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Demotivating Factors in Learning English: A Case of First Year Non major Students at University of Labor and Social Affairs

LÊ THỊ THU THUỶ

VIETNAM ACADEMY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES
GRADUATE ACADEMY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES

Lê Thị Thu Thuỷ

ENGLISH LANGUAGE

COVER PAGE 2

DEMOTIVATING FACTORS IN LEARNING
ENGLISH: A CASE OF FIRST YEAR NONMAJOR STUDENTS AT UNIVERSITY OF
LABOR AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS

MA THESIS IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE

COURSE: 2016 – 2018

HANOI, 2018



VIETNAM ACADEMY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES
GRADUATE ACADEMY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES

Lê Thị Thu Thuỷ

DEMOTIVATING FACTORS IN LEARNING
ENGLISH: A CASE OF FIRST YEAR NONMAJOR STUDENTS AT UNIVERSITY OF
LABOR AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS

Field: English Language
Code: 8220201
Supervisor: Đặng Nguyên Giang, Ph. D.

HANOI, 2018


DECLARATION BY AUTHOR
Except where reference has been made in the text, this thesis contains no
material previously published or written by another person.
I hereby state that this thesis is the result of my own research and the
substance of the thesis has not, wholly or in part, been submitted for any degrees
to any other universities or institutions
Author’s Signature

Lê Thị Thu Thuỷ

Approved by
SUPERVISOR

Đặng Nguyên Giang, Ph. D.
Date:……………………

i


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I would like to express my sincere gratitude and deep appreciation to
Đặng Nguyên Giang, Ph. D, my supervisor, for his helpful and warm
encouragement as well as his insightful comments on my work from the


beginning to the end of my study. In addition, many thanks go to the teachers at
the Faculty of Foreign Languages, GASS, for their interesting lessons from
which I have benefited a lot for the accomplishment of the thesis.
The completion of this thesis would not have been possible without the
cooperation from the respondents (200 first-year non-major students at
University of Labor and Social Affairs) who have been willing to take part in the
study. I am very grateful to all of them for providing detailed information for the
analysis of this study.
I also offer my special thanks to my colleagues and friends whose support
and encouragement help me to have this thesis accomplished.
Last but not least, I am greatly indebted to my family for their patience,
endless love, and devotion. Whatever choices I have made, they have always
stood by me and believed in me. I am immensely thankful for all the assistance
they have given me.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page
DECLARATION BY AUTHOR…………………………………….…

I

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS……………………………………….…...

Ii

ABSTRACT…………………………………………………........……

V

LIST OF TABLES……………………………….…………......………

Vi

LIST OF FIGURES ………………………………………..…….…….

Vii

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS USED IN THE THESIS ………………

Viii

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION…………………………………….

1

1.1. Rationale……………………………..………………………….....

1

1.2. Aim(s) of the Study……………..……………………..…………..

2

1.3. Research Questions……………..………………………………….

2

1.4. Scope of the Study…………….…………………………………...

2

1.5. Significance of the Study……………………………………..……

3

1.6. Research Methods……………………………………………..…...

3

1.7. Structure of the Study…………………………………..……...…..

3

CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW……………………...…….

5

2.1. Motivation……………………………………………….………....

5

2.1.1. Definitions of Motivation…………………………………..…

5

2.1.2. Types of Motivation in Foreign Language Learning…..…......

7

2.1.3. Motivation in Foreign or Second Language Learning…....…...

9

2.2. Demotivation…………………………………………………...…..

11

2.2.1. Definitions of Demotivation………………………………..…

11

2.2.2.

13

Factors

Demotivating

Students

in

Learning

Foreign

Language…………………………………………………….……..……
2.2.2.1. Teacher-Related Factors……………………………….…..

15

2.2.2.2. Learner-Related Factors………………………………...…

20

2.2.2.3. Teaching and Learning Conditions………………………..

24

2.3. Previous Research on Language Motivation…………………….…

27

iii


2.4. Previous Research on Language Demotivation……………………

30

2.5. Chapter Summary……………………………………………….....

33

CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY……………………………..…….

34

3.1. Setting of the Study……………………………………….….…….

34

3.2. Participants………………………………………….……………...

35

3.3. Data Collection……………………………………….………….....

36

3.4. Data Analysis………………………………………….……………

40

3.5. Chapter Summary……………………………………………….....

40

CHAPTER 4: FINDINGS AND DISCUSSIONS…………………….

41

4.1. Findings……………………………………………………..………

41

4.2. Discussions………………………………………………..….……..

54

4.3. Chapter Summary……………………………………….………….

59

CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION………………………………….…….

60

5.1. Recapitulation…………………………………………………….…

60

5.2. Concluding Remarks……………………………………….……….

61

5.3. Implications………………………………………………….……...

61

5.4. Limitations and Suggestions for Further Studies…………………...

63

REFERENCES…………………………………………………..………

65

APPENDIX 1: Phiếu điều tra…………………………………...………..

I

APPENDIX 2: Câu hỏi phỏng vấn……………………………...………..

VIII

APPENDIX 3: Answers for the Interview………………………………..

X

APPENDIX 4: Results of Demotivating Factors Questionaire……..……

XV

iv


ABSTRACT
This study is carried out to investigate the main factors that demotivate
the first-year non-major students in learning English at University of Labor and
Social Affairs. There are 200 students who are from different faculties at the
university take part in this study. A questionnaire and an interview are chosen as
the data collection instruments. According to the results of the research, the
students’ demotivation in learning English arises from three main factors
relating to the students, the teachers and the learning conditions. In particular,
the students’ lack of English vocabulary and their personalities were the most
demotivating factors in learning English, next the big size class with mixed
abilities of students, and then followed by the teachers’ teaching methods as
well as their commitment. After analyzing and synthesizing the statistics, the
researcher discussed and recommended some implications along with
suggestions for further research. Last but not least, it is much hoped that the
results of the study could be useful for the development of teaching and learning
English at University of Labor and Social Affairs.

v


LIST OF TABLES

Page
Table 1: Student-Related Factors

41

Table 2: Teacher-Related Factors

45

Table 3: Factors Relating to Learning Conditions

48

Table 4: The Different Effects of Demotivating Factors

52

vi


LIST OF FIGURES

Page
Figure 1: Student-Related Factors

42

Figure 2: Teacher-Related Factors

46

Figure 3: Factors Relating to Learning Conditions

49

Figure 4: The Different Effects of Demotivating Factors

52

Figure 5: The Different Effects of Demotivating Factors

53

vii


LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS USED IN THE THESIS

EFL: English as a Foreign Language
ESL: English as a Second Language
ETL: English Teaching and Learning
L1: The First Language
L2: The Second Language
L3: The Third Language
FLF: Foreign Language Faculty
ULSA: University of Labor and Social Affairs

