivation.
H5 — Recognition has a positive correlation with the perception of ESL among Saudi students and instructors of the language, which has a further positive relationship with motivation.
H6 — Competitiveness has a positive correlation with the perception of ESL among Saudi students and instructors of the language, which has a further positive relationship with motivation.
H7 — Saudi culture has a negative correlation with the perception of ESL, which has a further negative relationship with motivation.
H8 — intrinsic motivation has a positive correlation with learning ESL than other types of motivation.
3.7. Sampling TechniqueSince the researcher used a survey in the collection of data, it was critical to select the study population from the wider community of students of ESL. Therefore, the author chose the random sampling technique, which is one of the most recommended methods of sampling as indicated in (Creswell, 2002). The cited author suggests that random sampling is appropriate for most study designs because it provides every responded with an equal opportunity of being recruited. It should be noted that it was necessary for the researcher to use this method because they wanted to avoid any aspects of bias that would come with the choice of another method of sampling.
3.8. Strengths and Weaknesses of the MethodologyThe methodology adopted in this study provided the researcher with the chance of testing different hypotheses. In doing so, the advantage that it offered was the fact that the researcher was able to establish connections between different factors with the objective of eliminating outliers. Specifically, the study strived to eliminate any threats to the validity of the collected information through the structuring of the questionnaire and subjecting the findings to a series of statistical tests. Despite the identified strength of the methodology, generalizing the finds for the whole student and instructor population in Saudi Arabia may be implausible considering that the study recruited a small population.
3.9. Ethical ConsiderationsResearchers are aware of ethical implications when using human samples. To this effect, the current study adhered to the principles of ethics outlined by Aguinis & Henle (2002). For instance, it is mentioned that respondents were only recruited upon signing the consent form, which was necessary in ensuring that they willfully entered the study. Another critical ethical issue that the present research considered is confidentiality and privacy of respondents. As a norm, the researcher does not mention the names of specific students and other sensitive information that would compromise their value as humans. In doing so, the researcher promoted the wellbeing of respondents through avoiding to mention their identities. In addition, ethical principles direct that researchers do not place the burden of responding to the study questions, which is why the methodology describes that a random sampling approach was chosen in recruiting the sample population.
Chapter 4: Results, Analyses, and DiscussionsThe questionnaire led to the collection of data, which contained a range of fascinating aspects deserving deep consideration. The research identified interesting aspects of discussion relating to the results that were established through in-depth statistical analyses of the collected information. Firstly, the emerging aspects present in the analyzed data justify the questionnaire’s reliability as the main instrument of data collection during the entire survey period. Secondly, subsequent analysis of the collected data, which led to the results under discussion, underpins the importance of data sorting before in-depth analyses. Following an examination of the results from a statistical analysis point of view, as presented in table 2 in the appendix, the participants revealed a unique response pattern, as evidenced by the questionnaire throughout the entire survey exercise. Specifically, respondents were appealingly positive to the survey questions. One notes that intrinsic motivation dominated the other three motivational types, (extrinsic, integrative, and instrumental). For instance, the questionnaire consisted of twenty-seven (27) questions, and twenty-two (22) questions represented 81.5% of the total responses from participants. Additionally, results showed that over 70% of responses were positive values indicated by, “STRONGLY AGREE” and “AGREE.” At a glance, a novice researcher might be tempted to conclude that the results represent very high motivation levels for Saudi ESL students.
Conversely, such results can be misleading from a seasoned researcher’s point of view because only statistical tests can answer the research questions. Such an early assumption would contradict the generally known low trends in second language learning success rates in the Kingdom. Consequently, understanding the cause of low achievement in second language proficiency would be impossible for the Saudi Arabian case. Explaining results, which show potentially low levels of motivation would be a challenge too. Therefore, the high motivation levels, as indicated by the results from the respondents, can be explained in the light of two dependable reasons. First, psychological studies have shown through in-depth research that respondents have a tendency of responding more positively than negatively to survey questions (Watanabe and Schmidt, 2001). Subsequently, people have an innate characteristic of leaning towards the positive side of responses, especially when the desire is to receive the approval of others. Second, and contrary to the first reason, the high positive levels presented by respondents could represent exact motivational orientation towards ESL in the study setting.
