The study aims to investigate the main motivation factors to learn English for Professional Purposes and how they enable the formation of students’ English foreign language communicative competence (non-linguistic university). The importance of this subject is caused by the need of effective training professionals able to compete in the modern labor market. The paper suggests the survey of one hundred and fourteen Crimean Business Institute and Tomsk Polytechnic University students. The methods used in the research are a questionnaire and the survey that comprises fifteen items developed to achieve the aim of the study. Three types of survey questions are used to collect the data: open-ended, ordinal scale and multiple-choice questions. The findings reveal that instrumental motivation prevails among students who are learning English for Professional Purposes as they focus on personal or professional interests and contacts, as well as ambitions. The study suggests the list of the most important motivation factors to learn English for Professional Purposes.
Keywords: Inner motivationouter motivationintegrative motivationinstrumental motivationEnglish foreign language communicative competencelinguistic and socio-cultural knowledge and skills
Motivation has been undoubtedly considered by researchers and teachers as one of the important factors that influence the success of the second or foreign language learning (Moiinvaziri, 2008). Motivation is the dynamic force that provides an effective learning process. If there is no sufficient motivation, even individuals with outstanding abilities can not achieve long-term goals, and any relevant education programs and good teaching can not provide students’ achievement (Dörnyei, 1998). Learning English for Professional Purposes is hardly possible if the students are not motivated. The importance of this subject is caused by the need to train professionals able to compete in today’s job market.
The study aims to investigate the factors of students’ motivation to learn English for Professional Purposes.
Contemporary scholars (Nilsen, 2009; Sincero, 2012; Froiland, Oros, 2012;) define two types of motivation for learning English: inner (intrinsic) and outer (extrinsic). Intrinsic motivating refers to taking some action for the enjoyment or the satisfaction that learners receive, achievement, a sense of competence. The person is motivated to act following his (her) tastes, interests, hobbies, preferences, curiosity. The advantage of intrinsic motivation is that it can be long-lasting and self-sustaining. Extrinsic motivation refers to taking some action in order to obtain a reward or outcome. Instead of doing something because of positive attitude, persons, who are extrinsically motivated, act basing on what they receive as a result (Ryan, & Deci, 2000). For example, students may learn English to get good grades or employees may work for the expected salary.
Gardner, and Lambert (1972) have proposed to consider the most common understanding of the motivations that are typical for those who study a foreign language. The above mentioned scientists differentiate two types of language learning motivation: instrumental and integrative motivation. Gardner, and Lambert determine the instrumental motivation as the desire to get practical benefits. For example, a person who wants to learn a second/foreign language in order to improve his/her future career and have the prospect of salary increaseswould have instrumental motivation. Persons with integrative motivation to language learning have a desire to learn the language in order to better understand the lifestyle of native speakers and to get acquainted with their culture.
Dornyei (1994) believes that instrumentally motivated individuals have a favorable attitude towards the second /foreign language community, a desire to communicate, interact and collaborate and even become like the distinguished members of a given community. Some scientists assume that instrumental motivation prevails more often, because the main students’ objectives are to find a prospective job and communicate with foreign speakers (Brown, 2004; Ryan, & Deci, 2000). Personal goals are also important as effective motivation factors (travelling, understanding of foreign films and songs, etc.). American scholars Williams, and Williams (2011) investigated wider range of reasons effecting successful learning of foreign languages. They focused on self-motivation, the teacher’s personality and teaching techniques as well as creating a favourable linguistic environment.
It should be noted that well-known researchers, supporting the socio-psychological approach believe that motivation is responsible for determining a person's behavior by acting on it and pointing the direction to it (Gardner, & Lambert, 1972; Gardner, 1985; Gardner, & Clement, 1990; Gardner, & Macintyre, 1993). Ajzen (1988) focuses on a person’s intention that performs the particular behaviour, the attitude towards the behaviour and the subjective norm.
The supporters of expectancy theory approve that motivation is based on the individual’s expectancy of success that enables one to perform various tasks and obtain the individual’s value of the success in that task (Atkinson, & Raynor, 1974; Wigfield, 1994; Pintrich, &Schunk, 1996; Lunenburg, 2011).
The authors of this study suggest that the restriction of this theory is that the researchers did not focus attention on the learners’ motivation, but on the factors that form and direct motivation. Besides, intentions, attitudes, and behaviour do not totally explain the origin and development of individuals’ motivation. Actually, motivation is a multifaceted phenomenon that is influenced by culture, environment, cognition, personality, society.
Thus, filling in the gap in the research of the second/foreign language learning motivation, the authors of this study attempt to answer the following questions: 1). What types of students’ motivation to learn English for Professional Purposes prevail? 2). What are the main motivational factors to learn English for Professional Purposes? 3). How to improve students’ motivation to the foreign language communicative competence formation? What methods could be used to motivate students to learn English for professional purposes?
The study is based on two well-known methods of motivation when learning a foreign language. The first method involves the socio-pedagogical model of second language acquisition which was used to study the relationship between students’ motivation, attitudes and language achievement (Gardner, & Macintyre, 1993; Ushida, 2005). The second one includes the components of the motivation model which was used to identify motivational factors (Dörnyei, 1998, Dailey, 2009).
