The relevance of this study is due to the fact that at the present time in teaching languages, positive changes have taken place, but this area faces a number of challenges: psychological, didactic, staffing, etc. The purpose of this article is to identify the hierarchy of motivating and demotivating factors in language teaching processes. Leading methods to the study of this issue are: review of literature; experimental methods (including conversation, interviews, and questionnaires); and statistical methods of data processing. The results of the study showed that in assessing the situation, language learning was highly dependent on factors such as: teaching methods, achievement in education, and teachers work with the students. The obtained results will help to identify problems in the process of teaching and learning. The study is of a research character, and its results are intended for the most part, to develop recommendations regarding language learning. Under that reccomendations foreign language teachers improve students` competence, motivation and proficiency, as well as communication skills.
Keywords: Motivating factorsdemotivating factorslanguage learning
Recently, in teaching a foreign language, there are positive changes, but nevertheless, this sector is facing a number of challenges: psychological, didactic, staffing, etc. Every year in the Republic of Tatarstan there are graduates who have studied foreign languages (including Tatar language) for 11 years. Most of these students after high school have a poor knowledge of foreign languages or have a low level that does not allow them to use it in everyday communication, even though sufficient number of hours were scheduled for language learning. The presence of certain contradictions, which create several problems in the organization of language learning, leads to the need for more in-depth study of this system, which is intended to promote real bilingualism in the Republic of Tatarstan. One must identify the internal vision of problems from the teachers, students, and parents, that will contribute to the objective identification of reasons for the formation of students ' motivation in learning a foreign language.
The problems of language learning were considered in the scientific works of Ganiev (2000), Musina and Gabdrakhmanova (2011), Valeeva (2007), Sagdeev (2007), Iskhakova (2007), and Shaikhieva (2007).
Motivation training activities is one of the central problems of modern schools connected with the issue of education of ideals, national identity, and ideological values in society, combined with the active behaviour and active lifestyle of schoolchildren. As a leading factor regulating the activity of the individual, his behaviour and activities, motivation is of special interest for teachers and parents. It is impossible to establish any sort of effective pedagogical interaction with a child, a teenager, or youth, without taking into account the peculiarities of their academic motivations.
A study of the problem of motivation of educational activity of adolescents has been widely studied by Soviet and foreign psychologists, by scientists such as Bozhovich (1969), Ilyin (2002), Matyukhina (1976), Markova (1983), Maslow (1940).
The following research methods were used in the process of research: content analysis, the forecasting method, systematization and generalization of facts and concepts, method of expert estimations, analysis of results of activity of pupils, diagnostic methods, mathematical methods of data processing.
The research work was carried out in secondary schools in the city of Naberezhnye Chelny with students in 9 grades, their parents and with teachers of foreign and Tatar languages.
In the first part of the research, a research on the educational motivation of students regarding foreign language was conducted. In the second part of the study, a consistency of views in the group of foreign language teachers, students and parents by ranking was revealed. To clarify the degree of consensus in the groups, the coefficient of concordance was used. In the third part of the study, the real situation of learning a foreign language was assessed. The results of the three groups – teachers, students and parents identified factors that established both positive and negative evaluation.
Using methods of diagnostics of Matuhina’s learning motivation structure, we determined the severity of the motives of the doctrine in a situation of learning a foreign language. Matyukhina identified seven scales of the motives of learning: cognitive, communicative, emotional, self-development, the position of the student, achievement, and extrinsic (rewards, punishment).
According to the obtained results, we found that the dominant motives of girls is achievement (5,4), the position of the student (5,1), communicative motives (4,5), external motives (4,1), the motive of self-development (3,9) and emotional motive (3,8). Preceding was the cognitive motive (3,4).
Motive of achievement is the main motive of adolescents, which is usually associated with the desire to achieve success and avoid failure, in order to increase or maintain self-esteem and the respect of others. An upsurge in academic success can be for various reasons: to please the teacher, to avoid criticism, shame, humiliation etc. The aim for the pupils is to get a good grade in foreign language, in order to be permitted to partake in other examinations. At 0.3 values below, is the scale "the position of the student." The dominance of this scale is an age norm, because by ninth-grade, student heed to rules and requirements that imposes educational environment and increases student status.
