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Title: 'Cool' but 'nerve-wracking'? : an exploration of language learners' motivational perspectives on speaking in an English secondary school
Author: Gallagher-Brett, Angela
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2010
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This study has explored the motivational problem of speaking among language learners in an English secondary school. It set out from the premise that learners’ speaking is an important aspect of language learning but it is beset by a series of motivational difficulties, including lack of knowledge of oral progress, lack of awareness of how to improve, lack of confidence in speaking and an inability to say what they want to say. There has been little research into motivation in specific language skills among learners in UK schools despite evidence that speaking is associated with low levels of achievement. This study has sought to shed some light on this difficult aspect of language learning from the students’ perspectives. The study was conducted in a large, mixed comprehensive school in South East England in 2006-2007 and involved qualitative case studies of classes of students aged 11 to 14. Information was elicited by means of questionnaires, diaries and interviews. Performance data on students was also obtained from teachers (pseudonyms are used throughout when referring to the school, the teachers and the students). Although the study is small-scale, a series of key themes emerged from the data, which could help to inform developments in language teaching, research and policy. The findings of the study suggest that speaking is affected by a series of complex individual and social motivational variables that are not well understood but are, nonetheless, a source of tension for some learners.
Supervisor: Wright, Vicky Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools ; PE English