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GRACE RAYMOND MP1412159T

TE60204 Theoretical Bases Of Language Learning

SUN YIN XIA MP1412442A

REFLECTIVE WRITING
Article 1 : Attitudes and Motivation Towards Learning English Among
FELDA
School Students
Siti Sukainah Che Mat and Melor Md. Yunus Universiti Kebangsaan
Malaysia
Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 8(5) Special 2014,
Pages: 1-8
Summary
From the article, it is said that the key factors to the success of second language
acquisition lies on the attitude and motivation of the learners himself or herself.
This research paper investigated on how these two factors can influence the
process of English language learning among FELDA students. FELDA estates are
normally located in rural areas where the students are mostly Malay. In this kind
of setting, it is discovered that because the students parents are FELDA workers,
there is less importance for the use of English language which affects the
students attitude towards the English language class in their school. This can be
seen from the passing rates in schools and also the failure rate in the English
language subject itself. 40 students in Negeri Sembilan were chosen to be the
sample for this research study where they were asked to answer a survey
questionnaire that was adapted from Gardners (1985) attitude and motivation
test battery (AMTB). the samples were also interviewed to have better
explanation from the samples themselves.
The result showed in their general attitude towards learning English that
96% of them said that they are interested to learn English while 88% thinks that
learning English is great. 100% of them do not agree that they hate English.
This shows that they have a positive attitude toward English language learning
even though they are living in FELDA estates where it is considered to be a rural
area with limited usage of the English language compared to the cities. There are
two types of motivation discussed in this research paper which are the intrinsic
motivation and the extrinsic motivation. the study foun out that 93% of the
students have a strong desire to learn English and 90% of the wish they were
fluent in English. This proves that the students are high have intrinsic motivation
within themselves when it comes to English language learning. In terms of
extrinsic motivation among students, they are aware that if they learn English
they will get better jobs and will be more respected if they know the language.
This motivates them to have an interest in the English language other than the

GRACE RAYMOND MP1412159T


TE60204 Theoretical Bases Of Language Learning

SUN YIN XIA MP1412442A

students admiration towards their English teacher in school. The study also
surveys on how students make an effort to improve their English mostly because
of

their

positive

attitude

and

their

motivation.

When

having

trouble

understanding English words, most of the samples responded that they would try
to understand the words either by referring to the dictionary to look up for the
meanings and turning to their teacher and friends for help. Malaysian students
were said to be more extrinsically motivated rather than intrinsically motivated.
Anxiety level among students became one of the factors causing students to
develop the fear of learning English in school which then affects the whole
success of language acquisition.
Strength & Weaknesses Of Article
One of the strength from the study is that we can understand that motivation
and attitude can influence in language learning and that teachers play a vital
role to help students feel motivated and have a positive attitude toward English
language. Since motivation and attitude come hand in hand, it is important not
to include both factors in overcoming the level of English language proficiency
among students. Through this study, teachers can now bear in mind to create a
positive learning environment when learning a language. When students have a
positive attitude towards learning, they will also be motivated to improve better
on their English language proficiency.
Another advantages of this study, is that teachers can use any kind of suitable
motivating tools to help students so that they can be intrinsically motivated and
extrinsically motivated. Therefore, as English teachers it is advised that we take
the good part of this study and use it to improve the level of proficiency in our
country so that students can have a better chance of changing their way of life
for the good. Their awareness towards the importance of the English language
should be supported by providing a better context for them to learn.
The weaknesses however is that the study itself only discussed one part of the
FELDA estate where the other students in other FELDA estate might have a
different overview on the English language learning. This study does not
represent the FELDA estate or rural areas all around the country if we were to
improve on the English language proficiency as a whole.

GRACE RAYMOND MP1412159T


TE60204 Theoretical Bases Of Language Learning

SUN YIN XIA MP1412442A

Article 2 : Motivation and Attitudes Towards Learning English: A Study of


Petroleum Engineering Undergraduates At Hadhramout University
of

Science and Technology


Atef Al-Tamimi & Munir Shuib GEMA Online Journal of Language Studies Vol
9(2) 2009