Cognitive motives in relation to foreign language learning is mild. This motive is associated with the content of the training activities and the process of its implementation. From the results of our study, we can conclude that girls don't strive to acquire new knowledge and training skills, and are less interested in foreign languages. We think that adolescent girls exhibit selective cognitive interest in specific subjects, in this case, a cognitive motive relative to the study of foreign language is reduced.
Consider the results of research on boys. According to the obtained results, we found that they also are dominated by the motive of achievement (5,5), the position of the student (5,1), communicative motives (4,6), external motives (4,4), cognitive reasons (4), the motive of self-development (3,7), and emotional motivation (3,5). It can be assumed that the "motive to achieve" is dominant in boys because men, to a greater extent than women, attach importance to victories, superiority, and competitiveness.
The scale "the position of a schoolboy", in this case, is also an age norm. The motive of self-development and emotional motive are separated by only 0.2 difference. Boys don't aspire to self-development, they have no interest in the process of learning a foreign language. Boys displayed low activity in the process of solving problems, searching for solutions, result, etc. Also, they are not eager to get knowledge, and do not understand the need to learn a foreign language. Perhaps it is because they do not see it as a social necessity.
If we compare the results of boys and girls, we can see that they are identical. All scales temp is in the zone of insignificance, indicating no differences between male and female pupils in the expression of the motives of the doctrine in a situation of learning a foreign language. We believe that such results are obtained since boys and girls were in the same conditions, learning a foreign language.
The study of consensus in the group of teachers, students and parents regarding motivating factors in a situation of learning a foreign language were calculated by the method of Venezkova and Venezky.
The ranking results are as follows: the views agreed in the group of students (Cc = 0,11; χ2 = 59,96), the group of teachers (Cc = 0,49; χ2 = 268,97) and in the group of parents (Cc = 0,07; χ2 = 35,99). Thus, the opinions of all three groups agreed. Let’s consider the results of each group.
A group of teachers ranked the factors influencing motivation in foreign language learning (from strong to weak): perspective (509); motivation (492); minor subject (464); interest in the subject (340); the work of teachers with children (337); self-training (332); achievement in education (256); teaching methods (149). Several factors included such reasons as: vision, motivation, a subject of minor importance. We assume that this is due to the fact that teachers of foreign and Tatar languages themselves believe that there are things "more important" than a foreign language. At the last place of importance, i.e. the least important reason was the teaching of a language. Today it is the most urgent problem. This means that teachers poorly chose methods and techniques of teaching. They devoted a large amount of time to grammar, forgetting about practice. Teachers need to conduct their work in a way that students can practice. For example, making a lesson in the form of role-playing games, staging skits, where students can learn a foreign language. Considering the group of teachers, we can also note that the important reasons were the reasons that express the attitude towards the foreign language. Less important were those who consider the methodical direction of a foreign language.
Consider the obtained data of the pupils, they are as follows (from strong to weak): perspective (414); secondary role of the object (406); motivation (392); the difficulty of working with children (366) self-study (296); interest in the subject (291); the success of the learning (256); teaching methods (251). Analyzing this group, we can say that students in a number of important factors included the long term, the secondary subject, and motivation. Perhaps this is because learning a foreign language is understood by students as a guarantee of social mobility, professional success and conditions for obtaining a prestigious job. On the third place, the students cited lack of motivation to learn the language. As we know, the teacher is the key figure in educational process. Previously, we found that the teachers put the cause associated with motivation in second place in importance. Hence, it turns out that due to the lack of motivation among teachers, the students, therefore, are not motivated. Several weak factors included: interest in the subject, the success of learning, training methods. Interest in foreign language and the success of learning is a component of internal motivation of the student. This type of motivation arises in a person, as a result of his own thoughts, aspirations, and needs. Hence, we can conclude that the interest in foreign language and the success of training the students are still there, therefore, these reasons fell into a number of weaknesses. The teacher’s task is to develop this interest, so that students can be more interested in the success of their training. The weakest factor was methods of language teaching. Perhaps it is because students do not pay attention, the foreign language lessons and Tatar language lessons, were pointed out as secondary.
