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

The Gap between Teachers' and Students' Perceptions of Motivation in Chinese EFL Classrooms: A Study Based on Self-Determination Theory and the 5Ts Framework

    Shufang Wang & Chang-In Lee

Motivation plays an important role in learning foreign languages and many scholars have conducted research on how to maintain and enhance students' motivation in the EFL class. But few studies have analyzed whether there are mismatches between what teachers and learners define as the important factors to motivate students. This study aims to rectify this gap in our knowledge by analyzing university students' and teachers' perceptions of students' English learning motivation based on self-determination theory (SDT) and the ‘5Ts' which affect motivation (Teacher, Teaching Methodology, Text, Task and Test). In order to have a better understanding of students' and teachers' perceptions, two questionnaires were designed. Participants were 190 Chinese university students and 122 English teachers. Results show that teachers and learners have different perspectives for Task and Teacher. To be specific, teachers gave more weight to the Task factor, whereas students focus more on the Teacher factor, including good characteristics of their teacher. However, teachers and students agree that Teaching methodology and Text play a vital role in motivating students. They also agree that Test is less important. These findings have pedagogical implications for current and prospective English teachers in China and elsewhere.

Keywords: motivation, Self-Determination Theory, the 5Ts framework