Furthermore, the dependability of the questionnaire, as the primary research instrument for data collection in the survey guarantees the reliability of the high positive responses necessary for making informed conclusions. The survey questions in the questionnaire were very reasonable in their construction such that common sense would guide any participant to respond appropriately to each question. Some questions practically guided participants to choose specific responses over others appropriately. A respondent would, for example, be asked to assess the benefits of working hard towards achieving high grades in learning ESL for Saudi Arabian learners. Such a statement was framed as follows, “Studying English is not easy, but working hard can improve my grades.” Over 95% of the respondents chose, “Strongly Agree” as their response because any reasonable participant would hardly choose an adverse reaction even if the actual motivation is low. Such a statement may not be sufficiently reliable as an indicator of the real attitude towards motivation levels of respondents concerning learning a second language in Saudi Arabia.
Some questionnaire items may not be reliable to validate the highly favorable response rates of 70% of the questionnaire as the research instrument. However, the poll used in this survey was reliable overall. Examining table 2 (see the appendix) supports the trends in the items (questions in the questionnaire) because there is a drop in the motivation indicators at the lower ends of the table. Specifically, the analysis of elements in the ranking table shows that participants were likely to give a negative response to questions, which pinpointed that the reasons for learning English were a challenge as a second language. As expected, but with a sense of curiosity, a drop in the ranking levels in the ranking table depicts a sharp decline in the percentage values representing approval of motivation to learn ESL in the Saudi Arabian setting. The values show a gradual drop from their usual range, but a 15-point deviation between the second and third lowest approval values is worth noting. However, the values continued to drop, registering a further 6-point drop in the lowest ranked item on the questionnaire.
Equally, it is not surprising to record a deviation of more than 9 points between a 15-point drop for the second and third questionnaire items, and the lowest ranked article, which asked respondents to give their opinion about how they felt concerning the end of English lessons. Specifically, the issue was as follows, “I always feel like English lessons could continue when they ended.” This item drew mixed responses across all respondents because the item represented the lowest drop in the approval ratings of motivation to have English classes continue when they ended. However, the negative items ranked lower in percentage values of motivation indicators. For example, 41.5% of the respondents preferred to sit while listening to the English classes without having an instructor compel them to speak English as a second language. The item indicates that a sizable population of second language learners prefers to listen to the language being taught by an instructor, but dislike speaking the second language. One may note the significance of cultural factors in determining the motivation of students to learn English. For instance, it could be that most of the learners dislike being compelled to speak English because they rarely use it in their conversations with family members and the community. Optionally, the 41.5% agreement rate to the statement, “I prefer just to sit and listen during English classes; I dislike being compelled by an instructor to speak the language,” implies that about 60% of the respondents are motivated to speak English as a second language.
Interestingly, the results also show a fascinating relationship among questionnaire items. A significant correlation is apparent, especially in the ranking trends among items nineteen to twenty-four in the questionnaire. Table 2 in the appendix shows that item nineteen ranks lower than items ten and twenty-four in the table. Controversially, item three on the questionnaire has a percentage score of 35.8, implying that the percentage difference between item nineteen and three is twenty. The twenty percent difference in percentage response is both massive and unique in two senses. Firstly, the ranking (see table 2 in the appendix) shows that no other two items illustrate such a deviation between the positive and negative values of motivation to learn a second language. Secondly, the difference between items three at 35.8%, representing the lowest disapproval ranking, is significant because the highest ranked approval value is over 80%.
The analysis of both the lowest negative and positive approval values raises one important question, “Why would there be such a massive difference in motivation approvals for a tiny sample of the study population?” The issue lacks an obvious answer because explaining would require conducting a post-research interview for all participants. Equally, such a move would not be feasible, and tracing all participants may not be comfortable too. Such a commitment would be rare, both economically and professionally, because the sacrifice needed by the researcher would surpass the economic and time constraints of the survey. Nevertheless, undertaking post-research interviews with the respondents might be important if the explanation for the differences in the motivation figures implies addition of knowledge to the research fraternity.
