Demotivating Factors in an Iranian Private Language Institute: Do teachers and Students Think the Same?

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Department of English Language Teaching, Ahar Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahar, Iran

2 Department of English Language Teaching, Ahar Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahar , Iran

Abstract

The main focus of this study was to investigate to what extent Iranian intermediate EFL learners were motivated to learn English. Besides, an attempt was made to find the differences between teachers and learners in terms of their perceptions of demotivation sources and the strategies used to reduce them. To that end, some two hundred Intermediate English learners doing their BA’s in different fields, one hundred experienced EFL teachers with at least three years of experience, and 80 novice EFL teacher with less than three years of experience were asked to participate in the survey and share their perceptions of demotivation sources as well as strategies to reduce demotivation. For this survey study, a quantitative approach was adopted. The results revealed that all the motivational constructs of Attitude/Motivation Test Battery (AMTB) considerably decreased as the EFL learners were preceding along the course. Furthermore, Demotivation Sources Questionnaire (DSQ) and Demotivation Reduction Strategies Questionnaire (DRSQ) were distributed among the chosen participants, and one-Way ANOVA was run to examine any statistically significant difference between the three groups of participants’ perceptions or priorities of two constructs. The findings revealed that there was no remarkable difference between the perceptions and priorities of three groups. The study concluded with several suggestions for language teachers and

Keywords


Article Title [Persian]

عوامل بی انگیزگی در موسسه خصوصی زبان در ایران: ایا معلم و دانش اموز مانند هم فکر میکنند؟

Authors [Persian]

  • فهیمه فرجامی 1
  • نادر اسدی 2
  • هانیه دواتگری اصل 1
1 گروه آموزش زبان انگلیسی، دانشگاه آزاذ اسلامی، واحد اهر
2 گروه آموزش زبان انگلیسی، دانشگاه آزاذ اسلامی، واحد اهر
Abstract [Persian]

این تحقیق اساسا میزان بی انگیزگی زبان اموزان ایرانی سطح اینترمدی ایت در یادگیری زبان را بررسی میکند و همچنین به بررسی تفاوت دیدگاه معلم و شاگرد نسبت به درکشان از عوامل بی انگیزگی و نیز استراتزیهای کاهش بی انگیزگی برداخته است. بدین منظور حدود دویست زبان اموز سطح اینترمدی ایت و صد معلم با سابقه تدریس بیشتر از سه سال و هشتاد معلم با سابقه تدریس کمتر از سه سال در این تحقیق شرکت میکنند و به سوالات مربوط به برداشت از عوامل بی انگیزگی و نیز استراتزیهای کاهش بی انگیزگی باسخ میدهند. نتایج به دست امده از روش کمی این تحقیق نشان داد که در طول دوره ی اموزشی تمام ساختارهای انگیزشی در (Attitude/Motivation Test Battery (AMTB به طرز قابل توجهی در زبان اموزکاهش داشت. همچنین دو برسشنامه مربوط به عوامل بی انگیزگی و نیز استراتزیهای کاهش بی انگیزگی به شرکت کنندگان داده شد و با استفاده از روش one-Way ANOVA تفاوت برداشت ها بررسی شد که نشان داد که هیچ تفاوت مهمی از نظر برداشت یا اولویت بخشی به دوعامل مورد نظر بین سه گروه وجود نداشت.

Keywords [Persian]

  • بی انگیزگی
  • منابع بی انگیزگی
  • استراتزیهای کاهش بی انگیزگی
  • معلم زبان با تجربه
  • معلم زبان کم تجربه

Demotivating Factors in an Iranian Private Language Institute: Do teachers and Students Think the Same?

[1] Fahimeh Farjami

[2] Nader Assadi*

  IJEAP- 2003-1511

[3] Haniyeh Davatgari Asl

Received: 2020-02-08                          Accepted: 2020-04-15                      Published: 2020-05-04

Abstract

The main focus of this study was to investigate to what extent Iranian intermediate EFL learners were motivated to learn English. Besides, an attempt was made to find the differences between teachers and learners in terms of their perceptions of demotivation sources and the strategies used to reduce them. To that end, some two hundred Intermediate English learners doing their BA’s in different fields, one hundred experienced EFL teachers with at least three years of experience, and 80 novice EFL teacher with less than three years of experience were asked to participate in the survey and share their perceptions of demotivation sources as well as strategies to reduce demotivation. For this survey study, a quantitative approach was adopted. The results revealed that all the motivational constructs of Attitude/Motivation Test Battery (AMTB) considerably decreased as the EFL learners were preceding along the course. Furthermore, Demotivation Sources Questionnaire (DSQ) and Demotivation Reduction Strategies Questionnaire (DRSQ) were distributed among the chosen participants, and one-Way ANOVA was run to examine any statistically significant difference between the three groups of participants’ perceptions or priorities of two constructs. The findings revealed that there was no remarkable difference between the perceptions and priorities of three groups. The study concluded with several suggestions for language teachers and