Ranking of motivational factors in the parents’ group looks like this: perspective (407); motivation (368); self preparation (365); the difficulty of working with children (343); minor subject (333); teaching methods (310); the success in training (304); interest in the subject (244). Several problematic factors in the study of language included: vision, motivation, and self-provisioning. As teachers and students, parents do not see learning a foreign language a condition for the transition of the student to the next level of training. As for the motivation of the students, the parents believe that the school needs to shape a child’s motivation to learn a foreign language. Weak factors were: success in teaching, interest in the subject. Analyzing this result, we can assume that for parents, success is more important than the very process of preparing their children for exams in a foreign language. Just like their children, success in teaching and interest in the subject fall under a weak category.
All three groups converged an opinion that the prospect is the main factor faced by students learning a foreign language. This result suggests that the motivational component is not associated with a focus on the transition to the next exams. A group of teachers and parents came to a consensus and identified motivation as one of the important reasons. The consistency of these views suggests that teachers and parents believe that student's ill-formed motivation to learn a foreign language is the main problem. We believe that the motivation of learners should be formed by two sides – teachers and parents. After all, how the teacher motivates their students, depends on the result of the students’ activities. How a parent motivates his child to learn a foreign language depends on how well the child will view this language, his attitude to language.
Also, these groups agreed that teachers of foreign and Tatar languages experience difficulty in working with children because the children poorly speak the language. The similarity of the views in this aspect can be explained by the fact that ninth-grade students are the transition from adolescence to early adulthood. As a result, teachers and parents begin to feel the difficulty of working with children. Teachers have difficulty because they do not possess the techniques and skills to teach the students. The difficulty with parents is that they don't know how to do it, because they have no pedagogical education, but they have an understanding that their children needed to learn a foreign language.
A group of students and teachers came to a common opinion that using outdated teaching methods in language learning is a problem. The similarity of the views in this aspect is because some are taught using these methods, and others learn by these methods. In our view, teachers should work on teaching methods, so that students can be interested in foreign language, and after schooling can master the language.
Using expert evaluation, we estimated the real situation of learning a foreign language. For processing the results, we used the Fisher test to test the null hypothesis of insignificance of differences between sample variances. Student data were divided into 2 groups – boys and girls. The results showed that Femp= 1,36 (p>0.05), it means that the hypothesis H0 is accepted, i.e. when assessing the real situation of foreign language learning there are no differences between boys and girls.
Further, according to the study in the group of students, teachers and parents, we have identified the factors having high and low estimate. In the group of students, we saw: teaching methods (2), teachers (38). Negative marks were given to the factors of: perspective (-65), interest in the subject (-52), motivation (-42), the success of learning (-34). Appreciation was expressed for the factor of the teacher's job. Pupils think the school has all the conditions for learning a foreign language. The lowest score was for the factor perspective. Drawing an analogy with the methodology, where students had to rank these same factors, they identified the prospect as the main reason for students’ problems with learning a foreign language. This assessment suggests that the motivational component is not connected with the orientation for the future. Since students do not see the prospects of the use of language, they have no interest in the subject.
Consider the results of a study of a group of teachers. Here, the positive assessment acknowledged factors such as: achievement in education (3), teachers work with children (29), teaching methods (54). A negative rating was given to factors: term (-35), motivation (-30), interest in the subject (-25). Appreciation was expressed for the factor of familiarity with the materials. Foreign language teachers believe that students are well acquainted with all the tasks to be expected during exams in foreign languages, and there is a systematic preparation for them. A low score was given to such factors as the prospect. When ranking, teachers, like students, identified this factor as the most important. If you look at the factors that were evaluated positively and negatively, we can say that were positive factors relevant to the work of teachers with children, and negative factors with regards to the relationship of students to the subject.
