• Motivation, one of the key concepts in psychology, is often used by teachers and students alike and has a very significant role in explaining failures and successes in second language (L2) learning contexts (Dörnyei, 2001; Dörnyei & Csizér, 1998).
Extrinsic Rewards:“It seem that bigots were eager to rid their town of a Jewish man who had opened a tailorshop on Main Street, so they sent a group of rowdies to harass the tailor. Each day, the ruffians would show up to jeer. The situation was grim, but the tailor was ingenious. One day when the hoodlums arrived, he gave each of them a dollar for their efforts.Delighted, they shouted their insults and moved on. The next day they returned to shout, expecting their dollar.But the tailor said he could only afford a dime and proceeded to hand a dime to each of them. Well, they were a bit disappointed, but a dime after all is a dime, so they took it, did their jeering, and left.The next day, they returned once again and the tailor said he had only a penny for them and held out his hand. Indignant, the young toughs sneered and proclaimed that they would certainly not spend their time jeering at him for a measly penny.So they didn’t.And all was well for the tailor.”
A STORY FROM TOM SAWYER:BEN ROGERS &TOM“Hello, old chap, you got to work, hey?”Tom wheeled suddenly and said:“Why, it’s you, Ben! I warn’t noticing.”“Say - I’m going a -swimming, I am. Don’t you wish you could? But of course you’d druther work - wouldn’t you? Course you would!”Tom contemplated the boy a bit, and said:“What do you call work?”“Why, ain’t that work?”Tom resumed his whitewashing, and answered carelessly:“Well, maybe it is, and maybe it ain’t. All I know it suits Tom Sawyer.”
“Oh, come now, you don’t mean to let on that you like it?”The brush continued to move.“Like it? Well, I don’t see why I oughtn’t to like it. Does a boy get a chance to whitewash a fence every day?”That put the thing in a new light. Ben stopped nibbling his apple. Tom swept his brush daintily back and forth - stepped back to note the effect - added a touch here and there - criticized the effect again - Ben watching every move and getting more and more interested, more and more absorbed. Presently he said:“Say, Tom, let me whitewash a little.”Tom considered, was about to consent; but he altered his mind:“No-no-I reckon it wouldn’t hardly do, Ben. You see, Aunt Polly’s awful particular about this fence - right here on the street, you know - but if it was the back fence, I wouldn’t mind, and she wouldn’t. Yes, she’s awful particular about this fence; it’s got to be done very careful; I reckon there ain’t one boy in a thousand, maybe two thousand, that can do it the way it’s got to be done.”
“No-is that so? Oh, come now - lemme try. Only just a little - I’d let you, if you was me, Tom.”“Ben, I’d like to, honest injun; but Aunt Polly - well, Jim wanted to do it, but she wouldn’t let him; Sid wanted to do it, and she wouldn’t let Sid. Now, don’t you see how I’m fixed? If you was to tackle this fence and anything was to happen to it --”“Oh, shucks, I’ll be just as careful. Now lemme try. Say - I’ll give you the core of my apple.”“Well, here - No, Ben, no you don’t. I’m afeared --”“I’ll give you all of it!”Tom gave up the brush with reluctance in his face, but alacrity in his heart. And while Ben Rogers worked and sweated in the sun, the retired artist sat on a barrel in the shade close by, dangled his legs, munched his apple, and planned the slaughter of more innocents.There was no lack of material; boys happened along every little while; they came to jeer, but remained to whitewash.
The term “autonomy-supportivecontext” means an environment thatdecreases the salience of externalincentives and threads, avoids controllinglanguage, and recognizes the learners’frame of reference (Black & Deci, 2000;Chua, 2010). In other words, autonomy-supportiveenvironment can be described as mostlyconnected with intrinsic motivation andpromoting self-identification (Black &Deci, 2000).
greater perceived competence higher mastery motivation enhanced creativity preference for optimal challenge over easy success increased conceptual understanding active and deeper information processing greater engagement enhanced well-being better academic performance such as academic persistence, rather than dropping out of school, etc. (Reeve, Bolt & Cai,1999)
When teachers understand the importance of autonomy-supportive environments’ positive effects on student engagement (a predictor of academic achievement in language classes), coping with problems deriving from language the learner will be much easier. In addition, teachers should ask themselves how they can create the conditions within which people will motivate themselves (Deci & Flaste, 2004, pp. 141-158).