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CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
1.1. Rationale
In the world today, the importance of English cannot be denied and
ignored since English is the most common language spoken everywhere. More
people around the world than ever before are studying and learning English
because it has become the international language of communication. It is the
reason why English has been a compulsory subject at schools in Vietnam for
years.
It can be said that motivation is one of the most important factors that
determine the rate and success of language learners’ attainment: it provides the
primary impetus to initiate the language learning and later the driving force to
sustain the long and often tedious learning process. Motivation is defined as the
extent that one strives to acquire the language because of the desire to do so and
the satisfaction derived from it (Gardner, 1985). Motivation is, thus, considered
significantly in its roles in language learning success. In fact, how to learn
English effectively is still a big question for many learners and teachers,
especially for the university students who need English as an essential tool to
improve their major knowledge. Despite the fact that most of the students have
been learning English since they were at secondary or high schools, their
English is deficient.
At University of Labor and Social Affairs (ULSA), English is an
obligatory subject for all students. They have to take an English exam to get
level A2 certificate before graduating from the university. According to our last
term investigation, amongst 2.637 first-year non-major students attending to the
first term final exam, only 38 students reached point A (1.4%), and 378 students
got point B (14.3%). The investigation also revealed that there were 944
students reaching point D (35.7%) and 944 students (35.7%) failing the exam. It
is clear that the students’ English learning results were not as good as we had
expected. Language demotivation seems to be one of the main factors affecting
the students’ improvements.
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To the best of my knowledge, there have been no studies concerning the
students’s demotivation in learning English carried out at ULSA before. It is the
reason why the author conducts a study named “Demotivating Factors in
Learning English: A Case of First Year Non - major Students at University of
Labor and Social Affairs”.
1.2. Aims of the Study
The aim of the study is to improve the quality of English teaching and
learning at ULSA. In order to achieve the aim, the study is expected to reach the
following objectives:
- Uncovering the factors demotivating the first-year non-major students in
English learning.
- Investigating the factors most frequently demotivating the first-year nonmajor students in English learning at ULSA.
- Giving some suggestions to control the factors most frequently
demotivating the first-year non-major students in English learning at ULSA.
1.3. Research Questions
In correspondence with the aforementioned aim, the researcher attempts
to answer the following questions:
- What factors demotivate students’ English learning at ULSA?
- How are the factors that most frequently demotivate the first year nonmajor students in learning English?
1.4. Scope of the Study
The data for this study are obtained through survey questionnaires
administered to 200 first-year students majoring in Accounting, Insurance,
Human Resource Management and Business Administration. The investigation
is conducted at University of Labor and Social Affairs during the first semester
of 2017 educational year. There are various factors affecting the students’
learning English; however, as the title of the study, the present research only
focuses on uncovering the demotivating factors that directly influence the
students’ English learning results at ULSA.
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1.5. Significance of the Study
Theoretically, the findings of the study contribute to the development of
existing theories about students’ motivation and demotivation for learning
English. Moreover, the study expands our understanding about demotivating
factors in learning English by adding a new context, ULSA, to demotivation
research. It provides more evidence about the influence of motivation and
demotivation factors in learning English so that it helps to re-evaluate the
importance of motivation as well as demotivation in the current context of
foreign language teaching and learning. In addition, by drawing insights from
both students and teachers, this study contributes to our knowledge of the degree
of mutual understanding between students and teachers.
Practically, the findings may provide useful guidelines for the ULSA
authorities in general and Foreign Language Faculty in particular in developing
English language materials/textbooks as well as better improving English
teaching and learning quality. The students’ answers to the above-mentioned
variables should uncover the factors demotivating them in learning English. It is
targeted to a better understanding and improvement of the demotivating
conditions where they face. This will lead to measures in solving the student’s
language learning problems as revealed in their responses, which may assist
these students to achieve a sufficient level of English at ULSA.
1.6. Research Methods
To achieve the objectives, both qualitative and quantitative methods will
be exploited in this case study. The data will be collected via interviews, and
survey questionnaires.
1.7. Structure of the Study
In addition to the references and appendices, the thesis is composed of
five chapters:
CHAPTER 1: Introduction
3


CHAPTER 2: Literature Review
CHAPTER 3: Methodology
CHAPTER 4: Findings and Discussions
CHAPTER 5: Conclusion

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CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW
This chapter is concerned with the conceptions of motivation, motivation
in foreign language learning, demotivation, demotivating factors, previous
studies on demotivation.
2.1. Motivation
Motivation is complex to define because different researchers defined it
differently. Motivation determines the level of learners’involvement in language
learning.
2.1.1. Definitions of Motivation
Many researches have been undertaken and most of them have referred to
the definition of motivation. All the motivation theories in general want to
explain the fundamental question of why humans behave as they do, and
therefore we cannot assume any simple and straightforward answer.
Howard (2005) defined motivation as a basic or internal drive as well as
an external incentive or reward; it is therefore the process of arousing,
maintaining and controlling interest. An understanding of motivation is essential
in the study of the psychology and behavior of the learner. During the last forty
years a number of different interpretations of motivation have been given and
many theories have been advanced in the area of language learning. While some
of the theories are stronger than others, each has its own merits.
Motivation in schoolwork consists chiefly in leading pupils to a
realization of the need for the knowledge and culture which the schools are
trying to impart. We would all agree with the statement that motivation is not a
process of forcing, because the major task of the teacher is not coercing but
encouraging, inspiring and guiding the students to achieve their objectives. This
is why motivation is fundamental in explaining the success or failure of teaching
a foreign language.
According to Dornyei (2001), the current spirit in motivational
psychology is characterized by cognitive approach in which individuals’
behavior is influenced by their conscious attitudes, thoughts, beliefs and
5