The lower approval values of 35.8% imply that more than 60% of respondents are ready to pay a dear price to attend classes to learn a second language in Saudi Arabia. The assumption lies in the tendency of humans to go beyond their limits to achieve what motivates them more. Comparatively, the 35.8% response level must be indicative of some significance whose essence shall be explained by statistical tests conducted for the results. In assumption, the items, which showed a high positive response, might contrast with the few questionnaire responses that showed a low negative reaction. Furthermore, it can imply that the respondents who indicated a high tendency to motivation may not represent a genuine willingness to the commitment of achieving highly if the human psychological behavior of respondents choosing the positive side of the questions is reliable.
Moreover, the high positive values could also show the current shift from the traditional outlook of the Saudi’s way of learning a new language, because the necessity of learning English as a second language continues to compel people to learn—an element of extrinsic motivation. Educationists have shown that a highly motivated learner is willing to pay any price if the focus is to achieve highly in a subject. Therefore, Saudi ESL learners, although not generalizable to the whole population, could be showing a new motivational trend of learning a new language, a fact that is enshrined in the English language’s necessity in Saudi Arabia for many learners.
The analysis of data sourced from the survey results unveils new insights into the real motivation situation in Saudi EFL learners in two ways. First, the organized results appear to back the notion that instrumental motivation is more significant in the learning of foreign languages when compared to an integrative one, which applies to the context of learning a second language. Therefore, the results show a unique orientation of questionnaire items to both instrumental motivation and integrative motivation for Saudi participants. Questionnaire items, which focused on instrumental motivation generally, indicated high approval rates from respondents. For instance, item twenty-two, “I learn English because it is important for communication when travelling abroad,” showed high affirmative approval from respondents. Such questions needed common sense to answer because travelling abroad would imply sourcing the services of an interpreter for non-English speakers. Usually, reliable interpreters may be hard to locate unless traced in advance. Therefore, most learners are willing to surpass limits to ensure that they master a second language to communicate in foreign contexts especially when travelling.
The ability to learn a second language influenced by the necessity to communicate during overseas journeys is an example of instrumental motivation to learn specific words for Saudi ESL learners. Consequently, all respondents (100%) strongly agreed with item twenty-two, which targeted their opinion of learning a second language (English) for the convenience of communication when travelling overseas. Contrarily, item twenty-three on the questionnaire posted both low and mixed results because it is an example of integrated motivation. The item stated, “I am motivated to learn English because I have an interest in the English culture,”and it scored 73.8%. However, question twenty-four on the questionnaire scored the lowest figure (58.6%) to show that Saudi ESL learners have the lowest integrative motivation to learn English because they lack desire to live in America or any other English-speaking nations, such as Australia, the US, or the UK. Figure 4 illustrates the scores posted by respondents for the four distinct types of motivations for learning ESL.
Figure 4: Showing comparative ranking of the four types of motivations investigated in the survey.
Notably, the numerical differences across the four types of motivations were not statistically significant following repeated ANOVAs conducted on the collected data. Furthermore, a T-test for both gender and age was also statistically insignificant across the four types of motivation (instrumental, intrinsic, extrinsic and integrative) at ps>.05. Intrinsic motivation was the central focus of the study, and its comparison to other types of motivations is interesting. Comparatively, group consideration of intrinsic motivation questionnaire items is presented in figure 5, as characterized by their respective means.
Figure 5: Comparing intrinsic motivation (on the left) with other types of motivation (on the right).
Figure 5 shows that there is a tiny difference between other items and intrinsic motivation for the Saudi ESL learners. Although, the means of intrinsic motivation show no statistical significance, the items for intrinsic motivation have an even distribution statistic converse to others in the raking table, as shown in table 2 in the appendix section of the paper. The distribution trends in intrinsic motivation questionnaire items concur with the research’s underlying assumption that intrinsic motivation dominates integrative and instrumental motivations. Figure 5 showed that the effect of intrinsic motivation on Saudi ESL learners surpasses extrinsic, instrumental, and integrative motivation combined, albeit without any statistical significance.
