Learning and Teaching Conference23 June 2009The Impact of Changes in the Learning Situation on the Motivational Profiles o...
Language learners progress less in their first year at university than before or after. (Coleman 1996)<br />Some students ...
Motivation<br />In language learning, motivation involves the ‘attitudes and affective states that influence the degree of...
Motivation is<br />a multidimensional construct. (Reductionist models of motivation)<br />influenced by a broad range of v...
The investigation aims to<br />explore the changes experienced by language learners through the transition from school to ...
Research design and methodology<br />exploratory study, focusing on the qualitative aspects of motivation<br />based on se...
Research question (pilot study)<br />What changes and challenges do the students perceive after the transition from school...
The pilot study<br />In-depth interviews with 6 students at the end of their first year in the Modern Languages department...
Results of the pilot study I<br />
Results of the pilot study II<br />
Results of the pilot study III<br />The highest number of changes and challenges is reported on the affective level.<br />...
learner confidence
teacher-student relationship</li></li></ul><li>The main study<br />16 variables were selected which have the potential to<...
Research questions (main study)<br />What impact do the changes have on the selected motivational factors/variables? <br /...
The main study II<br />Two in-depth, semi-structured interviews each with eight randomly chosen British home students<br /...
For your day-to-day motivation to learn the language in University, how important are the individual factors listed below?...
The main study III<br />The interviews were recorded and transcribed.<br />The data was grouped according to individual va...
Results<br />The three variables with the strongest motivational force:<br />1. enjoyed /  enjoy language learning<br />2....
1. Good teacher / relationship to teacher<br />(Loss of motivational force)<br />They [the teachers] knew you as people an...
1. Good teacher / relationship to teacher II<br />I think because it&apos;s your responsibility to learn more now, because...
1. Good teacher / relationship to teacher III<br />(Gain in motivational force)<br />It was a good teacher [in school], bu...
2. Strict teacher<br />(Loss of motivational force)<br />Yes, I think that was important, because this is probably one of ...
2. Strict teacher II<br />That [the change] has a lot to do with the situation changing. Because the lecturers here aren&a...
2. Strict teacher III<br />(Gain in motivational force)<br />And although I can motivate myself, obviously you lose intere...
3. Enjoy/ed independent language learning<br />(Gain in motivational force)<br />I think if you are motivated enough to le...
Bibliography<br />Bavendiek, U. (2006) Portfolios and Learner Autonomy: the case of undergraduates learning German Unpubli...
Dörnyei, Z. and R. Schmidt (eds) (2001)  Motivation and Second Language Acquisition. Honululu: University of Hawai&apos;i ...
Silverman, D. (2001) Interpreting Qualitative Data: Methods for Analysing Talk, Text and Interaction Second edition London...
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Ulrike Bavendiek: Changes in the Learning Situation and their Impact on the Motivational Profiles of First-Year University Students

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Ulrike Bavendiek: Changes in the Learning Situation and their Impact on the Motivational Profiles of First-Year University Students. Slides from the University of Liverpool Learning and Teaching Conference 2009.

First year students are expected to adapt to learning situations which can be markedly different from the ones they prospered in during their secondary education. Nine first-year students in SOCLAS were interviewed first at the beginning of their studies and again in the second semester with the aim of identifying changes in the learning environment between school and university and to explore their impact on the motivational profiles of the students. I will present some perceived differences and argue that lecturers need to be aware of the challenges in order to help first year students develop metacognitive, affective and social strategies necessary for effective learning in HE.
This paper reports on selected findings from a study supported by the Pedagogical Research Fund for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies in Higher Education, phase three. A more comprehensive report can be found under http://www.llas.ac.uk/projects/2631

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Ulrike Bavendiek: Changes in the Learning Situation and their Impact on the Motivational Profiles of First-Year University Students