interpretation of things or in other words, how mental processes are transformed
into action. In his view, what people do firstly was determined by their beliefs
about its value and then face with difficulties together with the support they get,
i.e. people or environmental working-is motivation. He defined motivation as an
abstract, hypothetical concept that we use to explain why people think and
behave as they do. He also stated that motivation explains why people decide to
do something, how hard they are going to pursue it and how long they are
willing to sustain the activities.
Samuel (1977) stated that motivation is usually defined by psychologists
as the process involved in arousing, directing and sustaining behavior. It is true
that though we may observe the learner's behavior we cannot directly observe
his motivation. Every teacher can observe poor behavior of a student in the
classroom and can also shape the learner's personality. Most psychologists refer
to motivation as an important element in behavior, but it is not the only
determining factor, and may be very dangerous if misused.
Motivation is the main and key factor for learning a second language.
Students, who have positive attitude and motivation in them for learning, will
surely succeed to attain their goal. Gardner (1985) defined motivation as the
combination of effort plus desire to achieve the goal of learning the language
plus favorable attitude toward learning the language. In his account, motivation
is involved in three main factors including effort, desire and favorable attitude
that belong to the interior dimension of learners. He believed that motivation to
learn a foreign language is determined by basic predispositions and personality
characteristics such as the learner’s attitudes toward foreign people in general,
and the target group and language in particular, motives for learning, and
generalized attitudes.
William & Burden (1997) assumed that from a cognitive perspective,
motivation is concerned with such issues as why people decide to act in certain
ways and what factors influence the choice they make. It also involves decisions
as to the amount of effect people are prepared to expand in attempting to achieve
6


their goals. The role of the teacher thus becomes one of helping and enabling
learners to make suitable decisions.
In addition to that, Brown (1994) defined motivation with certain terms
like inner drive, impulse, emotion or desire and these terms motivate the learners
to perform in a particular action. Oxford and Shearin (1994) mostly agreed with
Brown (1994) as they believed in self-desire to achieve a goal.
In a nutshell, motivation is complex to define because different
researchers defined it differently. Motivation determines the level of learners’
involvement in language learning, therefore it is important to know the influence
of motivation in students’ performance as well.
Different researchers have provided different definitions of motivation as
they conduct researches on motivation in different situations, i.e. different
countries, with different people and cultures as well as different teaching learning conditions. In this study, the researcher understand motivation under
three important factors of motivation found by prior researchers: (1) personal
and sociocultural factors, (2) classroom environment factors, (3) internal factors
and it should be also remembered that motivation is not static, it will evolve
naturally to keep up with the rising complexity of modern societies.
2.1.2. Types of Motivation in Foreign Language Learning
Motivation can be classified in different ways. In some studies,
motivation is categorized into two types: intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.
According to Harmer (2001), intrinsic motivation refers to the personal
satisfaction of doing something and fulfilling inner needs (i.e. learning for
personal satisfaction). Extrinsic motivation relates to external influences and
outer incentives. This type of motivation develops in time as values are closely
related to social demands and their practical rewards (i.e. learning for external
appraisal).
Harter (1981) and William & Burden (1997) distinguished five separate
dimensions forming motivation in the classroom environment, each of which is
determined by an intrinsic and extrinsic pole:
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Intrinsic

