Teacher Impact on EFL Students’ Motivation
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العدد 23 ديسمبر 2016 N° 23 Décembre 2016

Teacher Impact on EFL Students’ Motivation

Haroun BOURAS
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  تتناول هذه الدراسة تحليلا لتصورات الأساتذة والطلاب لبعض خصائص الأستاذ ومدى تأثيرهاعلى دافعية الطلاب لتعلم اللغةالانجليزية. لإتمام هذه الدراسة، استخدمنا استبيانا يتضمن 8بنودا. وزعنا هذا الاستبيان على 200طالب و21أستاذا في اللغة الانجليزيةللعامالدراسي 2014/2015. خلص هذا التحليل إلى وجود تباين بين روئ الاساتذة والطلاب فيما يخص الخصائص المحفزة، بالتالي نستنتج انه لابد على الاستاذ تحقيق توازن جيد بين منهجية التدريس وما هو محفزأكثر للطلاب على تعلماللغة الانجليزية.

الكلمات المفاتيح: قسم اللغة الأجنبية، الدافعية، تصورات الأساتذة والطلاب، خصائصالأستاذ

Cette étude porte sur la perception des étudiants et des enseignants de certaines caractéristiques de l’enseignant et leurs effets sur la motivation des étudiants. Un questionnaire comportant 8 élémentsest distribué à 200 participants durant l’année académique 2014/2015. Le même questionnaire est distribué à 21 enseignants. Les résultats ont révélé que les enseignants et les étudiants ne perçoivent pas l’impact des caractéristiquesde l’enseignant de la même manière. Ceci implique que la motivation des apprenants exige de l’enseignant d’adaptersa méthodologie d'enseignement avec ce qui motive le plus les étudiants.

Mots clés : Classe de langue étrangère, motivation, perception, caractéristiques de l’enseignant

This study probes teachers and students’ perceptions of some teacher characteristics impact on students’ motivation. The investigation explores eight elements to elicit the views of students and teachers and find out which teacher characteristics both groups believe foster learners’ motivation in the EFL classroom. A total number of 200participants was surveyed in the academic year 2014-2015. The same questionnaire was administered to 21teachers. The findings disclosed that teachers differed from students in the ranking of their characteristics. This therefore implies that motivating learners requires a teacher to strike a good balance between the teaching methodology and the preferences of the students in terms of his or her motivating characteristics.

Keywords: Foreign Language Classroom, Motivation, Perception, Teacher Characteristics

Quelques mots à propos de :  Haroun BOURAS

أستاذ مساعد أ جامعة محمد الشريف مساعدية سوق اهراس

Introduction

It is currently assumed that the success or failure in learning a foreign language depends on some fundamental factors such as: The learner’s social context, the learner’s personal characteristics, the learning process and conditions under which learning takes place. However, teaching English as a foreign language and as a compulsory curriculum subject in a non-supportive environment seems to depend very much on the didactic treatment applied by the teacher and the strategies and techniques employed in the classroom. Moreover, not only the didactic treatment in itself is important, the personal characteristics and personality traits of the person who applies that treatment in the classroom, his/her teaching style, attitudes and personal qualities are also of crucial importance.

In this vein, William & Burden (1997: ix) stated that “Teachers have a powerful, long-lasting influence on their students. They directly affect how students learn, what they learn, how much they learn, and the ways they interact with one another and the world around them. Considering the degree of teacher’s influence, we must understand what teachers should do to promote positive results in the lives of students with regard to school achievement, positive attitudes towards school, interest in learning, and other desirable outcomes.”

   Recently, research on the relationship between teachers’ characteristics and teachers’ effectiveness has gained ground among various educators and researchers. Yet, huge efforts have been made in linking teacher impact on learners’ motivation with characteristics related to his or her behaviour towards learners.Finocchiaro (1988 ,cited in Madrid, D., Robinson, B., Hidalgo, E. Gomis, A. Verdejo, M. J., Ortega, J. L., 1993:493) has identified twenty-four hallmarks of superior teachers, some of which are related to personal and affective factors: “Making learners feel loved, respected and secure and that they can achieve success by concentrating on the teacher’s comprehensible input and tasks. Keeping motivation of students at a high level. Offering a relaxing atmosphere for learning.”