Keywords: Demotivation, Demotivation Sources, Demotivation Reduction Strategies, Experienced EFL Teacher, Novice EFL Teacher

1. Introduction

The majority of Iranian high school students are incapable of applying the taught material for communication of meaning in real-life circumstances. Lack of sufficient opportunities for learners to learn and practice English communicatively might cause Iranian EFL learners to develop a negative attitude and lose interest, producing a damaging outcome in the process of learning English. This has caused many parents’ dissatisfaction, and most of their children have to study in private language institutes to have foreign language education. Although students are conscious of the fact that they need to participate in classroom activities and study hard to pass exit and final tests, they do not seem to understand the relevance of learning English to their real lives outside schools and institutes. Such demotivated students usually get distracted easily, might distract their classmates too, attend the class irregularly, or tend to be very negative towards learning English. As a result, many of them are unable to do well in class and on exams. Thus, they hardly enjoy the learning process and class environment.

The notion of demotivation has been added recently to the field of the second/foreign language motivation. This is mainly due to the large number of demotivated learners observed by researchers in different language classes across the world (Hamada, 2008; Hu, 2011; Khoshsima & Hashemi Toroujeni, 2017; Kim, 2009; Meshkat & Hassani, 2012; Sakai & Kikuchi, 2009; Sharififar & Akbarzadeh, 2011). The majority of investigations conducted on this phenomenon has mainly sought to shed light on the demotivating variables concerning ESL/EFL learners ( Dörnyei & Ushioda, 2011). Knowledge of the causes of EFL learners' demotivation enables the scholars and researchers to obtain information about the learners’ failure in L2 learning as well as their unwillingness to learn English more seriously and enthusiastically.

There is not enough knowledge about the features and nature of demotivation as inadequate investigations have been carried out on this phenomenon. This is because demotivation has been recently emphasized in the field of second language (L2) motivation ( Dörnyei & Ushioda, 2011; Sakai & Kikuchi, 2009). Another problem entails the lack of ample studies on strategies to reduce demotivation. Therefore, discovering and studying such strategies are critical as a large number of ESL/EFL learners think that their failure in learning target language emanates from their demotivation ( Dörnyei & Ushioda, 2011; Falout, Elwood, & Hood, 2009; Hu, 2011; K. J. Kim, 2009). This has pushed many scholars to try to identify the causes of demotivation sources among second language learners ( Dörnyei & Ushioda, 2011). As mentioned by Dörnyei and Ushioda (2011), the major challenge is that both instructors and learners are not completely aware of strategies which can reduce the influence of demotivating factors.

Therefore, stimulated and motivated by these needs and the critical circumstances of motivation in Iranian EFL learning situations, the researchers of the current study aimed at achieving two goals 1) to probe if EFL learners were influenced by demotivation sources, and 2) whether there was any difference between perceptions and level of understanding of EFL learners and EFL teachers on demotivating factors and demotivation reduction strategies. Considering both theoretical and pedagogical perspectives, the following research questions were addressed in this study to accomplish the aforementioned main objectives:

Research Question One: Is there any statistically significant difference between the motivation levels of Iranian intermediate EFL learners before and after studying in Iran Language Institute?

Research Question TwoIs there any statistically significant difference between Iranian intermediate EFL learners, experienced teachers, and novice teachers’ perceptions of sources of demotivation?

Research Question Three: Is there any statistically significant difference between Iranian intermediate EFL learners, experienced teachers, and novice teachers’ perceptions of the most effective strategies used to reduce learners’ demotivation?

Accordingly, there are three null hypotheses developed as followings:

Hypothesis 1: There is not any statistically significant difference between the motivation levels of Iranian intermediate EFL learners before and after studying in Iran Language Institute.

Hypothesis 2: There is no statistically significant difference between Iranian intermediate EFL learners, experienced teachers, and novice teachers’ perceptions of sources of demotivation.

Hypothesis 3: There is no statistically significant difference between Iranian intermediate EFL learners, experienced teachers, and novice teachers’ perceptions of the most effective strategies used to reduce learners’ demotivation.

2. Review of Literature

According to Soureshjani and Riahipour (2012), the teacher plays a vital role in increasing or decreasing student motivation in class. It is hypothesized that the application of influential strategies for reducing demotivation is likely to solve some of the related problems; however, inadequate investigations have been conducted to examine the impact of such strategies and their potentiality in solving the language learning-related problems. Similarly, Ho (1998) asserts that despite the importance of demotivation in L2 learning in general, very few studies have dealt with L2 learners’ demotivation. Moreover, the investigations conducted on this issue (e.g., Ho, 1998) have sought to make a connection between demotivation and low motivation, rather than analyzing it as a construct in its own right. A look at the literature shows that when it comes to the role of motivation in learning a second language, the majority of educators, L2 teachers, learners, material developers, and researchers view motivation as a single construct contributing to the quality of learning.

Heidari and Oghli (2015) investigated the effects of being demotivated on EFL learners' speaking skills. A questionnaire including teacher-related, student-related, and classroom-related demotivating factors was given to 100 first grade high school students. The findings demonstrated that all three factors hurt students’ speaking ability. However, among all three factors, classroom related had the most negative influence on students’ speaking skill.