Introduction
It is definitely no doubt that English is the international language in the world
today. It is currently the primary language used on the World Wide Web, in the
political and business arenas. It has even become the language of todays pop
culture. Therefore, no one disagrees that learning English is important. But for
the people who learn English as a Foreign Language, they need to spend a lot of
time studying on English learning. So to study the motivation and attitudes
towards learning English is an important project. This paper outlines the results
of a survey which was carried out, to identify Petroleum Engineering students
motivation and attitudes towards learning the English language. The objectives
are to determine which of the three types of motivation (instrumental,
integrative and personal) could be the primary source of petroleum engineering
students motivation towards learning the English language and the type of
attitude that petroleum engineering students have towards learning the English
language. A questionnaire and interviews were used for data collection. The
results indicated that a high number of the students showed their interest in the
culture of English speaking world as represented by English-language films.
Summary
The study investigated students motivation in terms of three motivation
constructs:

instrumental

motivation,

integrative

motivation

and

personal

motivational. Learners attitudes, regarding 1) the use of English in the Yemeni


social context, 2) the use of English in the Yemeni educational context, 3) the
English language and 4) the culture of the English speaking world were
identified. The study sample consisted of 81 petroleum engineering students at
Hadhramout University of Sciences and Technology (HUST).
To identify the students motivation towards learning the English language,
some

students

were

asked

to

do

questionnaire

which

includes

the

instrumental, personal and integrative motivation. The questionnaire consisted


of three sections: A, B and C. In Section A, 3 items were used to collect

GRACE RAYMOND MP1412159T


TE60204 Theoretical Bases Of Language Learning

SUN YIN XIA MP1412442A

information regarding the students background. Section B consisted of two parts


which included questions ti identify students motivation to learn the English
language. Section C was developed to elicit information regarding the students
attitudes towards the English language. Besides the questionnaire, interviews
were used to obtain to supplement and cross-validate the students responses to
the questionnaire. The students were asked questions related to their motivation
and attitudes towards the English language. The interviewees were asked about
1) their reasons for learning English, 2) their interest to attend more training
courses in English, and 3) their attitudes towards the English language and
towards the culture of the English speaking world.
For the students motivation, the findings showed the subjects greater
support of instrumental reasons for learning the English language including
utilitarian and academic reasons. Personal reasons were also regarded as
important motives by the students. Regarding the integrative reasons, the
results provided evidence that learning English as a part of the culture of its
people had the least impact in students English language motivation. The data
for the students attitudes revealed that most of students had positive attitudes
towards the social value and educational status of English. The findings showed
the students positive orientation toward the English language.
Since the issues of learners motivation and attitudes have not been
discussed much in the past studies, so the study highlighted the gap in the
literature with regard to engineering students motivation and attitudes in the
Arab World. To achieve the objective, two research tools were used namely,
questionnaire and interviews. Using this kind of methods in a research design
would also help to give a fuller picture and address many different aspects of
phenomena. But there are also some weaknesses in the study. For example, all
the participated subjects were males as there were no female students in the
department. So the result just showed the Petroleum Engineering male students
motivation and attitudes towards learning the English language.
Assessment
There are many factors that might cause the students

low proficiency in

English. Given the importance of identifying learners motivation and attitudes


towards learning the English language, this paper reports a study which had
been conducted to investigate petroleum engineering students motivation and
attitudes towards the English language. To explore the learners motivation and

GRACE RAYMOND MP1412159T


TE60204 Theoretical Bases Of Language Learning

SUN YIN XIA MP1412442A

attitudes is an important project in the English learning and teaching field. It


could be very beneficial and valuable to investigate the students preferences
and attitude in the English language learning. It will help teachers and educators
to accommodate the teaching methodology skills and curriculum accordingly to
promote student motivation. A better understand of language learners
preferences and learning attitudes can have a beneficial effect on the process of
helping and assisting language learners in learning English as a foreign
language.

Students

learning

preferences

will

lead

to

students

learning

motivation which is an important variable for a success in English language


learning.
Motivation
Motivation considered to be an internal attribute that can be influenced by
outside forces, provides both the initial drive to begin learning a language and
the momentum to sustain it. It is the driving force which propels learning and
influences both the rate and success of acquisition. Motivation refers to the
learners desires, attitudes, and efforts put forth to learn the target language.
Motivation intensity, characterized by the amount of effort a student expends
towards learning English, will be measured. The importance of motivation in
enhancing second/foreign language is undeniable. Motivation can influence
language proficiency results, but this relationship is one of reciprocal causation
because both positive and negative learning experiences can influence the
students motivation to learn. A student who repeatedly fails to meet his/her
language learning expectations may become a less motivated student.
Attitudes
Attitude toward learning English are defines as the students positive or negative
inclination and desires in regard to learning English. Attitudes will be considered
separately from motivation in the current study in order to explore the degree
and intensity of these inclinations as well as their relationship with other
affective variables and with English achievement. Assessing attitudes can
provide feedback about general trends regarding negative or positive feelings
towards English learning for students. Understanding the many reasons why
students avoid hard work is important.
The expectancy to learn a language and succeed depends on what
individuals attribute their past and present success or failure to, whether to

