EFL learning among motivated and demotivated Iranian seminary students

Ahmad Molavi, Reza Biria


Demotivation is a relatively new issue in the field of second/foreign Language (L2) learning motivation. Recognizing and removing barriers can have a marked effect on motivation and attention to learning in general and ESL/EFL learning in particular. In the present study, an attempt has been made to distinguish the significant difference between EFL achievement of the motivated and demotivated Iranian seminary students. Fifty Iranian EFL seminary students were investigated using three validated questionnaires and tests. In the first stage 50 participants from among Iranian Islamic seminary students in Isfahan, Iran were selected through simple random sampling by the application of Oxford Placement Test (OPT, Allan, 1992) in order to select intermediate homogenous students. In the next stage, the modified version of Gardner’s Attitude/Motivation Test Battery (AMTB) questionnaire was applied to understand which students were motivated and which ones were not. Finally a general English proficiency test, namely, Interchange Objective Placement Test (IOPT) was administered to check the students’ English proficiency. It was found that demotivation definitely affects EFL learning. The results of the t-test, which was run between the means of the IOPT (English proficiency), for the two groups also show that those students whose AMTB score was higher also scored higher in the proficiency test. Accordingly, devising skills to motivate students to the greatest extent should be seen as central to teaching effectiveness and English language teachers and policy makers should try to find out different strategies in this regard.

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