In a study, Daif-Allah and Alsamani (2014) found that external factors such as teachers’ competence, teaching styles, and class environment were the main reasons for demotivation. To recover the interests of these students, they implemented the following techniques: reducing class size, administering weekly quizzes, giving corrective feedback, doing in-class work, coordinating language skills, instant payment for replacement, and eliminating cheating. The results of their study indicated that the implemented strategies had a significant positive impact on restoring students’ motivation.

3. Methodology

3.1. Design of the study

A quantitative approach based on triangulation method, including data triangulation and investigator triangulation, was chosen to obtain a better understanding of the perceptions of three groups of participants. This study enjoys a descriptive and survey design since the data collection method is questionnaire and there is no treatment involved. Furthermore, it can be considered comparative study too since the researchers will make different comparisons between the subgroups.

3.2. Setting and Participants of the Study

The participants of this study were selected from six branches of Iranian Language Institute (ILI) situated in Tehran. This institute was chosen since itis a nationally well-accredited private language institute in Iran and has so many branches across Iran. Furthermore, most Iranian families and EFL learners believe in its effectiveness. Two researcher assistants collected the required data from different branches of ILI in Tehran. As the ILI students take a placement test before admission to be placed appropriately at a level, no additional placement test was administered in order to select the intermediate level EFL learners as of the target group for the study. Thus, 200 EFL learners (115 male (n=57.5%) and 85 female (n=42.5%); with different ages ranging from 16 to 45 responded to Attitude/Motivation Test Battery (AMTB) questionnaire in the first phase of the study in two sessions with an interval of four months. In the second phase of the study, 100 experienced teachers and 80 novice teachers as well 200 as students were asked to respond to two questionnaires: DSQ and DRSQ questionnaire.

3.3. Instruments

The first instrument used in this study was Attitudes and Motivation Test Battery (AMTB). It has a 6-point Likert scale form, in which the respondents indicate their preferences through choosing a number from strongly agree (6), moderately agree (5), slightly agree (4), slightly disagree (3), moderately disagree (2), and strongly disagree (1). This instrument was constructed to measure different perspectives of the socio-educational model of second language acquisition proposed primarily by Gardner in 1985. It consists of 96 items, the responses to which will reveal the attitudes and overall feelings of the learners towards English and discuss the levels of the motivation that foreign language learners have in learning English. The test items correspond to the 5 main subscales: Motivation (30 items), Integrativeness (22 items), Attitudes toward Learning Situation (20 items), Instrumentality (4 items) and Language Anxiety (20 items). According to Gardner and MacIntyre (1993) the validity of AMTB has been supported. The internal consistency reliability and test-retest reliability of the test in Canadian context were reported to be 0.91 and 0.79 respectively (Gardner, 2005).

The next instruments were demotivation sources questionnaire and demotivation reduction strategies questionnaire. Both of these questionnaires have a 5-point Likert scale form and were developed by Farjami, Aidinlu and Davatgari Asl (2018). Having done the content validity of the questionnaires by the analysis and reviewing of the panel of experts including Ph.D. holders in TEFL, and factor analyzing, the questionnaires were piloted on a sample of 15 EFL teachers and 15 EFL learners with similar characteristics `to check their reliability. The questionnaire was administered to this sample, and the collected data were prepared for Cronbach’s alpha. Following that, the questionnaires were administered to the 200 teachers for factor analysis to uncover the underlying construct of demotivation and strategies to reduce it in Iranian EFL Context. These instruments were used to measure the perceptions of three groups of participants on demotivation sources and the strategies that can be used to reduce them. The DSQ consists of 42 items, but the DRSQ comprises of 40 items. Consequently, to examine the internal consistency of the constructed questionnaires, a Cronbach’s α reliability analysis was performed on the obtained responses of the 30 respondents for both questionnaires. The analysis of the internal consistency resulted in relatively high-reliability coefficients (for Sources of Demotivation Questionnaire, α=88 & for Demotivation Reduction Strategies Questionnaire, α=87).

4. Results

4.1. Research Question One

Descriptive statistics were used to compare the mean score on pre-test and post-tests of AMTB. To answer the research question one, we needed to compare two means of AMTB administration sessions in order to find out any statistically significant difference between them to attribute it to the change of EFL learners’ motivation and their positive or negative attitudes towards learning English in ILI. Since parametric statistical tests are based on several common assumptions, the researcher had to confirm the fulfillment of the three assumptions of interval data, independence of subject, and normality of distribution. The questionnaire’s statements were assigned numbers and calculated based on an interval scale. The respondents of pre and post administrations who were assigned to one group were independent of each other and no treatment by peer or group work was administered in this study. Thus, the final requirement was to check the normality of the data.

Table 1: Testing the Normality Assumption

 

Kolmogorov-Smirnova

Shapiro-Wilk

Statistic

DF

Sig.