In the group of parents: interest in subject (2) teaching methods (7), teachers (23). Negative marks were given to: perspective (-44), motivation (-39), achievement in education (-13). Low and high estimates of the factors parents and students came to a consensus. Parents, as well as pupils, appreciated factor in terms of preparation for the exam in a foreign language. This can be explained by the fact that students share academic experiences with their parents. Therefore, in contrast to students, the exam preparation factor is valued highly by parents. A low score was noticed in the factor "perspective". They also cannot associate the foreign language proficiency of their children and future-orientation.
Thus, assessing the situation of learning a foreign language, we came to the following conclusions:
1. Femp = 1,36 (p>0.05), it means that the hypothesis H0 is accepted, i.e. when assessing the real situation of learning a foreign language, there are no differences between boys and girls.
2. The group of students commended factors such as: teaching methods, conditions for exam preparation, familiarity with the exam materials and the work of the teacher. Negative marks were given to factors such as; motivation, the success of learning, interest in subject matter; and students’ preparation for foreign language exams. The most appreciated factor was "terms of exam preparation". The low score was for the factor "perspective".
3. The group of teachers appreciated factors such as: teaching methods, success in training, exam preparation, conditions for preparation for the exam, familiarity with the exam materials, teachers work with children. Negative marks were given to the factors: motivation, interest in subject matter, perspective. The highest score was for the factor "acquaintance with the exam materials." The lowest score was for the factor "perspective".
4. The parents’ group esteemed the factors: interest in subject matter, teaching methods, teachers, children, exam preparation, familiarity with examination materials, the conditions to prepare for the exam. Negative marks were given to: perspective, motivation and success in learning. The most appreciated factors were "terms of exam preparation and acquaintance with the exam materials." The lowest score was the factor "perspective".
In modern science, there are a lot of approaches in understanding the entity, its nature, structure, motivation. The concept of "motive" is widely used in philosophical, psychological and pedagogical publications. Various authors use it to mean different content. In psycho-pedagogical context, motive is understood as a motive of action emanating from the desire to satisfy one’s material and spiritual needs. Zimnaya characterizes motive as inspiration generated by the system of human needs . According to Bozhovich, "as for a motive, there may be objects of the external world, perceptions, ideas, feelings and experiences" (Bozhovich, 1972; Zimnyaya,1991).
Ilyin defined motivation as a mental process that transforms the external influence to internal motivation (Ilyin, 2002). Thus, motivation is understood as a motivating process, the implementation of an action and behaviour of certain needs, impulses.
A special place in psycho-pedagogical studies is the problem of learning motivation, which is defined as a private kind of motivation included in the learning activity (Maslow, 2002). From the point of view of many psychologists (Leontiev (1975), Galperin (1974), Elkonin (1974), and others.) learning activities can be presented by motivation and the learning task. This means that if you imagine their content in a logical chain, it will consist of several blocks such as: the need – training actions, and the conditions for achieving goal result. These represents the schematic model of the structure of activities. As a rule, educational activity is induced not by one motive, but the whole systems of various motives that complement each other in a certain ratio. However, not all motives have the same influence on the educational activity. Some are leading, others are secondary. Motives are related to the internal acquisition of personal meanings of educational activity of students, while secondary motives are caused by external factors and not directly related to the content of the learning process. In this respect, Bozhovich identified two main types of training motives: cognitive (related with the content of educational activity and the process of its implementation) and social (associated with different interactions of learners with other people) (Bozhovich, 1972).
Based on the classification of Bozhovich, Markova (Markova, 1983) proposed a more complete and differentiated classification of educational motives. Levels (subtypes) of cognitive motivation were identified as: broad cognitive motives (focus on the acquisition of new knowledge and facts, phenomena, laws); educational-cognitive motives (the focus is on mastering the ways of obtaining knowledge, methods of independent acquisition of knowledge); the motives of self-education (acquisition of additional knowledge with the aim of building a program of self-improvement).
