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Volume 12 Number 4, Winter 2015, Pages 1-158 PDF Download

Exploring Motivational Changes for Short In-class Extensive Reading

    Mitsuko Tanaka

This study examined longitudinal changes in motivation for short in-class extensive reading (ER) and the relationship between these motivational changes and English proficiency, using self-determination theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 1985). Japanese university EFL learners (n = 133) took pre- and post-English proficiency tests and responded to a questionnaire designed to measure the five subtypes of SDT motivation (i.e., intrinsic motivation, identified regulation, introjected regulation, external regulation, and amotivation) thrice in one academic year. The results of one-way within-subjects repeated-measures MANOVA showed that while three subtypes of SDT motivation (i.e., intrinsic motivation, identified regulation, and external regulation) tended to decrease, amotivation increased, revealing that learners' motivation for short in-class ER significantly decreased over time. The results of a recursive path analysis included that 1) initial English proficiency had significant direct effects on initial motivational status, but generally had only indirect effects on the subsequent motivational profiles via the initial motivational status; and 2) final motivational status was statistically irrelevant to final English proficiency. These findings revealed that although English proficiency initially influenced motivation, the relationship between motivation and English proficiency eventually became insignificant in short in-class ER. Low-level reading abilities do not ultimately demotivate learners to engage in ER.

Keywords: extensive reading, sustained silent reading, graded readers, motivation, self-determination theory