Statistic

df

Sig.

Pre-Attitudes

.058

200

.099

.989

200

.116

Post-Attitudes

.056

200

.200*

.989

200

.121

Pre-Integrativeness

.062

200

.058

.988

200

.092

Post-Integrativeness

.051

200

.200*

.986

200

.051

Pre-Motivation

.062

200

.059

.988

200

.089

Post-Motivation

.050

200

.200*

.990

200

.172

Pre-Language Anxiety

.061

200

.065

.988

200

.094

Post-Language Anxiety

.049

200

.200*

.990

200

.187

Pre-Instrumentality

.058

200

.093

.987

200

.057

Post-Instrumentality

.057

200

.200*

.987

200

.059

Pre-Parental Encouragement

.063

200

.050

.987

200

.075

Post-Parental Encouragement

.053

200

.200*

.989

200

.136

According to Table 1 and given the p-values greater than 0.05, it was concluded that independent variable constructs were normally distributed. After satisfying the required assumptions of paired-sample t-test, the statistical test was run to examine if there was any statistically significant difference in participants’ attitudes across two administrations of AMTB.

 

Table 2: Paired t-test Results for Six Constructs of both AMTB Administrations

 

Paired Differences

t

df

Sig. (2-tailed)

Mean

Std. Deviation

Std. Error Mean

95% Confidence Interval of the Difference

Lower

Upper

Pair 1

Pre-Attitudes

Post-Attitudes

2.5

0.6

.01

2.00

2.08

.75

199

.000

Pair 2

Pre-Integrativeness

Post-Integrativeness

1.47

0.67

.23

1.30

2.24

.64

199

.000

Pair 3

Pre-Motivation

Post-Motivation

2.32

0.13

.03

1.94

2.09

.56

199

.000

Pair 4

Pre-Language Anxiety

Post-Language Anxiety

2.35

0.04

.09

2.31

2.69

.60

199

.000

Pair 5

Pre-Instrumentality

Post-Instrumentality

2.39

0.21

.08

2.22

2.56

.52

199

.000

Pair 6

Pre-Parental Encouragement

Post-Parental Encouragement

0.73

0.37

.25

1.85

2.84

.65

199

.000

From Table 2, the inferential analysis of the data revealed that there was a statistically significant difference between all constructs’ mean scores on pre-administration and post-administration of AMTB (pre and post-Attitudes=t(199)=1046.75, P=000, pre and post-Integrativeness=t(199) =89.64, P=000, pre and post-Motivation=t(199)=507.56, P=000, pre and post-Language Anxiety=t(199)=215.60, P=000, pre and post-Instrumentality=t(199) =241.52, P=000, pre and post-Parental Encouragement=t (199) =80.65, P=000 ). This test provided a pretty convincing piece of evidence for the presence of demotivation sources’ effect on EFL learners’ motivation. In other words, based on the obtained results of paired sample t-test, it can be concluded that there was a statistically significant difference between mean scores of EFL learners as respondents of the study across pre-test and post-test of the motivation questionnaire.

Based on the results of descriptive statistics and inferential statistics, the mean scores of respondents in pre-administration of AMTB were higher, and there was a statistically significant difference between the mean score of all six constructs of AMTB administered to the same group in two sessions. In other words, the EFL learners of the study were more motivated to learn English in ILI at the beginning of the semester. Additionally, the results of the AMTB were measured as a whole instrument (Table 3).

Table 3: Paired t-test Results for Both Pre and Post Administration of AMTB

 

Paired Differences

t

D.F.

Sig. (2-tailed)

 

Mean

Std. Deviation

Std. Error Mean

95% Confidence Interval of the Difference

 

Lower

Upper

Pre-post administration of AMTB

1.20

1.35

2.07

-3.04

5.44

.579

199

.02

                 

Then, according to the inferential analysis, there was a statistically significant difference between the participants’ mean scores on pre-administration of AMTB and post administration of AMTB (t (199) =0.579, P=.02). Therefore, to answer the first research question, the findings confirm that EFL learners became demotivated during EFL classrooms.

4.2. Research Question Two

The second research question was about finding any statistically significant difference between EFL learners’, experienced EFL teachers’, and novice EFL teachers’ perceptions of sources of demotivation they identify in ILI EFL classes. In order to find the answer to the second research question and confirm or reject the hypothesis, the related data (perceptions of sources of demotivation) gathered from administration of valid and reliable DSQ questionnaire (Farjami et al., 2018) to three groups of participants. The participants included 200 intermediate level EFL learners, 100 experienced EFL teachers, and 80 novice EFL teachers randomly selected from different branches of ILI in Tehran. The data were analyzed by One-Way ANOVA to determine whether there existed any statistically significant difference between the means of three independent (unrelated) groups. It was used to compare the means of three sets of scores, belonging to three groups obtained in one session.