   Put simply,Dörnyei & Csizér (1998) investigated teachers’ interpretation of their own impact on learner motivation and carried out a nation-wide survey study among 200 Hungarian teachers of English from diverse contexts to learn about their attitudes toward various motivational techniques and the frequency with which they implemented them in their own teaching practice. The results revealed that the participants considered the teacher’s own behaviour to be the most important motivational factor. At the same time, the study also showed that it is one of the most underused motivational resources in their classroom practice. Consequently, research has heavily concentrated on motivation and motivational research has shifted focus to include the crucial role of the teacher and the various practices and strategies that he or she uses to motivate learners to learn the language.

1. Defining Motivation Briefly

In fact, motivation received a myriad of definitions and has been identified, by researchers and practitioners, as a determinant factor in learning a second or a foreign language. Motivation is a desire to achieve a goal, combined with the energy to work towards that goal. Many researchers consider it as one of the main elements that determine success in developing a second or a foreign language; “it determines the extent of active, personal involvement in L2 learning.” Oxford & Shearin (1994:12). It is also defined as follows “Motivation provides the primary impetus to initiate learning foreign language and later the driving force to sustain the long and often tedious learning process. Without sufficient motivation, even individuals with the most remarkable abilities cannot accomplish long-term goals, and neither are appropriate curricula and good teaching enough to ensure students achievement. On the other hand, high motivation can make up for considerable deficiencies both in one’s language aptitude and learning conditions’’ Dörnyei (1998:117). Very recently, Dörnyei& Ushioda(2011:14) stated that “The word motivation derives from the Latin verb movere meaning ‘to move’. What moves a person to make certain choices, to engage in action, to expend effort and persist in action – such basic questions lie at the heart of motivation theory and research”. They further added “these deceptively simple questions have generated a wealth of theory and research over the decades, provoked considerable debate and disagreement among scholars, spawned numerous theoretical models encompassing different variables and different understandings of the construct of motivation, and produced few clear straightforward answers.”

2. Some Teacher’s Characteristics:Implications on Learners’ Motivation

   In reviewing literature and previous studies, many researchers have conducted studies to investigate the characteristics of effective teachers and their influence on learners’ motivation. In line with this, William & Burden (1997: x) have pointed out “In recent years, as the field of education has moved toward a stronger focus on accountability and on a careful analysis of variables that affect educational outcomes, the teacher has proven time and again to be the most influential school-related force in student achievement. Consequently, to develop an understanding of what teachers do to cause significant student learning, researchers have begun to focus on the specific characteristics and processes used by the most effective teachers.”

In the same respect, Dörnyei (2005:115) has stated that “The increased shift toward examining classroom-based motivation in the 1990s drew attention to a rather overlooked motivational area, the motivational characteristics of the language teacher.” He added, “There is no doubt that teacher motivation is an important factor in understanding the affective basis of instructed SLA, since the teacher’s motivation has significant bearings on the students’ motivational disposition and, more generally, on their learning achievement.” Dörnyei (2005:115).

The characteristics reported in the previous studies can be synthesized into three categories: instructional competence, personality and teacher-student relationship. “It was argued by several researchers (e.g., Julkunen 1989; Brown 1990; Crookes and Schmidt 1991; Dörnyei 1994a; Oxford and Shearin 1994) that the classroom environment had a much stronger motivational impact than had been proposed before, highlighting the significance of motives associated with the L2 course, teacher and learner group.” Shoaib & Dörnyei. (2005:23).

In the same direction, Dörnyei (2001:36) made it clear “I don’t think it requires much justification to claim that it is important for a motivating teacher to have a positive relationship with the students on a personal and not just on an academic level”. He further added “Teachers who share warm, personal interactions with their students, who respond to their concerns in an empathic manner and who succeed in establishing relationships of mutual trust and respect with the learners, are more likely to inspire them in academic matters than those who have no personal ties with the learners.” Dörnyei(2001:36). According to him the following three motivational conditions in particular are indispensable for motivational strategies or techniques to be employed successfully:  appropriate teacher behaviors and a good relationship with the students; a pleasant and supportive classroom atmosphere, and a cohesive learner group with appropriate group norms.