Extrinsic

Preference for challenge

Vs Preference for easy work

Curiosity, interest

vs

Pleasing teacher, getting grades

Independent mastery

vs

Dependence

on

teacher

in

figuring our problems
Independent judgement

vs

Reliance

on

the

teacher’s

judgement about what to do
Internal criteria for success

vs

External criteria for success

Although the Harter’s division of motivation should not be ignored, as it
is based on valuable theoretical assumptions, it is not fully acceptable because in
reality motivation consists of many overlapping layers. Indeed, many times we
behave on the bases of a mixture of both intrinsic and extrinsic reasons.
Moreover, most teachers would agree that both have significant impact on the
L2 learner motivation and are closely linked and in most cases they are not
employed separately.
The multi-dimensionality of motivation was proposed by Vallerand &
Ratelle (2002) who invented a hierarchical model of intrinsic and extrinsic
motivation. They put forward a hypothesis that both intrinsic and extrinsic
motivations are present at three levels of generality: global, contextual and
situational level. Global level motivation is defined as an individual difference
that applies to general situations and results in general consequences. Motivation
at the contextual level deals with involvement in certain fields of human activity
such as class relationships, school activities, and hobbies. The situation level
refers to particular activities at a certain time, for example preparation for an
important exam or writing homework. The type of motivation can be different
on each level.
This hypothesis might be very helpful for teachers who try to find out
why students sometimes feel motivated and perform well and in several other
situations they lose their motivation completely. For example, a student whose
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main goal is to speak English well to be able to communicate with people from
other countries would be most likely highly motivated at global level. They
would enjoy learning the language generally, watching films, listening to music
etc., but when they are supposed to learn a certain grammatical rule to obtain a
good mark at school, their motivation might decrease as their situation level
motivation is not activated by a reward in the form of a good mark or knowledge
of the rule. On the other hand, this hypothesis can also explain why some
students are able to perform very well in the tests and exams but their ability to
communicate is rather poor.
2.1.3. Motivation in Foreign or Second Language Learning
Motivation is one of the major individual difference variables that has
proved to have significant impact on the language learning process (e.g.
Dornyei, 2001; Harmer, 2001; Schunk, Pintrich & Meese, 2007). It is not
difficult to understand why such great importance is attributed to the motivation
in second language acquisition; it is obvious that learning is most likely to occur
when there is a will to learn.
Motivation is something that is directly related with behavior. A person
sets his mind up to figure out a certain work and does accordingly. It can be
assumed that motivation has relevant and crucial value in learning a second
language that influences the success of language learning. Therefore, motivation
cannot be denied in learning a second language. Many researchers have shown
that motivation plays an important role in determining the result of foreign/
second language learning process. According to Brown (2007), “motivation is
one of the most important factors that will influence students’ English
achievement or performance. It has a close relationship with students’ success or
failure in English teaching in college. Therefore, teacher must pay more
attention to this aspect”. Motivated students are likely to learn more and learn
more quickly than students who are less motivated. They also participate
willingly, actively and pay more attention to a certain learning task or activity
and gain more success and high marks. Without motivation the learner cannot
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perform or learn a language. Motivation makes purposes clearly visible.
Learning a different language is very challenging but if the leaner has internal
desire to learn any language, he/she can do well. It is an internal or external
desire in people, which increases learners’ interest to learn a different language
to achieve a goal. Motivation can be both internal and external. Internal
motivation is, learner’s self-desire or preforming any activity for own sake. On
the other hand, extrinsic motivation is more related with any award or
punishment.
Spolsky (1969) studied the attitude of learners of a second language
towards the language and its native speakers. After testing three groups of
foreign students studying in the U.S.A., he found that integrative motivation
generally accompanied higher scores of proficiency in English. From this, he
concluded that a student learns a language better when he wants to be a member
of the group speaking that language. According to him, learning a second
language is a key to possible membership of a secondary society; the desire to
join that group is a major factor in language learning. He emphasized therefore
the importance of attitude. The student's attitude towards the people speaking the
other language will have a great effect upon how well he learns.
The best known theory which affects all research carried out after 1972 is
the socio-psychological theory of second or foreign language learning discussed
by Lambert and Gardner (1972). They argued that if the learner is
psychologically prepared to adopt the different aspects of behavior which
characterize members of the other linguistic and cultural groups, these aspects
are basic for the success of the learner in the second language. This theory
provided a hypothesis to study the phenomenon of second and foreign language
learning. It is essential to take into consideration the attitude of the learner and
his parents towards other ethno-linguistic communities.
In short, it is clearly that motivation produces the first impulse to start the
process of learning and it also greatly contributes to the determination to
continue in the process. Without sufficient motivation, students would not be
10