First of all, internal consistency of the DSQ in the new EFL context was checked via Cronbach’s alpha that is a common measure for multiple Likert scales of questionnaires. However it must be mentioned that the validity and reliability of the instrument were approved in Iranian EFL context by Farjami et al. (2018). Cronbach’s alpha coefficient between .7 and .8 is good, .8 and .9 is high, and .9 and above is very high. Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of the questionnaire turned out to be much over 0.7. This indicated that the questionnaire was reliable for all three groups in the EFL context of the current research. Reliability coefficients of .751, .766, and .789 for three sets of data were obtained from the administration of DSQ to three groups of EFL learners, experienced EFL teachers, and novice EFL teachers, respectively. Then, it was concluded that reliable research data and data collection instrument were used in the study. Furthermore, since normal data is the fundamental assumption in parametric statistical testing, the researchers checked the assumption of normality as well as homogeneity of variances for One-Way ANOVA, the results of which are presented in Table 4 below.

 

Table 4: Demotivation Sources Questionnaire Normality Tests

 

Kolmogorov-Smirnova

Shapiro-Wilk

Statistic

Df

Sig.

Statistic

df

Sig.

EFL learners’ DSQ

.073

200

.012

.988

200

.077

Experienced EFL Teachers’ DSQ

.067

100

.200*

.985

100

.318

Novice EFL Teachers’ DSQ

.079

80

.200*

.989

80

.720

a. Lilliefors Significance Correction

According to Table 4 and given that p=.077 (p=>.05) for DSQ data gathered from EFL learners’ group, p=.318 for DSQ data gathered from experienced EFL teachers’ group, and p=.720 for DSQ data gathered from novice EFL teachers’ group, it was concluded that data enjoyed normal distribution. Since the sample size of three groups was not equal, equal population variances should be checked.

 

Table 5: Levene’s Test of Homogeneity of Variances

Levene’s Statistic

df1

df2

Sig.

.195

2

377

.823

Based on the results of the Test of Homogeneity of Variances (Levene’s test), it was concluded that variances of the groups’ data were equal. Table 5 reported Levene’s Test of Homogeneity of Variances, F (2,377) =.195, p=.823, that shows the assumption of homogeneity of variances was not violated, p (.823) <α (.05). Then, because the three sets of data had similar variances, parametric statistical test (One-Way ANOVA) could be run.

 

 

 

 

Table 6: Three Groups’ Mean Scores Descriptive Statistics for DSQ

 

N

Mean

Std. Deviation

 

Std. Error

95% Confidence Interval for Mean

Minimum

Maximum

 

Lower Bound

Upper Bound

EFL Learners

200

2.5825

.25435

 

.01799

2.5471

2.6180

2.00

3.26

Experienced EFL teachers

100

2.5779

.25852

 

.02585

2.5266

2.6292

2.00

3.26

Novice EFL teachers

80

2.5589

.23670

 

.02646

2.5063

2.6116

2.00

3.24

Total

380

2.5763

.25138

 

.01290

2.5510

2.6017

2.00

3.26

Based on Table 6, EFL learners’ mean score on DSQ (M=2.58, SD=.25) was a bit higher than two other groups’ mean score (Experienced EFL teachers/M=2.57, SD=.25, and novice EFL teachers/M=2.55, SD=.23). Between two experienced EFL teachers and novice EFL teachers, the former mean score on DSQ (M= M=2.57, SD=.25) was higher than that of the later (M=2.55, SD=.23). It means that the demotivation sources identified in Iranian EFL learning situations are more importantly recognized by EFL learners. It may be because EFL learners are more engaged in facing these demotivating factors, and their EFL learning performances are more susceptible to be influenced by these factors. Overcoming these factors may give them great progress and success in their learning situations.

Table 7: One-Way ANOVA Results for Second Research Question

 

Sum of Squares

DF

Mean Square

F

Sig.

Between Groups

.032

2

.016

.253

.776

Within Groups

23.917

377

.063

 

 

Total

23.950

379

 

 

 

Based on the results of One-Way ANOVA analysis in which the mean score difference is considered statistically significant at 0.05 level, the significance level was .776 (i.e., p=.776) which was greater than 0.05. Therefore, it was concluded that there was no statistically significant difference between the mean score of the three groups and the second null hypothesis is accepted.

4.3. Research Question Three

The third research question was about finding any statistically significant difference between EFL learners’, experienced EFL teachers’, and novice EFL teachers’ perceptions of demotivation reduction strategies they identified in ILI EFL classes. In order to find the answer to this research question and confirm or reject the hypothesis, the related data (perceptions of demotivation reduction strategies) gathered from administration of valid and reliable DRSQ to three groups of participants (including 200 Intermediate level EFL learners, 100 experienced EFL teachers, and 80 novice EFL teachers randomly selected from different branches of ILI) were analyzed by one-way analysis of variance (One-Way ANOVA).

Table 8: Demotivation Sources Questionnaire (DRSQ) Data Distribution Normality Tests

 

Kolmogorov-Smirnova

Shapiro-Wilk

Statistic

DF

Sig.

Statistic

df

Sig.