Motivation is regarded as a vital component in the process of English Foreign Language learning for Professional Purposes. The authors applied the descriptive analysis of the data collected during the survey, qualitative research to find the deep students’ motives to learn English for Professional Purposes.
The survey involved 114 students of Crimean Business Institute and Tomsk Polytechnic University: 1st year (N = 60), 2nd-year (N=30), 3rd-year (N=24) students (66 females and 48 males). All the respondents have learnt English for several years. Nevertheless, 7% of them assessed their English Language Level as elementary, 71,9% as pre-intermediate and 12% as intermediate. With regard to the detailed students’ self-assessment of English Knowledge, the results of the General Background Questionnaire are presented in Fig.
The instruments used in the research to collect the information are a General Background Questionnaire and a Survey that includes fifteen items developed to achieve the aim of the study (see Fig.
Three types of Survey questions were asked to collect the data: open-ended, ordinal scale and multiple-choice questions. The Survey reveals both internal and external motivation factors. Open-ended questions (4-7, 9, 14, 15) helped to clarify the students’ attitudes to future job and prospects. They displayed the students’ need for cultural and professional awareness, and revealed some lack of motivation factors and negative attitudes to the learning process.
The ordinal scale of Survey gave opportunity to rank the students’ individual incentives to learn a foreign language in order of importance (questions # 3) and to define the main of them (intrinsic motivation). Replies to multiple-choice questions showed the teacher's role as a significant and extended the range of motivating factors to learn English for Professional Purposes.
The data were collected in April 2016 by students - volunteers, who were informed about the purpose of research. The respondents were asked to fill out questionnaires in English or Russian. It was revealed that 59.6% of respondents completed the survey in English. The results were processed by the authors and presented for discussion.
Results and Discussion
Question #2 is aimed to define the reasons for studying English: Why do you study English? Five variants have been proposed for the response: the need for achievement, self-confidence, language use anxiety, prestige and a higher salary. In addition, respondents were asked to state other reasons. Twenty two students chose
Question #3 was developed to rank thestudents’ individual incentives in the order of importance: language aptitude, strategies, language attitudes, motivation, language anxiety.
In Question #4, the respondents dwelt upon
Questions ## 5, 9, 10, 11 were aimed at finding the most important students’ motivation factors for learning English. As a result of analysis, the following main factors of motivation to learn English for Professional Purposes were singled out:1) developing English foreign language communicative competence in professional environment (instrumental motivation): students proved to be more motivated to take international exams IELTS, TOEFL, BEC to apply for a job abroad; 2) developing language skills to raise linguistic and cultural competence (integrative motivation);3) participating in students exchange programs that satisfies both professional and personal goals (combination of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation);4) taking up language courses (extrinsic motivation); 5) the teacher’s personality.
Question # 15 helped to discover some demotivators that prevent the learning process: 1) lack of English-speaking environment (94 respondents – 82.5%); 2) unwillingness to learn grammar rules (26 respondents – 22.8%); 3) misunderstanding due to low linguistic competence (18 respondents – 15.8%); 4) curriculum restrictions: some students wish to study wider range of topics (6 respondents – 5.3%).
The teachers’ evaluation
The conducted Survey contributed to the overall research and helped to answer the following research questions:
The authors of this study believe that the main motivation factorsto learn English for Professional Purposes can be divided into linguistic and extra linguistic ones. The rapid development of information technology provides many opportunities for students: distance learning, video conferencing, access to electronic libraries, authentic sources and professional websites, the use of multimedia, etc. Taken together, all these possibilities are a powerful motivator.
The first one is
The second is
In fact only 14.3% of students (18) gave feedback on
According to the Survey, Case Study preferences dominated (31,5% ) as this method engages students into realistic business situations and provides the reality of engineering and managerial decisions. The students enjoy this activity as they learn how to analyze professional situations. Case Study is one of the most effective methods that stimulates students’ thinking skills and encourages discussions.
The above-mentioned studies and findings confirm the view of the authors that visualization, cooperative learning, including group projects, and Case Study are the most effective strategies that can be used to enhance students’ motivation to learn English for Professional Purposes. The teacher must select a job-related content that will develop generic skills, English foreign language communicative competence and increase professional competence.
From the outcome of the investigation it can be concluded that for foreign language learners’ integrative motivation is not as important as instrumental motivation.Foreign language learners due to lack of contacts with native speakers have less positive attitudes about learning the foreign language. They are reluctant to integrate into an English speaking society and identify themselves with that society. Instrumentally motivated students feel quite confident that English will lead to an improvement in future careers. In the process of learning, positive emotions enhance the students’ motivation, increase self-evaluation and may even speed up the period of study. Skillful application of the combination of teaching strategies and techniques, adroit handling of them in real-life situations, stretching through the boundaries of the curriculum as well as self-motivation of students are an essential part of effective study.
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Kobzeva, N., Pavlova, E., & Trofimova, V. (2017). Motivating students to learn English for Professional Purposes (non-linguisticuniversity). In K. Anna Yurevna, A. Igor Borisovich, W. Martin de Jong, & M. Nikita Vladimirovich (Eds.), Responsible Research and Innovation, vol 26. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 428-435). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2017.07.02.55