Consequently, intrinsic motivation items seven and sixteen on the questionnaire rank among the best, and this should not draw any surprises because intrinsic motivation has a dominant effect over the other three (extrinsic, integrative, and instrumental) motivations. The trend is justified by other survey questionnaire items like item fifteen, which shows lower ranking because it reflects motivations other than intrinsic tendencies on Saudi ESL learners. The results are indicative of a possible conclusion that intrinsic motivation is a combination of constituent motivations that influence an individual’s Saudi ESL learner. Conversely, intrinsic motivation may be dominant over others, but it may be thought to consist of smaller motivations, which act singly, or in a group to influence the learning orientations of the Saudi ESL learners. Additionally, the question of relevance could be of interest to the Saudi environment too. There is a generalized agreement that intrinsic motivations may act differently to influence the learning orientations of the Saudi ESL learners. Therefore, intrinsic motivations have a different influence on each learner.
Furthermore, the effect of each intrinsic motivation is different from others given the same conditions of influence. Simply put, intrinsic motivations have varied relevance implications to a Saudi ESL learner. However, gender (one of the elements of culture studied) considerations show that intrinsic motivations have different influences on the two genders (female and male). Gender-based motivations show deviations in preferences too. For instance, male participants preferred to positively identify with learning English for being able to communicate with others while travelling abroad to an English-speaking destination. With a mean of 3.37, the preference of males to learn English to help them communicate when travelling abroad is relative because its relevance depends on who often travels to an English speaking country.
Therefore, the results continue to reveal insights into the lifestyles and characteristics of the Saudi ESL learners, something that is worth noting. Conversely, female learners showed a surprising tendency of motivation contrary to what males prefer for motivation. Females were motivated to learn based on the content presented by the instructors. Specifically, females were more motivated to learn ESL because of pictures, graphics, and cards present in English books. The attractions coincide with item thirteen in the survey questionnaire, which states, “The pictures, cards, and drawings found in English study books draw my interest to learn a second language.” However, the mean value of gender-based intrinsic motivation between males and females (with a mean of 3.32) is very small, as indicated in figure 6.
Females showed another intrinsic motivation trait through item fourteen of the questionnaire, which states that females are likely to learn English to fulfill individual curiosities. Surprisingly, learning English to fulfill personal curiosity posted the highest mean in the rankings (3.76). The curiosity to learn a language encompasses many aspects of intrinsic motivation because it raises various questions resulting from its gender orientations. Only females chose item fourteen! Consequently, the tendency of women to be attracted to drawings, pictures, and cards to learn ESL, and learning English to fulfill curiosity tell the same story: curiosity is the driving factor. The two factors motivated the derivation of possible statistical significance, and indeed the results showed significance. A t-test indicated a significant statistical difference between the two genders. The test value for item 13 at p < .05 was t = 2.04, while the value of the accompanying t-test for item 14 for p < .05 was t= 2.533. Notably, female Saudi ESL learners are easily motivated to learn ESL compared to their male counterparts, the results that agree with the findings of preceding studies. Conversely, the difference in their means was not statistically significant at p>.05.
Figure 6: Mean comparisons according to gender.
Analysis of age as a factor revealed exciting results because the resultant means were nearly identical. Over-eighteen-year-olds produced a mean of 3.1728, and the under-eighteen-year-olds had a mean of 3.1675. As expected, the t-test value for the differences between the two means did not indicate statistical significance (p>.05). However, the over-eighteen-year-olds gave a unanimously high approval rating to the survey question, which stated that they are motivated to learn ESL to be able to communicate with others while travelling abroad to an English speaking country. Conversely, their young counterparts unanimously voted ranked items thirteen and fourteen highest, stating that their motivation was derived from pictures, cards, and drawings available in English books, and learning English to fulfill personal curiosity, respectively. The differences in motivational factors based on gender are worth noting and focusing more research effort too.
The trends show separate preferences from the same group with nearly similar backgrounds in culture and general habits molded in the same environment. Additionally, lack of statistical significance in the t-test values for the difference in the means of the two ages for the two genders is the most exciting trend. The differences draw a significant observation about the correlation between the two age groups for the gender-based analysis of the results. Notably, correlation values confirmed research expectations that no one group consisted of a dominant gender. Therefore, there was no correlation between the age of the participants and their respective genders. According to the results, intrinsic motivation is outstanding as the critical determinant of the likelihood of learning a new language in Saudi Arabia by ESL learners. The tendency of learners to be motivated intrinsically, but at different levels is interesting because results show that different intrinsic motivation, in the context of this research, motivates the learning process of English but differently.