EFL learners’ DRSQ

.059

200

.088

.987

200

.060

Experienced EFL Teachers’ DRSQ

.061

100

.200*

.986

100

.403

Novice EFL Teachers’ DRSQ

.058

80

.200*

.987

80

.612

a. Lilliefors Significance Correction

As regards the reliability of DSQ questionnaire, the internal consistency of the DRSQ questionnaire in the new Iranian EFL context was examined via checking Cronbach’s alpha coefficient. Although the validity and reliability of the instrument were approved in Iranian EFL context by Farjami et al. (2018), the reliability coefficients of .705, .765, and .745 for three sets of data were obtained from the administration of DRSQ to three groups of EFL learners, experienced EFL teachers, and novice EFL teachers, respectively. Then, it was concluded that research data were reliable, and data collection instrument were valid.

Table 9: Levene’s Test of Homogeneity of Variances

Mean Scores on DRSQ

Levene’s Statistic

df1

df2

Sig.

.248

2

377

.781

 

Based on the results, since the Sig. Values of the Shapiro-Wilk test for all three sets of data received from three independent groups of the last phase of the study were greater than 0.05 (EFL learners/p=.060, experienced EFL learners/p=.403, and novice EFL teachers/p=.612) (p=>.05), the data did not deviate from a normal distribution, and it was concluded that the data were normally distributed. Additionally, Levene’s test indicated that the variances for DRSQ performance of three groups were equal, F (2, 377) =.248, p=.781 (Table 9).

Table 10: Three Groups’ Mean Scores Descriptive Statistics on DRSQ

 

N

Mean

Std. Deviation

Std. Error

95% Confidence Interval for Mean

Minimum

Maximum

Lower Bound

Upper Bound

EFL learners

200

2.6833

.29591

.02092

2.6420

2.7245

1.88

3.48

Experienced EFL teachers

100

2.7235

.27563

.02756

2.6688

2.7782

1.98

3.43

Novice EFL teachers

80

2.7581

.27858

.03115

2.6961

2.8201

2.10

3.48

Total

380

2.7096

.28794

.01477

2.6806

2.7386

1.88

3.48

Based on Table 10, novice EFL teachers’ mean score on DRSQ (M=2.75, SD=.27) was higher than two other groups’ mean score (EFL learners/M=2.68, SD=.29, and experienced EFL teachers/M=2.72, SD=.27). Between two EFL learners and experienced EFL teachers’ groups of participants, the later mean score on DRSQ (M= M=2.72, SD=.27) was higher than that former mean score on DRSQ (M=2.68, SD=.29). It means that the strategies recommended to be used in Iranian EFL learning situations are more importantly recognized by novice EFL teachers to be observed in EFL classes. The reason may be that the novice EFL teachers who have been recently recruited by ILI are more updated and familiar with more modern learning situations and conditions.

Table 11: One-Way ANOVA Results

 

Sum of Squares

Df

Mean Square

F

Sig.

Between Groups

.347

2

.173

2.102

.124

Within Groups

31.077

377

.082

 

 

Total

31.424

379

 

 

 

Table 11 reported the output of the One-Way ANOVA analysis, and if there was any statistically significant difference between the mean scores of three independent groups of the study. According to the results, the significance value was 0.124 (i.e., p=.0124), which was above the significance level 0.05. Therefore, it was concluded that there was no statistically significant difference in mean of demotivation reduction strategies identification between groups and the third null hypothesis is accepted.

One-Way ANOVA results indicated that the differences between the mean scores of three groups on DRSQ (EFL learners/M=2.68, SD=.29; n=200, Experienced EFL teachers/M=2.72, SD=.27; n=100, and novice EFL teachers/M=2.75, SD=.25; n=80) were not statistically significant, Sig=.124, p> 0.05. Therefore, the statistical tests confirmed the fifth, sixth, and seventh null hypotheses that there was no statistically significant difference in the results of three groups’ performance on DRSQ. It means that identification of demotivation reduction strategies did not differ significantly in the view of three EFL learners, experienced EFL teachers, and novice EFL teachers.

5. Discussion

The present study aimed at investigating the differences between the learners’ and teachers' perceptions of sources of demotivation and strategies for reducing demotivation. The results of each perspective of AMTB’s analysis showed that EFL learners were more motivated to learn English at the beginning of the course or semester rather than at the end of the course. However, the lack of motivation created by some factors that demotivate EFL learners may pose serious challenges to them in learning communicative skills, which will ultimately have negative effects on their achievements. Therefore, the demotivation sources or the factors that may demotivate EFL learners should be recognized in EFL classes, and appropriate strategies should also be applied in such classes either to reduce the effects or omit those sources. Although the EFL learning context in which the current study was done was different from the other regular contexts, the findings are in line with the findings of other previously done studies ( Dörnyei, Csizér, & Németh, 2006; Kim & Kim, 2015) demonstrated the same general representative patterns reported in studies done in the related literature. This study demonstrated that the Iranian EFL learners were likely to suffer from several demotivation sources in their EFL learning situations that caused them lose their motivation during their learning process. Then, EFL teachers and teaching practitioners should be familiar with the learning situation and aware of those sources to take the most appropriate actions and proper strategies either to reduce the effect of demotivation sources or omit them. Besides, to reduce the demotivation sources, it is important to generate motivated EFL learners and improve their motivation. EFL teachers and learners, lesson planners, curriculum designers, and all those who are engaged in EFL learning context can utilize several strategies to create the situations and conditions in which EFL learners’ motivation is stimulated.