  1. 1. Learning and Teaching Conference23 June 2009The Impact of Changes in the Learning Situation on the Motivational Profiles of First-Year University Students<br />Ulrike Bavendiek<br />School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies<br />
  2. 2. Language learners progress less in their first year at university than before or after. (Coleman 1996)<br />Some students are not well prepared to benefit from independent learning opportunities in university (Bavendiek 2006)<br />
  3. 3. Motivation<br />In language learning, motivation involves the ‘attitudes and affective states that influence the degree of effort that learners make to learn an L2’ (Ellis 1997:75)<br />
  4. 4. Motivation is<br />a multidimensional construct. (Reductionist models of motivation)<br />influenced by a broad range of variables (Dörnyei 2005; Ushioda 2001)<br />dynamic (Dörnyei and Otto 2000; Dörnyei 2005 for an overview; Ushioda 1996; Ushioda 2001)<br />affected by, among other factors, the learning situation (Shoaib and Dörnyei 2005)<br />open to intervention<br />
  5. 5. The investigation aims to<br />explore the changes experienced by language learners through the transition from school to university<br />describe how the identified changes affect selected motivational factors<br />
  6. 6. Research design and methodology<br />exploratory study, focusing on the qualitative aspects of motivation<br />based on self-report data collected through in-depth, semi-structured, constructionist interviews (Silverman 2001:95)<br />pilot study and main study<br />
  7. 7. Research question (pilot study)<br />What changes and challenges do the students perceive after the transition from school to university? (report: http://www.llas.ac.uk/projects/2631)<br />
  8. 8. The pilot study<br />In-depth interviews with 6 students at the end of their first year in the Modern Languages department.<br />The students were selected based on programmes of study and first-semester language marks.<br />All interviews were transcribed.<br />A change was recorded each time the interviewee introduced it as a topic in the conversation.<br />The changes were grouped under key points and their total number of occurrences noted.<br />
  9. 9. Results of the pilot study I<br />
  10. 10. Results of the pilot study II<br />
  11. 11. Results of the pilot study III<br />The highest number of changes and challenges is reported on the affective level.<br />Three main areas of change:<br /><ul><li>learner independence (need for cognitive, metacognitive and affective/social language learning strategies)
  12. 12. learner confidence
  13. 13. teacher-student relationship</li></li></ul><li>The main study<br />16 variables were selected which have the potential to<br />influence language learner motivation and to<br />be influenced by the changes identified in the pilot study.<br />
  14. 14. Research questions (main study)<br />What impact do the changes have on the selected motivational factors/variables? <br />Does the motivational force of each variable increase or decrease after the transition?<br />
  15. 15. The main study II<br />Two in-depth, semi-structured interviews each with eight randomly chosen British home students<br />One interview at the beginning of their university studies and one after the first semester<br />Rank order questionnaires for the motivational factors in both interviews, discussed during the interviews<br />
  16. 16. For your day-to-day motivation to learn the language in University, how important are the individual factors listed below? Please rank them by writing a number from 1-16 behind them, with 1 = most important and 16 = not important.<br />The lecturers are very strict ___<br />Good lecturer / good relationship to the lecturer ___<br />My parents encourage me ___<br />My friends encourage me ___<br />Language classes are more stimulating than other classes. ___<br />We are set a lot of work ___<br />I enjoy learning the language independently, i.e. doing work that is not set by the teacher ___<br />I enjoy learning the language/languages ___<br />I am good at learning the language/languages ___<br />I want to be able to use the language/s fluently and efficiently ___<br />I am happy/satisfied when I receive good marks ___<br />I like the target language country/countries and its speakers ___<br />I need a good mark ___<br />I want to keep up with or be better than the other students ___<br />I don’t want to disappoint my parents ___<br />I don’t want to disappoint my teachers ___<br />
  17. 17. The main study III<br />The interviews were recorded and transcribed.<br />The data was grouped according to individual variables.<br />The data was analysed regarding the impact of the change on each individual motivational factor.<br />
  18. 18. Results<br />The three variables with the strongest motivational force:<br />1. enjoyed / enjoy language learning<br />2. Wish to be able to use the language fluently and efficiently<br />3. Good at learning languages<br />The variables most affected by change are:<br />