By considering these positive effects of autonomy,teachers’ main concern in language classroom should be onwhich behaviours and attitudes in the classroom help intrinsicregularity styles and intrinsic motivation of students. In the study of Reeve (2006), some of the basicfundamental behaviours and autonomy-supportivecharacteristics are summarized in a detailed way
Nurturing inner motivational resources.• Intrinsic regulators dealt with students’ preferences, interests, sense of enjoyment, competencies, and choice making Relying on informational, noncontrolling language.• ‘Study hard, Do your best, Excellent!, etc.• ‘Today your performance was very good, by trying to speak a bit slower and using some conjunctions, your fluency can be more promising’
Communicating value and providing rationales.• Give the reasons of the activity and explain its use, value and importance. This kind of behaviour helps students internalize the subject or activity. As a result the learner says him/herself, “Yes, I will do it, because I want to be happy by learning this activity.” Acknowledging and accepting students’ expressions of negative affect.• Recognize and accept student’s expressions of negative affect. Because, forcing students to participate in an activity or to do their tasks makes everything worse. An autonomy teacher should aim to look from student perspectives in some cases.
In addition to these characteristics, there are some studieswhich try to define autonomy-supportive behaviours. Thesebehaviours can be thought as practical tips for foreignlanguage teachers who aim to promote inner motivation stylesof their students. Some of these behaviours are listed in relatedstudies (Reeve, 2006; Reeve & Jang, 2006; Chua, 2010).
o Listen carefullyo Create opportunities for students to work in their own wayo Provide opportunities for students to talko Praise signs of improvement and masteryo Encourage students’ effort and persistenceo Offer progress-enabling hints when students seem stucko Respond to students’ questions and commentso Arrange learning materials and seating patterns so students manipulate objects and conversations rather than passively watch and listeno Communicate a clear acknowledgement of students’ perspectives
in sum, we Cannot foster an intrinsiC Loveof Language Learning, But we Can stimuLate andmediate our students’ motivation to LearnLanguage BY Creating autonomY-suPPortiveCLassrooms BY Behaving in autonomous waY. Discussion Time!
REFERENCESBlack, A. E., & Deci, E. L. (2000). The effects of instructors autonomy support and students autonomous motivation on learning organic chemistry: A self-determination theory perspective. Science Education, 84, 740-756.Chua, L. L (2010). Educational practical tip 22: Differences between autonomy-supportive and controlling behaviours. Motivation in Educational Research Laboratory, NIE. Retrieved.September.15,.2010.from. http://merl.nie.edu.sg/documents/Educational%20Tip%2022.pdfDinçer A., Yeşilyurt, S., & Göksu, A. (November, 2010). Practical Tips on How to Promote Learner Autonomy in Foreign Language Classrooms" The 10th International Language, Literature and Stylistics Symposium, 3-5 November 2010, Ankara, pp.428-433.Deci, E. L. & Flaste,R. (2004). Why we do what we do: Understanding self-motivation. USA: Penguin Books Ltd.Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior. New York: Plenum Publishing Co.Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2008). Self-determination theory: A macrotheory of human motivation, development, and health. Canadian Psychology, 49(3), 182–185.Reeve, J. (2006). Teachers as facilitators: What autonomy-supportive teachers do and why their students benefit. The Elementary School Journal, 106(3), 225-236.Reeve, J., Bolt, E., & Cai, Y. (1999). Autonomy-supportive teachers: How they teach and motivate students. Journal of Educational Psychology, 91, 537–548.Reeve, J., & Jang, H. (2006). What teachers say and do to support students autonomy during a learning activity. Journal of Educational Psychology, 98, 209-218.Ryan, R. M. & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55(1), 68-78.