Motivation is one of the keys to successful language learning (Nakata and Okumura, 1999). Accordingly, English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers in Japan exhaust their resources – devising and employing a variety of strategies and materials to encourage Japanese students and keep them motivated. However, in spite of these efforts, problems regarding decreased motivation are still seen to arise. Demotivation has become particularly noticeable among Japanese learners, who show hesitation in speaking and participating in English class discussions (Uchioda, 2013). Aiming to identify the root cause of this problem, the current study focused on identifying the factors that demotivate and inhibit Japanese students’ participation in their English conversation and reading classes. In this research, a descriptive survey research design was utilized. The data used in the study were from the responses of 246 Reading classes’ students and 56 Communication Classes’ students from three universities in Tohoku. Respondents, who were initially identified using the purposive sampling technique, gave responses voluntarily. Data analysis using statistical tools such as weighted mean and one-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) underscored the stark observation that Japanese EFL students simply lack interest in English as a class subject in itself. However, analysis of respondents’ profiles with regard to a variety of specific demotivating factors also unveiled significant individual differences. Further studies are necessary and recommended to address students’ lack of interest, lack of confidence, anxiety coping skills, students’ attitudes towards English and learners’ vision of life and its relationship to their future-self as EFL learners.
Merissa Ocampo, Fukushima Gakuin College, Japan
Ryoji Takahashi, Fukushima Gakuin College, Japan
Stream: Psychology of the learner
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