English Language Teachers’ Motivation and Their Basic Psychological Needs: A Self-Determination Theory Approach


Teachers’ motivation has been linked to quality of instruction, teachers’ job satisfaction, teachers’ well-being, and students’ achievement. The current study aims to examine the relationship between Vietnamese university English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers’ motivation and the satisfaction of their basic psychological needs (for autonomy, competence, and relatedness) using Self-Determination theory (SDT). A total of 104 EFL teachers from 14 universities across Vietnam participated in the current study. Findings revealed that Vietnamese university EFL teachers obtained a relatively high level of intrinsic motivation and moderate levels of introjected regulation and external regulation for English language teaching. Teachers also reported strong needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness when working at their universities. However, their needs were not fulfilled by teaching as gaps were identified between the strength of teachers’ needs and the extent to which these needs were satisfied. Evidence emerged from the current study suggested that SDT could provide a useful framework for examining EFL teachers’ motivation for English language teaching in the Vietnamese context. Practical implications are also discussed.

Author Information
Linh Huong Tran, FPT University, Vietnam

Paper Information
Conference: SEACE2024
Stream: Foreign Languages Education & Applied Linguistics (including ESL/TESL/TEFL)

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon