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Highlights on motivational practices by an EFL teacher

Author: 
Sabria S. Jawhar and Haifa A. Alnofaie
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

Teaching strategies in motivating EFL learners should be seen as an important aspect of teacher classroom practice. There are empirical research findings that identify effective teacher motivational strategies (Dörnyei and Csizér's, 1998; Dörnyei, 2001; Cheng and Dörnyei, 2008; Sugita and Takeuchi, 2010; Ruesh et al., 2012; Wong, 2013). These studies examine the issue of motivational strategies mainly from a quantitative stand point. Qualitative investigations that identify the types of the teacher’s utterances that are used as motivational strategies in classroom discussions are scarce. It is the purpose of this paper to examine how the teacher’s utterances motivate EFL learners to participate in classroom talk. As drawn from the analysis of a classroom discussion in an EFL lesson (50 minutes length),the teacher used effective utterances that could provide learners with opportunities to express themselves (for example, asking referential questions, building on others’ contributions, linking learners’ contributions and inviting evaluation of answers). In addition to the teacher’s effective use of her utterances as motivational strategies, task topic and teacher-learner rapport were identified as other motivational strategies that contribute to learners’ active participation in talk. The observations highlighted in our analysis of teacher-learner interaction contribute to existing literature on teacher motivational strategies by identifying types of teacher motivational utterances. Another contribution of this study is the context. Studies that look at teacher motivational strategies in Saudi Arabia are limited (Alrabai, 2010; Alqahtani, 2016; Alnofaie, 2016). It is hoped that the findings of this study will inform the motivational practices of EFL teachers. More studies, particularly those that employ mixed approach methods, are needed in the field of teacher motivational practices.

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