GRACE RAYMOND MP1412159T


TE60204 Theoretical Bases Of Language Learning

SUN YIN XIA MP1412442A

stable factors such as learning attitudes, learning preferences, past experience,


task difficulty. Language teaching is most often illustrated and discussed from
the point of view of scholars and teachers. However learning is the goal of
teaching. Learners, too, bring to learning their own beliefs, goals and attitudes,
and decisions, which influence how they approach their learning. Generally
speaking, people tend to have certain beliefs and preference in their approaches
to learning tasks. Various researches suggest that most of the us best when
information is presented in the way that matches the learners learning
preferences.
Relate to experience as English teachers.
By looking at both articles, as an English teacher it is agreed that attitude and
motivation does come hand in hand when it comes to learning the English
language. In the Malaysian context, the English language proficiency is still
considered low despite having spent almost 11 years of learning the language.
Musa (2012) list down some of the reasons below as the causes for low language
proficiency:
1) English viewed as a difficult subject to learn.
2) There is lack of support in using English at home and the community.
3) Lack of motivation.
4) English is not considered an important language.
5)High anxiety when it comes to using the language.
All of the reasons mentioned are somehow related to the motivation and attitude
of language learners as both the article suggested. Looking into past experience
as a English language teacher that has taught various ages of learners in
different context of learning, both article do have a good finding on how these
two factors co-relate with each other in influencing language proficiency. When
teaching in a secondary school in Ranau, the English language classroom would
be planned in such a way that can help increase the students motivation to learn
English even though some claimed to be having very poor command of the
language.
It was also due to students anxiety that they do not want to use the language
for the fear of making mistakes and being laughed by their friends. As a
language teacher, students are often given encouragement when doing activities
and tasks in the classroom so that their anxiety level will lessen. There are times
when students laughed at their friends when they made errors, as teachers these
kind of situation should be avoided and they be reminded that it is okay to make

GRACE RAYMOND MP1412159T


TE60204 Theoretical Bases Of Language Learning

SUN YIN XIA MP1412442A

mistakes. When teacher try to lower their affective filter, then the process of
using a language can be improved.
From the Malaysian context, normally lack of support from families occurs when
the parents and the community the learners are in do not see the importance of
the English language that demotivates learners to have a batter command of the
language. Based on past experiences, parents work as farmers in a rural area so
children are encouraged to help their parents in the farm rather than going to
school to learn. The mindset that was brainwashed into the students demotivates
them and causing negative attitude in language learning.
Conclusion
As a conclusion, it is clear that from both of the article, motivation and attitude
are very important in learning a language. It does not matter if the learners are
young children or university students; all learners are highly influenced by these
two factors. Having a positive or negative attitude when learning will affect how
for the language can be acquired. For example, as we can see from the article,
having an interest towards the English class can be a positive attitude that also
dictates how much effort a learner does to improve his or her own language
proficiency. If learners possess a negative attitude towards the language
learning, then they will not care much if their proficiency in the language is low.
The same goes with motivation, learners can get intrinsic or extrinsic motivation
from several factors that also drives their willingness to learn a language as
discussed from the articles above. The efforts made to improve oneself are also
influenced by their own motivation to learn a language.

GRACE RAYMOND MP1412159T


TE60204 Theoretical Bases Of Language Learning

SUN YIN XIA MP1412442A

References
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Kormos, J., & Csizr, K. (2008). Agerelated differences in the motivation of
learning English
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Language
Learning, 58(2), 327-355.
Musa, N. C., Lie, K. Y., & Azman, H. (2012). Exploring English language learning
and
teaching in Malaysia. GEMA: Online Journal of Language Studies, 12(1), 3551.
Taguchi, T., Magid, M., & Papi, M. (2009). The L2 motivational self system among
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Chinese and Iranian learners of English: A comparative study.

Motivation, Language

Identity and the L2 Self. Bristol: Multilingual Matters,

66-97.
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learning in online language courses. CALICO journal, 23(1), 49-78.