HOW TO MOTIVATE DE-MOTIVATED JAPANESE COLLEGE EFL LEARNERS

Yuichi Todaka

Abstract


In Japan, English is a significant part of everyday life. We see English advertising signs all around us, we use English loan-words in Japanese written and spoken communication, and many Japanese songs incorporate English into their lyrics (Aspinall, 2003). On the other hand, it is known to scholars that many Japanese students are de-motivated to study English. Hasegawa (2004) reports that 71% of junior high school students and 77% of senior high school students are not motivated to study English. Among the reasons for de-motivation are the lack of perceived relevance of English learning and the lack of confidence in capabilities. Thus, this present study focuses on the following four areas as tools to help de-motivated students become re-motivated and to enable them to sustain that motivation to study English throughout the 2016 academic year: (1) the four sources of self-efficacy beliefs (Bandura, 1977); (2) the establishment of concrete EFL study reasons for future careers; (3) the development of time management skills; and (4) the understanding of effective self-regulated learning. 210 Japanese college freshmen in four different proficiency groups participated in this study. It was found that when focus was placed on sources of self-efficacy, students in all the proficiency groups were able to significantly improve their English listening skills throughout the academic year, and that students in general were able to sustain relatively high self-efficacy beliefs about their English listening skills. However, a sharp decline was found in the number of students who were able to sustain that motivation during the two-month summer break. It is suggested that ample examples of concrete English study reasons that are associated with students' future careers as well as activities for visualization (Sampson, 2012) might need to be implemented into our pedagogic approach to help our freshmen put their acquired knowledge into action during the summer break.

 

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Keywords


self-efficacy beliefs, concrete EFL study reasons for future careers, time management skills, self-regulated study cycle

References


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