The findings indicated that both EFL learners and teachers had similar ideas of strategies that should be applied in EFL classrooms to reduce demotivation. One reason for such similarity may be that teachers were also learners one day, and they may still hold the same attitude towards demotivation and demotivation strategies. Another reason can be the use of self-report scales to explore the perceptions of sources of demotivation and strategies to reduce demotivation. In other words, such self-report scales are limited in that students need to choose from among the limited number of items (Brown, 2000) which may not capture the perception of sources of demotivation and strategies to reduce demotivation comprehensively.

Generally speaking, in EFL classrooms, the primary motivation to learn English should be fostered rather than demotivating learners. To boost motivation in class, realistic purposes of learning English should be set. Learners should know that they learn English to satısfy their real-lıfe needs outsıde the classroom. Unfortunately, to the best knowledge of the researchers of the current study as EFL practitioners and researchers, Iranian EFL learners have no commonly positive attitudes towards learning English. Surprisingly, the most important point of this study was that EFL learners who were motivated at the beginning of the course developed a state of demotivation at the end of the course. It means that motivated students who have positive attitudes towards English and have a great interest in learning attend the ELT classes and English training system, but they are demotivated by the system. The education system is believed not to be capable of maintaining and protecting EFL learners’ motivation. Therefore, demotivation sources or demotivating factors of ELT context of ILI must be omitted and suitable motivational strategies be adopted. These might include providing stimulating learning materials, improving self-confidence of learners for not being shy and embarrassed when making mistakes or participating in class activities, and training learners to think critically and independently. If these strategies must seriously be consıdered and continuously used from the beginning of the course, it is hoped that the initial motivation is created, maintained and protected until the end of the course.

 

 

6. Conclusion

The most interesting and significant point of this study was that it considered the effect of teaching experience of EFL teachers on their perceptions on the constructs above. A comparison between EFL learners and teachers’ perceptions of demotivation sources and strategies to reduce them in EFL classes would provide EFL teachers as the driving force of the EFL classes with a deeper understanding of how appropriately they should manage their pedagogical planning and take proper actions when they encounter demotivation in their classes. EFL teachers also may use the findings of the current study as an assessment to diagnose demotivation sources at the beginning of or during the course and use accurate strategies to keep their learners motivated and evaluate the quality, effect, and firmness of used strategies. Based on the findings of the present study, following implications can be arrived at: a) by providing insights gained from the results of this study teachers can develop an awareness regarding students’ perception of demotivation factors and can consequently provide learners with better learning opportunities, b) since teachers and learner have similar perceptions in terms of sources of demotivation and the strategies to reduce demotivation, teachers may readily rely on their own perceptions of demotivation and make quick decisions for preventing demotivation, c) Teacher educators may use the results of the current study to help teachers develop a better understanding of how to keep their class healthy and free from demotivation for more efficient and effective learning, d) material developers can design materials in which the perceptions of learners and teachers in terms of demotivation are taken into account to the extent possible.

Further quantitative and qualitative studies can recruit more participants for deeper insights into EFL learners’ motivation level change and most influential factors or sources that may affect such change. In other words, the factors causing demotivation to a certain degree may be different across various settings and contexts, and a larger sample size. As for delimitations, the researcher delimited the EFL teachers of the study, including experienced and novice EFL teachers of ILI. As for novice teachers, the participants were delimited to those teachers having fewer than three years of experience, and the experienced teachers were delimited to teachers with more than three years of experience.

 

References

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Dörnyei, Z., & Ushioda, E. (2011). Teaching and researching motivation. New York:Longman.

Falout, J., Elwood, J., & Hood, M. (2009). Demotivation: Affective states and learning outcomes. System, 37(3), 403-417.

Farjami, F., Aidinlu, N. A., & Davatgari Asl, H. (2018). EFL teachers’ perceptions of intermediate learners’ demotivation and the Sstrategies used to reducedemotivation in an Iranian context. Iranian Journal of English for Academic Purposes,7(2), 93-109.

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Appendix A: Demotivation Sources Questionnaire

Strongly agree (5); Agree (4);     Neutral (3): Disagree (2); and        Strongly disagree (1)

 

I think demotivation occurs when

 
 

Lesson-Plan related factors

1

The pace of the lessons is not appropriate

 

2

Most of the lessons focus on the grammars

 

Textbook and Learning-Material related factors

3

English passages in the textbooks are too long

 

4

A great number of textbooks and supplementary readers are assigned

 

5

English sentences in the lessons are difficult to interpret

 

6

 EFL learners are expected to use (or speak and write) grammatically correct English

 

Teacher-related factors

7

The quality of instruction is low

 

8

EFL learners are not happy with their teacher and classmates

 

9

EFL learners don’t like the teaching method, and it demotivates them

 

10

Teachers are not approachable or friendly

 

11

English teachers do not give EFL learners good advice for studying English.