Social motives include the following levels: broad social (duty and responsibility, understanding the social significance of the teachings); the narrow social or location reasons (the desire to occupy a certain position in relationships with others, get their approval); the motives of social cooperation (focus on different ways of interacting with other people)
There is another, quite a common classification, in which the motives of educational activities are divided into "external" and "internal". Extrinsic motivation is caused by certain external factors, people or circumstances. Extrinsic motivation is ineffective, because in the absence of internal incentives, the person is just doing the least that is required of him. In addition, it often causes psychological discomfort and stress. External motivation can be caused by the following circumstances: 1) the motive of achievement, which is caused by the human desire to reach success and high results in any activity, including the study of the Tatar language to be bilingual. For example, the desire to get an excellent rating; 2) the motive of self-assertion, associated with the desire to assert people and obtain the approval of other people. For example: the student can study the Tatar language, in order to obtain a certain status in society; 3) the motive of identification is the human desire to be like others, and to be closer to their idols and heroes. For example, to understand the lyrics of your favorite band; 4) the motive of affiliation – is the desire to communicate with other people. For example: a person can learn a foreign language, to chat with fellow foreigners; 5) the motive of self-development is the desire for self-improvement. Any language serves as a means for spiritual enrichment and overall development of the person; 6) pre-social motive, which is associated with the awareness of the public importance of the activity. One studies a language, because he/she is aware of the social significance of the teachings (Ilyin, 2002).
With regard to intrinsic motivation, it arises in a person as a result of his/her own thoughts, aspirations, needs, and emotions. They become conscious of the inner necessity of certain actions and the achievement of specific results. This kind of motivation is associated with the object itself, for example, for people like myself. the Tatar language is like an intellectual exercise or activity. In this case, learning activities accompanied by positive thoughts and emotions.
Since intrinsic motivation is the most important - personally and pedagogically– it directly determines the success of learning activities, the main task of the foreign language teacher is to create conditions that transitions the motivation of students from external motivation to internal (Zimnyaya, 1991). On this basis, we highlight some factors that will help motivate students in learning a foreign language: teaching that there is interest in the language he is studying; foreign language teacher using methods and techniques that will involve students in the learning process; support from parents and teachers; letting the child know that learning a foreign language is necessary for the child to expand communication with friends; foreign language contributes to the expansion of the range of possibilities of spending your free time – from reading books to watching movies in a foreign language; and the acquisition of a profession in which knowledge of a foreign language is necessary.
Along with the motivating effect, when learning a foreign language, it is possible to identify phenomena that may have a demotivating effect on students. Factors that may cause demotivation in foreign language learning may be different. It is possible to allocate two groups of the demotivating reasons: internal reasons and external reasons. Internal causes include the personal attitude of students to the language, their experiences of failure and lack of success, and denigration of self-esteem. External causes include factors related to teacher's personality, educational environment, and other factors (Dub, 2002).
Thus, it is possible to highlight the demotivating factors that can be formed in the pupil in learning a foreign language: the complexity of the process of learning a foreign language; lack of interest in foreign language; low self-esteem of the child; the teacher of a foreign language uses outdated methods of learning and uses inactive learning methods; the language teacher is not interested in the success of each child (the teachers have their " pet students" and the emphasis is on them); negative attitude to the foreign language teacher.
The most important factor influencing the efficiency of learning any language is the level of methodical preparation of teachers. The professionalism of teachers of a foreign language in addition to language proficiency at a sufficiently high practical and theoretical level, the foreign language teacher needs: to be competent in the culture of the people of the target language; comparative grammar is good to know; designing the educational process on the basis of system-activity approach with the use of innovative forms, methods, means and technologies; to be able to use various forms of lessons and determine them in problem solving; be able to conduct lessons based on differentiated and individualized approach to learning
One of the most important means of assessing the professionalism of pedagogical staff is certification. For certification, foreign language teacher need to pass examination testing, which only verifies their philological knowledge, psycho-pedagogical and methodological competence of the language, which is paramount in education. Therefore, when passing the Unified national exam, in addition to issues of linguistic terms, it is necessary to include questions to determine the psycho-pedagogical and methodological competence of teachers.