  19. 19. 1. Good teacher / relationship to teacher<br />(Loss of motivational force)<br />They [the teachers] knew you as people and they knew what you were all about&apos;. (2:4, ranks 3-9)<br />In school and college my teachers were very supportive and very nice and friendly and… - but however, because you&apos;ve got a good relationship, if you&apos;ve done something wrong, if you haven’t handed your homework in, you felt a bit guilty because you got on with them so […] it would make you do better the next time, really. (2:1, ranks 3-8)<br />
  20. 20. 1. Good teacher / relationship to teacher II<br />I think because it&apos;s your responsibility to learn more now, because then it was the teacher&apos;s responsibility to make sure you learn whereas now it&apos;s your own choice. (3:8, ranks 2-7)<br />It is a lot about independent learning at university. […] It is also, I don&apos;t have my parents here, so I don&apos;t need a lot of mothering any more. I&apos;m very much on my own. (3:1, ranks 3-8)<br />
  21. 21. 1. Good teacher / relationship to teacher III<br />(Gain in motivational force)<br />It was a good teacher [in school], but she was absent a lot of the time, so we had a lot of substitute teachers which I found quite difficult. […] I didn&apos;t like the inconsistency of not knowing who was teaching me. The fact that we would dart from one topic to another without any structure. (2:2, ranks 10-8)<br />
  22. 22. 2. Strict teacher<br />(Loss of motivational force)<br />Yes, I think that was important, because this is probably one of the main reasons why I&apos;m doing this. Because of my teacher, she was extremely strict, which is also a reason why I got a high A*. [...] Retrospect I suppose it made us work hard and we learned more. I think another teacher would have been more laid back and not put as much effort in. But I learned a lot. It was all I did I did to the best of my abilities. That way I realised how much I could do in this subject. (2:3, ranking 2-15)<br />
  23. 23. 2. Strict teacher II<br />That [the change] has a lot to do with the situation changing. Because the lecturers here aren&apos;t particularly strict.<br /> [I: So what happens if you don&apos;t do the work?] Not much, really. <br /> [I: Would you be more motivated if it had more of a consequence?] I think so, yes. It would be more, just to sit down and do something. (3:3, ranking 2-15)<br />
  24. 24. 2. Strict teacher III<br />(Gain in motivational force)<br />And although I can motivate myself, obviously you lose interest and you lose motivation if the teachers aren&apos;t strict with the deadlines. Because there is no point in doing it, if they don&apos;t take it in and mark it and give it back. It was not worth the effort. (2:4, ranking 9-7)<br />So I think if it&apos;s set, like written down helps a lot, but if they directly say &apos;you&apos;ve got to do this for that, you&apos;ve got to be prepared by this day&apos;, I would definitely follow that rather than choose to do it. (3:4, ranking 9-7)<br />
  25. 25. 3. Enjoy/ed independent language learning<br />(Gain in motivational force)<br />I think if you are motivated enough to learning outside of what you&apos;re supposed to, then I think that&apos;s when it will help you more [...]. It&apos;s kind of proof that you want to do it, because you are learning outside, when you&apos;re not told to. So I think that is when you improve the most as well. (3:8, ranking 8-5)<br />
  26. 26. Bibliography<br />Bavendiek, U. (2006) Portfolios and Learner Autonomy: the case of undergraduates learning German Unpublished PhD Thesis, The University of Liverpool.<br />Coleman, J. A. (1996) Studying Languages: A Survey of British and European Students London: CiLT.<br />Dörnyei, Z. (2005) The Psychology of the Language Learner: Individual Differences in Second Language AcquisitionMahway, N.J.: Erlbaum.<br />Dörnyei, Z. and K. Csizér (2002) &apos;Some dynamics of language attitude and motivation: results of a longitudinal nationwide survey&apos; Applied Linguistics 23:421-462.<br />
  27. 27. Dörnyei, Z. and R. Schmidt (eds) (2001) Motivation and Second Language Acquisition. Honululu: University of Hawai&apos;i Press.<br />Dörnyei, Z. and I. Otto (2000) Motivation in Action: A Process Model of L2 motivationCiLT Research Forum Motivation in Language Learning. Lingu@NET. &lt;http://www.cilt.org.uk/research/resfor3/dornyei.htm&gt; (last accessed 22 April 2006).<br />Ellis, R. (1997) Second Language Acquisition Oxford: OUP.<br />Shoaib, A. and Z. Dörnyei (2005) ‘Affect in life-long learning: Exploring L2 motivation as a dynamic process’ in Benson, P. and D. Nunan (eds) Learners’ Stories: Difference and Diversity in Language Learning Cambridge: CUP.<br />
  28. 28. Silverman, D. (2001) Interpreting Qualitative Data: Methods for Analysing Talk, Text and Interaction Second edition London: Sage Publications.<br />Ushioda, E. (1996) The Role of Motivation Dublin: Authentik.<br />Ushioda, E. (2001) &apos;Language learning at university: exploring the role of motivational thinking&apos; in: Dörnyei, Z and R. Schmidt (eds) Motivation and Second Language Acquisition. Honululu: University of Hawai&apos;i Press.<br />

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