 

12

Teachers do not give the EFL learners positive comments on their English

 

13

Teachers do not teach EFL learners what they want to learn about English.

 

14

Teachers are not enthusiastic.

 

15

Teachers are not fair with all the EFL learners

 

16

Teachers’ explanations are not easy to understand.

 

17

 Teachers’ pronunciation of English is poor

 

18

Teachers make one-way explanations too often.

 

19

Teachers ridicule EFL learners’ mistakes

 

20

Teachers shout or get angry

 

Instructional Environment-related factors

21

Inside the classroom, it is dark and depressing.

 

22

Inside the classroom is not well decorated, and it does not give EFL learners a good feeling

 

23

The chairs are not comfortable, and EFL learners get tired after sitting for a while

 

24

There is no window for fresh air or enough lighting.

 

Equipment and Technology-related factors

25

Computer equipment is not used

 

26

Visual materials (such as videos and DVDs) are not used.

 

27

The Internet is not used.

 

28

 Language learning equipment is not used.

 

EFL Learner-related factors

29

EFL learners are afraid of making mistakes

 

30

EFL learners feel embarrassed about their pronunciation and accent

 

31

EFL learners are laughed at when speaking in the classroom

 

32

EFL learners lose concentration because of too many things they need to focus on

 

33

EFL learners have an anxious personality

 

34

EFL learners have an anxious personality because of participation in classroom

 

35

EFL learners hear others talking English well, and then they lose their confidence

 

36

EFL learners are negatively evaluated by the instructor

 

37

EFL learners feel inferior to their classmates for their English ability

 

38

EFL learners are not confident in learning English

 

39

EFL learners do not do well in English tests

 

40

EFL learners are embarrassed using English in classes

 

41

EFL learners do not achieve much after starting English classes

 

42

Grades for English tests are not by students’ expectations

 

 

Appendix B: Demotivation Reduction Strategies Questionnaire (DRSQQ)

Note: Strongly agree      (5); Agree (4);     Neutral (3): Disagree (2); and        Strongly disagree (1)

 

I think demotivation reduction occurs when

Teacher-related strategies

1

Teachers assess EFL learners not only by exam

2

Teachers do not use and focus only on a textbook in the classroom

3

Teachers’ teaching styles are more motivating

4

More experienced teachers are employed in ILI

5

Teachers have more interaction with EFL learners in the classroom

6

Teachers are not changed every semester

7

Teachers do not criticize when EFL learners are not good at the lessons

8

There are harmonious relationship and interaction between teacher and EFL learners

9

Teachers give helpful suggestions to the EFL learners

10

Teachers are more easy going, patient and flexible

Teaching-content and method-related strategies

11

English teaching does not pay much attention to grammar

12

Teaching content is more close to the daily life of EFL learners

13

The teaching method is updated to meet the needs of EFL learners

14

Speaking skill is more emphasized

15

Teaching content focus on what EFL learners want to learn about English.

16

EFL learners listen to different sources rather than just teacher

17

Teaching method improves communication skills

18

The teaching method is stimulating and interesting

19

Teaching method foster independent-thinker EFL learners

EFL learner-related strategies

20

EFL learners are motivated and interested in learning English

21

EFL learners are not to memorize and remember too many vocabularies

22

Learning English makes great help for the future career of EFL learners

23

EFL learners are not compared with their classmates

24

EFL learners are praised when they make progress

25

EFL learners do not laugh at each other when they make mistakes in speaking

26

EFL learners do not feel shy, nervous, and embarrassed when they speak English outside the classroom

27

EFL learners try harder

28

EFL learners use English communicatively outside the classroom

Teaching and learning facilities-related strategies

29

Facilities in the classroom are updated to be good for learning English

30

IT materials and technology tools such as videos or computers are used in the classroom

31

Multimedia resources are used in the classroom

32

Language laboratory is established in ILI

Instructional environment strategies

33

The learning environment is not inadequate with many EFL learners

34

Immediate situations are created for EFL learners to use English effectively

35

EFL learners’ needs and learning goals are supported

36

Interactive games and activities are employed in the classroom

37

The flexible setting is possible in the classroom

Textbook-related strategies

38

English textbook includes enough interesting speaking activities

39

English textbook is not over-loaded by grammatical structures

40

English textbook encourages EFL learners to communicate in the target language

 

 



[1] PhD Candidate of TEFL, fahimefarjami@yahoo.com; Department of English Language Teaching, Ahar Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahar, Iran.

[2] Assistant Professor (Corresponding Author), n.asadi@iau-ahar.ac.ir; Department of English Language Teaching, Ahar Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahar, Iran.

[3] Assistant Professor, hdavatgar@ymail.com; Department of English Language Teaching, Ahar Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahar, Iran.