Indeed, many researchers have emphasized teacher relationship with learners as a salient factor to establish solid foundations for the teaching and learning process and boost learners’ motivation to take an active role in the classroom to demonstrate teacher caring and creating a positive learning environment to support student learning. As a matter of fact, many researchers have noted that establishing a good relationship with students is important for effective teaching atmosphere. In line with this, Lowman (2000, cited in Daniel Rogers, 2009:4)stated that “Rapport is established when teachers convey to students, through various means, that are interested in and care about them, and that this concern translates into a desire to help them learn.”Equally important, Fleming & Hiller (2009:92) stated “Relationships in the classroom involve complex, dynamic processes of rapport, learning and power which are never fixed or unidirectional.”

   Zhou & He (2005, cited in Yunbao, 2008:98)have investigated the learning of English in almost 100 secondary schools in China. They found that ‘teacher-student rapport’ was one of the most important factors which affected the learning of English in the eyes of students. In a similar respect, Tickle-Degnen& Rosenthal (1990, cited in Wenying & Guy, 2005:48) emphasized that “the presence of a high degree of rapport between individuals has been thought to create powerful interpersonal influence and responsiveness.”

   “Teachers, either inside the classroom or outside the classroom, exert a great deal of influence on establishing a good quality of teacher-student relationship.” Barry (1999, cited in Suxian & Thao, 2004:5). This means thatstudents are humans first before being treated as learners. Therefore, teachers need to attune to the feeling of any classroom as a social place where students are individuals and mix with teachers like their peers sharing a wide range of personal concerns and values and teachers should as well  attempt to be ordinary members of the group and thus go beyond performing a mere instructional duty. In the same vein,Haslett (1987:196) stated that “Establishing close relationship with others is essential for well -being and happiness. Through our interpersonal relationships, we establish our personal identity, express our thoughts and feelings, engage in collaborative activities with others and satisfy our needs for affiliation with others”. That is academic achievement and students’ behaviours are greatly influenced by the quality of the teacher-student relationship and how good the teacher’s relationship with students can largely be decided by the quantity and quality of contact made with each student as an individual. In the eyes of Hamre & Pianta (2006:49) “Student teacher relationships provide a unique entry point for educators and others working to improve the social and learning environments of schools and classrooms.”

   In a recent research, Schaeffer, Epting, Zinn, and Buskit (2003, cited in Yu-Jung&Shih-Chung, 2009:223) investigated students’ perceptions of the most important qualities for effective teaching and reported that “being approachable, creative and interesting, encouraging and caring, enthusiastic, flexible and open-minded, knowledgeable, fair, respectful and holding realistic expectations are the eight of the top ten traits”.Significantly enough, Bernaus (2010:185) has cited “personal qualities of the teacher, such as commitment, warmth, trustworthiness, and competence determine the relationship between the teacher and learners. Such qualities may help to create a pleasant and supportive classroom atmosphere, but others, such as being unapproachable, unreliable, unfriendly, etc, may just have the opposite effect.”

   Several recent studies have revealed the importance of caring in the eyes of teachers and students. They indicated that learners show interest in learning mainly when they feel acknowledged by teachers as it conveys a certain kind of care. Effective teachers care about their students and demonstrate that they care in such a way that their students are aware of it. This means that it is a priority for teachers to show students that they are caring and supportive. In this context, Stronge (2007:23) stated that “Caring teachers know students both formally and informally. They cease every and each opportunity in the classroom to keep the lines of communication open.” He further added many educational stakeholders emphasize that effective teachers know their students individually, not only understanding each student's learning style and needs, but also understanding the student's personality, likes and dislikes, and personal situations that may affect behaviour and performance in school. In a similar context, GU (1996, cited in Wang, 2008:33) expressed“When students are acknowledged in the classroom and feel understood by their teacher, their level of motivation will increase.”

   Additionally, Jones (2004, cited Suxian &Thao, 2004:7) indicated that “Teachers’ caring is much more than simply the creation of warm interpersonal relationships. It also involves encouraging dialogue with students regarding curricular and instructional decisions, listening to students’ concerns, ensuring that all students have an opportunity to experience success, and ensuring that learning is fun and interesting”.

