Capstone/Dissertation Title

The Effect of Motivational Teaching Strategies on the Motivation of EFL Learners at a Bolivian University

Term

Summer 8-5-2016

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAESL

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Susan Bosher

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Feride Erku

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Sara Gundersen

Abstract

This study explored the following questions: 1) Does teacher use of motivational teaching strategies increase student motivation to learn English as a Foreign Language at a Bolivian university?; 2) How do teachers’ perceptions of their own use of motivational strategies compare to students’ and an observer’s perceptions?; 3) Does the training of teachers on motivational strategies transfer to classroom practice of those strategies? These questions were explored in a mixed-method design through 1) a pre- and post-questionnaire, the Survey of Motivation to Learn English as a Foreign Language, which measured students’ motivational states and their perceptions of teachers’ use of motivational teaching strategies; 2) teacher training on 11 motivational teaching strategies; 3) Teacher Research Journals; and 4) the Observable Motivational Teaching Strategies, an instrument used by the researcher to observe teachers implementing the motivational teaching strategies in their classrooms. This study began with 57 student participants and ended with 50, due to 7 students dropping their English classes for reasons unrelated to this study. There were five classes in this study: 1) Tourism II, 2) Tourism IV, 3) Tourism VI, 4) Nursing/Veterinary Science, and 5) Agronomy/Education. Five teachers, including the researcher, participated in this study. For all three of the tourism classes, the results showed an increase in motivation related to all 11 motivational teaching strategies. The results indicated that the Nursing/Veterinary Science and Agronomy/Education teachers were most successful at increasing student motivation with the following motivational teaching strategies: Commitment to and high expectations for student success and Build a supportive classroom community, which both fell under the category Create the Basic Environment for Motivation. The results also indicated that, for these two teachers, the least successful motivational teaching strategies, reflecting a decrease in student motivation, were: Reduce learner anxiety, under the category Maintain and Preserve Motivation, and Evaluate effort over ability in the learning process, under the category Promote Positive Self-Evaluation. The results of this study suggest that EFL teachers at this Bolivian university should implement the 11 motivational teaching strategies examined in this study to increase student motivation to learn EFL.

Research Methodology

Action Research, Observation, Survey

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