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Title: The motivation to learn English of low proficiency students in Thai tertiary context
Author: Boonma, Nitchaya
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2013
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Compulsory English courses for non-English major university students are now ubiquitous in EFL contexts across the globe, and often present significant challenges for teachers. This thesis reports an intervention study that aimed to increase the motivation to learn English of low proficiency students taking such courses in the Thai context. Based on the principles of Self-Determination Theory (SDT), which holds learners' motives for studying can become more intrinsic and powerful if teaching is felt to satisfy that basic human needs for autonomy, competence and relatedness, a teaching intervention was designed and applied a cohort of 354 first year Thai students on a university Remedial English course. To help the students see value in and have positive perceptions of English language learning, students' comments and reactions to the teaching intervention were monitored using questionnaires, feedback sheets and focus groups. Analysis of the data indicates that there were significant differences between motivation to learn English of students in the intervention and non-intervention groups. Qualitative data from students' feedback and focus groups reinforced the questionnaire results, indicating an increase in students' motivation and showing that students were satisfied with their classroom learning, enjoyed benefits from engaging in class activities and experienced increases in their confidence and knowledge gained from the class. This study therefore argues that the SDT concept of needs satisfaction is useful for informing teachers motivational classroom practices, especially with remedial students whose prior experiences of language learning have been demotivation. The thesis draws implications from the study for the design of courses for university students, as well as for ways of researching motivation with such a population.
Supervisor: Lamb, Martin ; Robinson, Penelope Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available