One of the problem areas in the teaching the Tatar language are textbooks. Currently used textbooks in Tatar, Safiullina, Fatkhullina, Khaydarova, Zakiev, Galiullina, Shakurova and others. The textbooks are not adapted for learning the Tatar language; do not correlate with the age peculiarities and psycho-physiological abilities of students, their interests, their personal, intellectual and communication needs; and are not intellectually active for the students. The location of the material in the textbook does not correspond to the stages of assimilation. There is also no continuity between the speech materials. Teachers have to exert a lot of effort to organize existing textbook material. Thus, it is possible to say the use of these books leads to decrease in efficiency, effectiveness of the educational process, and the quality of mastery of the Tatar language (Ganiev, 2000).
One can solve the problem of motivation when working with students in learning a foreign language, using non-traditional forms of learning, and new effective methods and techniques that would enhance children's independent learning. Based on the results of our research, we put together a program for teachers of foreign and Tatar language.
The main result of modern foreign language teachers is that their children receive a solid knowledge and skills on the subject, and are able to apply them in practice. The training will be successful if knowledge and skills are assimilated by the learners in a strict sequence, gradually, in the order of growing difficulty and complexity. We have identified such problem areas as: vision, motivation, working with children and teaching methods.
The ratio of teachers to students affects to the evaluation process of students. With a positive attitude of the teachers, students are more successful academically compared to other students whose teachers are less positive. Therefore, a kind of psychological "stroking" of the students, manifested in a smile, an approving nod, interestedness in teachers are able to encourage student believe in them and to reach a higher level of learning, and thus, academic achievement. Positive facial reaction of the teacher or concise affirmation is not enough. Warm and welcoming face of the teacher of a foreign language is a significant contribution to the formation of learning motivation of schoolchildren.
- Work with electronic resources. Training in an animation environment will greatly increase motivation of learning a foreign language. Various forms of presenting information (text, sound, movement, color) will create interest among students. Using a simple presentation materials prepared by the teacher, will increase the motivation to engage, and the material is absorbed easier. You can also use video clip on the topic. This kind of classes will help to change the situation, to give vent to emotions, to visualize the situation. It is a good basis to stimulate discussion, involvement of all participants’ in voicing their opinions. It will help to consolidate the material studied.
- Problem situation. One of the effective means that contribute to the cognitive motivation is the creation of problem situations in the classroom. A research approach of learning is implemented in this lesson, the principle, the meaning of which is that students receive knowledge not as a finished product, and "produces" it in the process of their work. You can apply this kind of classes as "case study". The group provides information, based on real or imagined facts. And they have to analyze and to work out a solution.
- Game technology. In educational processes, it is necessary to pay attention to the use of game technologies that offer great opportunities. Game is an effective means of forming the pupil's personality, his qualities, and the need for extraction of knowledge. The use of games is possible for all school ages.
Working with entertaining games in the foreign language class is designed to offer exceptional educational opportunities; provides a basis for the formation of the most important skills in the field of word formation, grammar, and spelling. The process of these games is affected not so much by memory, but by children's intelligence and analytical capabilities.
Role-play is one of the most effective forms of the educational process, developing the skills of fluency and operational accumulated combining theoretical and applied knowledge, practical experience and life value orientations. The purpose of role play is to show knowledge, and use them to learn skills to understand complex problems and formulate approaches to their solution.
For role-playing games, there are wide ranges of subjects. In learning a foreign language, it is better to use simple stories. For example, a store where students buy; post office, where students can practice their speech and competence in letter writing, etc. Even if a student knows many words, he begins to improvise, remember the familiar turns of phrase. This form of learning captures so much interest that students don't want to finish the lesson. This method of learning is best suited for primary school pupils, where the leading activity is play.
Using these recommendations, teachers of foreign languages will help shape and develop students’ educational-cognitive competence, increase motivation to study the subject, level of proficiency, and communication skills. High level of training will enable students successfully pass exams in a foreign languages.
The work is performed according to the Russian Government Program of Competitive Growth of Kazan Federal University.
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31 August 2017
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Zakirova, L. M., Burganova, N. T., & Khamitova, L. M. (2017). Motivating And Demotivating Factors Portrayed By An Individual In The Teaching Process. In & R. Valeeva (Ed.), Teacher Education - IFTE 2017, vol 29. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 897-907). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2017.08.02.103