   In another vein, Broadhead (1987, cited in Yu-Jung & Shih-Chung, 2009:226) stated that “personality is the essential characteristic for an effective teacher”. Equally important, Colker (2008, cited in Rosle M., Junainah J., Lim Thien S. & Zaiton O., 2009:24) reported that teachers claimed there were four characteristics of an effective teacher which include “having a sound knowledge of subject matter, take personal interest in each student, establish a caring or loving or warm atmosphere and finally to show enthusiasm with students”. He also identified the twelve characteristics of teachers that learners believe are integral factors to effective teaching. There are passion, perseverance willingness to take risks, pragmatism, patience, flexibility, respect creativity, authenticity, love of learning, high energy and sense of humour.

In fact, the duty of educators and scholars is not onlyproviding learning settings to enhance cognitive development and intellectual achievement, nonintellectual factors also deserve educators’ attention. As Barry (1999, cited in Suxian and Thao, 2004:5) has pointed out “Teachers’ work is to nurture each student and maximize not only his or her intellectual achievement but also social, emotional and spiritual growth”. In the same respect,Stronge (2007:22) has stated “Studies suggest that instructional and management processes are key to effectiveness, but many interview and survey responses about effective teaching emphasize the teacher’s affective characteristics, or social and emotional behaviors, more than pedagogical practice.”

   It follows from this that educational institutions are no longer seen as a place where knowledge and skills are taught and learned. They are rather regarded as a community in themselves where members such as: teachers and learners interact and influence the behaviour of each other. The nature of interactions and influences in these institutions is an important factor in determining the learner’s perceptions of their teachers. This factor involves the interplay between the personality of the teacher and that of the learner.

   What can be inferred and retained as wellfrom all what has been cited so far is that teachers have a crucial role in effective teaching and learning process and can serve as motivators for learners so as to improve students’ chances for academic success. Teachers can do so through displaying enthusiasm for their subject and a desire to share it with their students. Besides, they have the ability to modify their teaching strategies according to the learning environment and extending knowledge rather than merely transmitting it. Moreover, they provide encouragement at every occasion by being interested in learners’ personal growth and sustain their high expectations.Above all, teachers and students will pay the price if they neglect to form emotionally warm, supportive relationships with and among themselves.

3. Objectives of the Study

The primary concern of this research is to investigate and elicit the opinions of both teachers and students about the influence of some teacher characteristics on students’ motivation. In attempting to probe the latter, this study raises several interrelated research questions.

a.Which teaching characteristics are perceived as the most motivating ones by students?

b.Which teaching characteristics are perceived as the least motivating ones by students?

c.Which teachers’ characteristics are perceived as the most motivating ones by teachers?

d.Which teachers’ characteristics are perceived as the least motivating ones by teachers?

e. How do students and teachers’ perceptions of the teachers’ most important characteristics compare?

f. How do students and teachers’ perceptions of the teachers’ least important characteristics compare?            

4. Methodology

4.1. Participants

The focus of the present study is to better understand the opinions of students and teachers about the role of some teachers’ characteristics impact on learners’ motivation. The participants were200university students and 21 English language teachers.

4.2. Questionnaire Presentation and Administration

Keeping in view the nature of research, a close end questionnaire consisting of 8 statements was developed to collect data and conduct the investigation. A 5-point Likert type was used in the scale:  5= very important, 4= important, 3=moderately important, 2= somewhat important, 1= not important) to measure the extent of importance. These characteristics were chosen from findings in educational research because of its direct relevance to students’ learning and teacher’s teaching situation.

The questionnaire also included a part about personal information and was distributed to all the respondents selected for the data by hand. Before distributing the questionnaire among the students the nature and purpose of the survey was explained to them, moreover they were assured strongly that their responses will be kept confidential in order to relieve them from any kind of fear and pressure. Respondents were asked to read the questionnaire carefully and if they find any statement ambiguous or difficult they can ask freely for help. Students were asked to put a cross next to each statement according to how importantthey perceived some teacher’s characteristics. A similar procedure was followed in each class and for all the students to minimize the missing data.

   Similarly, the teacher questionnaire consisted of the same eight statements and distributed to them by hand. Both male and female teachers participated in the study. The total number of teachers who were surveyed was 21.

5. Findings and Discussion

   This section presents the results of the study. The first research question was: which teacher’s characteristics are the most influencing ones on students’ motivation?

