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Volume 6 Number 4, Winter 2009, Pages 1-296   


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Intrinsic Motivation in the EFL School Context: A Retrospective Study of English Learning Experiences in Japanese Elementary Schools

    Yoshiyuki Nakata


The present paper aims to investigate how pupil's intrinsic motivation to learn English changes with age, as they progress from lower to higher grades in elementary schools. It attempts to do so by exploring the perceptions held by 213 first-year junior high school students of their English learning experience in Japanese elementary schools. Specifically, the foci in this study are: (1) to explore different patterns in the development of intrinsic motivation with regard to the length of English learning experiences in elementary school; (2) to clarify a typology of English learning experiences in elementary schools with reference to the development of intrinsic motivation; and (3) to investigate qualitative changes of intrinsic motivation. Results show that three elements of enjoyment, willingness to continue learning, and meaningfulness do not necessarily refer to three discrete aspects of intrinsic motivation, but are rather intertwined each other.

Keywords: intrinsic motivation, elementary school, EFL