able to persist in such wearing and long-lasting activity. Learning a language is
remarkably different from learning the other subjects at school as language is an
integral part of the culture, customs and habits of the society where it is spoken,
thus the language learner should also learn how to associate with these
established manners of interaction and behavior to use the language
appropriately. Therefore, the positive attitude towards the language speaking
country should be promoted to achieve desired outcome.
2.2. Demotivation
Demotivation is a relatively new issue in the field of second/foreign
language learning.
2.2.1. Definitions of Demotivation
According to Cambridge English Dictionary (2009), “demotivate” means
“to make someone less enthusiastic about a job”. Because there are only a few
things useful or valid in their mind when doing anything, they do not want to
fulfill that task or strive to perform it without any effort.
It is claimed (Deci and Ryan, 1985) that demotivation means the relative
absence of motivation that is not caused by a lack of initial interest but rather by
the individual’s experiencing feelings of incompetence and helplessness when
faced with the activity.
Dornyei (2001) defined de-motivation as specific external forces that
reduce or diminish the motivational basis of a behavioral intention or an ongoing
action. However, not all the researchers agreed with this definition. Sakai and
Kikuchi (2009) noted that Dorneyi limited the original definition of
demotivation to only external factors and they also pointed out that in fact,
Dorneyi (2001) himself considered self-confident reduction and negative
attitude as demotivating factors in learning process. Then they felt the need to
extend Dorneyi’s definition of demotivation, concluding both external and
internal factors which reduce or diminish motivation during the process of
learning. The loss of interest or pleasure in learning can deprive from different

11


sources of demotivation, such as teachers and teaching methods, learners
themselves, learning conditions like physical conditions and the textbook.
In addition, as mentioned above, there are 2 types of motivation: Intrinsic
and Extrinsic motivation. These two variables motivate differently but they have
a connection. From the sources of motivation, researchers have shown a detailed
description of motivation which can be influenced internally or externally. Thus,
the other side of motivation, demotivation, also discusses both inside and
outside factors that reduce motivation in language learning process. In 2001,
Dorneyi noted that demotivation refers to lack of motivation resulting from
realizing that there is no point. He also stated that the relative absence of
motivation that is not caused by a lack of initial interest but rather by the
individual’s experiencing feelings of incompetence and helplessness when faced
with the activity. Indeed, demotivation is a decrease of motivation. Demotivated
learners were once motivated, but in some contexts, due to unpredictably
external causes, they became demotivated. Demotivation might appear when
having an attractive alternative or distraction. For example, a student decides to
play computer games instead of going to school.
Dornyei and Ushioda (2011) have argured that some demotives can lead
to general demotivation regarding the particular activity (e.g. a series of
horrendous classroom experiences can reduce the learner’s self-efficacy).
Dornyei (2011) pointed out that de-motivation does not mean that all the
positive influences that originally made up the motivational basis of a behavior
have been got rid of. It only means that a strong negative factor restrains the
present motivation with some other positive motives still remain ready to be
activated.
In this study, demotivation can be thought of as a process of reducing or
weakening learners’ interest and motivation which involves in both external and
internal factors.
12