Furthermore, other types of motivation play a vital role in the motivation process, but not as critical as intrinsic motivation. According to the results, motivation preference at gender level is astonishing because female participants are driven by curiosity, as opposed to males who are motivated by the necessity to communicate in English. The tendency of females to sideline the importance of learning a second language for communication purposes has research significance because the results show that the “why” question dominates that behavior.
Chapter 5: Conclusions and Implications for Practice and ResearchThough the questionnaire items used in this study do not offer clear results concerning ESL motivation in the studied population, they provide valuable implications for teaching and learning ESL in the study region. Because of reasons given earlier, I have approached the interpretation of the findings reluctantly due to their overwhelming positive trend. Nevertheless, the findings of the study — the positive replies given to the questionnaire items — could be perceived as revealing concerning the attitudes of respondents towards gaining proficiency in ESL. In this case, the reviewed data appears to indicate unequivocally positive perceptions of the respondents towards learning ESL that might not be equal in itself to the motivational levels of the respondents.
The identified trend is undeniably a fundamental requirement for one to be motivated to learn English in Saudi Arabia. Consequently, one critical message that language teachers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia should know is the need for them to establish effective teaching methods that would translate the positive perceptions of the learners into motivations to learn ESL. On the other hand, researchers are tasked with the need to increase the volume of literature advising instructors of English concerning the right approach to take. Where such studies will be conducted, it would be useful for the researchers to employ a range of methodologies and to use larger samples to allow the collection of enough data to justify generalizations of the findings.
Another critical point worth noting from the analyzed data is the fact that the overwhelmingly positive responses accorded to the different questions administered during the survey indicate the perceptions of learners towards developing their lingual skills in ESL. One of the reasons described in literature reviewed in this study is the fact that the students of the language could be aware of numerous benefits that come with learning ESL for Saudi students. The responses indicate further that learners of the language are always prepared to be competitive. It would mean that this finding suggests that learners will want to use their exceptional levels of ESL proficiency as a source of motivation. It is also apparent, as the findings indicate, that Saudi ESL students value involvement in activities of learning that involve them actively in addition to allowing them enough levels of control over what they do both outside and inside the classroom settings.
Nevertheless, the findings indicate slightly dubious conclusions concerning the curiosity of learners to learn ESL. An import lesson from this statistic is the idea that culture is critical in the determination of the curiosity of ESL students to develop their lingual proficiencies. For instance, the findings make it proper arguing that students in Saudi Arabia have little motivational levels to learn ESL since it is not the primary language of communication; Arabic is preferred both for informal and formal functions. Another fundamental factor that the study established concerning culture and motivation to learn ESL in the Saudi context is that of gender. Specifically, it is notable that most of the female respondents are motivated to learn ESL compared to their male counterparts who are mostly divided between domestic and educational commitments.
Considering the study finds ESL learning and teaching in the study region is teacher-centered, novel approaches should surface in academia guiding the team of instructors of the language concerning the best practices possible. To this, it is arguable that the levels of motivation of students to learn ESL will improve when teachers allow them more autonomy during their interactions. In part, this idea indicates that the contexts of teaching and learning the language in the study area do not allow learners enough autonomy, which is a potential demotivating factor. For instance, future researchers might want to emphasize the contribution of group work to motivation of learning English in Saudi schools and institutions of higher education since group work is one of the contributors to cooperativeness (a source of intrinsic motivation).
Though the outcomes of the investigation cannot be generalized to imply that Saudi ESL students are overwhelmingly motivated or demotivated to learn the language, they may be interpreted as implying unexplored potential to improve proficiencies in English language. For example, the idea that strategies of teaching ESL in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia could be aligned with the cultural ideas of the country is novel. The current perception among a section of the populace in the country towards English and its native speakers could be interpreted as the difference between the Arabic and English cultures.
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AppendixTable 1: Descriptive data
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