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Volume 16 Number 4, Winter 2019, Pages 1069-1460 PDF Download

Understanding Motivational Fluctuations among Young Rural EFL Learners: A Longitudinal Case Study

    Hsiao-Wen Hsu

This three-year longitudinal study examines Taiwanese rural junior high school students' motivational changes regarding learning English. The same questionnaire measuring their levels of motivation was conducted throughout five semesters across three school years. Seven motivational aspects, including intrinsic, extrinsic, task value, control beliefs, self-efficacy, expectancy and test anxiety, were measured each semester. The overall findings suggest that these rural students started with higher levels of intrinsic, extrinsic and task-related motivation compared to the other motivational aspects; also that girls generally presented higher motivation levels than boys. More generally, students reported mild-to-low level motivation, which indicated that rural students' EFL motivation would decrease during their school years. The results suggest both English teacher and homeroom teacher appear to play vital roles in affecting rural students' motivation. Such findings signal a need for English teachers and educational authorities to reconsider the methods used for both developing and improving rural students' motivation to learn English throughout their junior high school years. Other factors, including gender and English engagement after school, were also found to be effective. This study also suggests practical recommendations for English learning and teaching in rural Taiwanese high schools, which may be effective in other EFL contexts.

Keywords: English learning motivation, motivational changes, rural school students, longitudinal study