2.2.2. Factors Demotivating Students in Learning Foreign Language
Chambers (1993) carried out a survey with 191 pupils of 4 schools in
Leeds in Britain on their explanations about de-motivation and a questionnaire
to 7 teachers about the main characteristics of the demotived pupils. The results
of the study show the underlying causes of students’ demotivation perceived
were quite different by the teachers and the students. The teachers’
interpretations are quite coherent. They consider that demotived students make
no effort to learn, lack belief in their own capabilities, demonstrate laziness and
are unwilling to learn.
Students’ understandings, however, vary from person to person. Some
blame their teachers because teachers frequently criticize students and explain
things insufficiently. Teachers use old-fashioned teaching materials and inferior
equipment, thus losing their students and being ignorant of it. Others accuse the
number of students in the class and language room facilities. In sum, Chambers
found that students believe that de-motivation originates from different sources:
home, previous language learning experience, the perception of the teacher and
students’ low self-esteem, etc. It’s clear that teachers’ understandings are very
different from students’ perceptions. Therefore, Chambers (1999) concluded that
“seeking the help of pupils might be a good place to start” (p.16), thereby stating
the importance of communication and cooperation between teachers and
students.
Muhonen (2004) conducted a qualitative study on factors that discourage
pupils from learning the English language. The data for the study were collected
by means of a retrospective writing task in which the pupils were asked to
describe the issues that had a negative impact on their motivation to learn
English and explain in what way these demotives had influenced their
motivation. The finding from his study revealed main themes of demotivation:
- The Teachers
- Learning Material and their Contents
- The Learner Characteristics
13


- School Environment
- The Learners’ Attitudes towards the English Language.
Comparing demotivating factors and English grades revealed that the
average grade of those pupils who considered the English language as
demotivating was significantly lower than of those pupils whose demotivation
resulted from the teacher or the learning material.
According to Dornyei (2001), main categories of factors that demotivate
students in foreign language learning as follows:
- The Teacher (personality, commitment, competence, teaching method);
- Inadequate School Facilities (group is too big or not the right level,
frequent change of teachers);
- Reduced Self-Confidence (experience of failure or lack of success);
- Negative Attitude towards the L2;
- Compulsory Nature of L2 Study;
- Interference of Another Foreign Language being studied;
- Negative Attitude towards L2 Community;
- Attitudes of Group Members;
- Course-book
Among these main factors, the Teacher is the most important factor that
can influence learners’ demotivation. Teachers can or cannot engage students in
long way of learning a new language. Teachers can motivate students by
implicating many different types of enjoyable strategies and vice versa. It is very
important to make the classroom atmosphere relaxed and friendly. Many students
have the content in themselves but they cannot perform because of the lack of
confidence. Teachers can demotivate the learners by their negative attitudes,
boring teaching process, old fashioned teaching aids in classrooms. That can
make the students more uninterested in exploring or learning about the language.
In short, researchers have argued a lot of different factors demotivating
students in foreign language learning, however, according to the author, they can

14


be classified into 3 main groups: teacher-related factors, learner-related factors,
teaching and learning conditions.
2.2.2.1. Teacher-Related Factors
According to Dornyei (2001), demotivating factors related to teacher
consist of teachers’ personalities, commitment, competence and teaching
methods.
Teacher’s Personalities
Cruickshank, Jenkins, and Metcalf (2003) stated that the personality is the
totality of character and behavioral traits to an individual. No two persons are
alike in this respect, not even identical twins. There is no doubt that the teacher’s
performance can have a great impact on the student’s motivation and thus
achievement. Firstly, it should be emphasized that helping students to generate
intrinsic motivation should be one of the essential duties of the teacher who is
responsible for the choice of schoolwork, teaching method, and organization of
the classes. Thus all of the elements of the teaching/learning process should be
considered with respect to individual needs, preferences and capabilities of the
students. It is also the teacher’s task to promote positive attitude toward the
English language as a subject. William & Burden (1997) pointed out that apart
from the way the teacher presents the subject, the teacher’s good personality is
another very important aspect affecting the student’s motivation. All learners
tend to be influenced by their personal feelings about their educators, and thus,
their perceptions of their teachers and of the interactions that arise between them
and their teachers will have great impacts on their motivation to learn.
Therefore, students will feel discouraged, demotivated, lazy, indifferent, sleepy
and noisy in the classroom if the teacher’s personality is not good and not
interesting. On the other hand, it can be said that the teacher’s negative attitudes
have a strong impact on the student’s demotivation.
Teacher’s Commitment to the Students’ Progress
According to Hussin, Maarof, and D’Cruz (2001), teachers need to find
creative ways to teach the language and increase the student’s motivation to
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