The Importance Of Student Motivation

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Students’ motivation has been discussed as an important factor for successful school learning (Ryan & Connell, 1989) and second/foreign language learning (Dörnyei, 1998). In this sense, different theories and definitions of motivation have been presented. It is one of the most complex concepts in applied linguistics and educational psychology (Dörnyei & Cumming, 2003). Motivation refers to the reasons prompting a specific behavior (Guay et al., 2010). It is a process that includes directive and provoking properties (Brophy, 1983). According to Ryan and Deci (2000), to be motivated means to progress or to cause movement to do something. Dörnyei (2001) believes that motivation research primarily indicates the question of why people think and…show more content…
Gottfried (1990) defines academic motivation as a student’s desire for school learning which is characterized by different features such as: mastery orientation, curiosity, persistence, and the learning of difficult, and new tasks. Individual differences such as aptitude and motivation have been also concerned as the most salient predictors of second language learning success (Dornyei & Skehan, 2003). Conceptualizing the term motivation in second language acquisition, Ellis (1994) defined motivation as the attempt that learners put into learning the second language because of their need or desire. It provides the primary stimulation to begin learning the second language and then the driving force to continue the long process of learning (Dörnyei, 1998). According to Dörnyei (1998), appropriate curricula, good teaching and noticeable abilities cannot help individuals to achieve long-term goals without sufficient…show more content…
The goal of this qualitative study was to understand academic motivation from the students’ perspective. Their findings revealed that students often attributed their interest and motivation to their relationships with their teachers. These findings supported the theoretical foundations of the Achievement Orientation Model which indicated that students are involved and motivated to do well in school when they believe they have the required skills to do the task (self-efficacy), they get it meaningful (goal/task valuation), and they find their environment as encouraging and supportive (environmental perception). The study showed the influence of teacher on all components by encouraging students’ growth and satisfaction (building self-efficacy), making the content meaningful and challenging for their students (creating task valuation), and shaping students’ perception of support in their environment through having positive relationships and being well-informed about the content (fostering a positive environmental perception). Teachers with extensive content knowledge were more able to foster student
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