Table 1: Students’ Perceptions of Most Important Teacher’s Characteristics.

Teachers’ characteristics

Students

 

Score

Rank

Mean

-Your teacher is a respectful person.                                

904

1st

4.52

-Your teacher addresses students by their names.

863

2nd

4.31

 

 

 

 

 

Source:Made personally

The arithmetic mean in table one above indicates that being a respectful teacher towards students is a motivating characteristic for them since it received the highest mean (M=4.52). This means that students want to be regarded as important individuals to be respected by their teachers to attract them since respect is an abstract element that students feel and which influences on them without making them spend any efforts. In line with this, Lumsden (1994) has stated that classroom climate is important and if students experience the classroom as a caring, supportive place where there is a sense of belonging and everyone is valued and respected, they will tend to participate more fully in the process of learning. In the same vein, Ramsden (1992, cited in Omo, 2010:63) has identified six principles of effective teaching that can promote effective learning and stated that “good teaching means that teachers show great concern and respect for students and students’ learning”.

Addressing students by their names is receiving high importance and ranking second (M=4, 31). That is students are searching to be valued and catered for by their teacher and this seems to go with what is said by Bernaus(2010:185)“Teachers, who address learners by name, talk about personal topics in the class, etc., will form closer relationships, and consequently help to create a cohesive learner group, and enhance learners’ classroom motivation.”

In the same direction, college research indicates that “addressing students by name” is a classroom teachingbehavior that correlates positively and significantly with students’ overall evaluation ofthe instructor (Murray, 1985).In contrast, research on “uncomfortable courses”. That is to say,courses that most likely to cause “classroom communication apprehension” among studentsreveals that such courses are more likely to be taught by instructors who are perceived bytheir students as being unfriendly and who did not address students by their first name(Bowers, 1986).

The second research question was: Which teacher’s characteristics are seen as the least motivating ones by students?

Table 2: Students’ Perceptions of Least Important Teacher’s Characteristics.

Teachers’characteristics

Students

 

Score

Rank

Mean

-Your teacher develops a good relationship with you.

800

7th

4.00

-Your teacher knows better your needs.

784

8th

3.92

Source:Made personally

   As table two illustrates,students do not recognize the fact that their teachers know better their needs and yet make them more motivated to learn the English language. This teacher characteristic is receiving the lowest mean (M=3.92).We can also infer from this finding that teachers are not sufficiently close to their students and they do not really cater for their needs which portrays the idea that students did not experience such teacher practice. In this vein, Yogesh & Ruchka (2005:91) have stated “Motivation is best carried out if it is based on the existing needs and motives of the learner. You as a teacher better know that some of the needs your students may bring to the classroom are the needs to learn something in order to complete a particular task or activity, the need to seek new experiences, the need to perfect skills, the need to overcome challenges, the need to become competent, the need to succeed and do well, the need to feel involved and to interact with other people etc. Satisfying such needs is rewarding in itself and such rewards bring more motivation than do grades or prizes.”

The table indicates as well that teachers do not actually develop good relationships and establish positive ties with their students and this seems to correlate with the previous teacher characteristic though it does not necessitate from them to spend much effort. Yet, learners feel demotivated.In this respect, Claridge & Lewis (2005:15) have stated “The relationship you have with your learner is fundamental to the success of teaching. A good relationship will increase the learning your client gets, as well as making it much more enjoyable for you as a teacher. Designing the alliance you have with your learner is part of making this successful.”

   Our third research question is the following: Which teachers’ characteristics are perceived as the most motivating ones by teachers?

Table 3:Teachers’Perceptions of Most Important Teachers’ Characteristics.

Teachers’characteristics

Teachers

 

Score

Rank

Mean

-Addressing students by their names.                                

98

1st

4.66

-Creating a relaxed study atmosphere in classroom.

   97

2nd

4.62

Source:Made personally

From table three cited above, we can clearly remark that teachers emphasize on addressing the students by their names and use it as a motivating practice.It is widely used to raise their learners’ motivation. As a matter of fact this practice is receiving the highest arithmetic mean (M=4.66) which indicates that teachers rely heavily on learning students’ names to use them while delivering their English lessons to familiarize them with the classroom atmosphere , break the ice and make  students feel more confident to participate in the lesson. Calling students’ names urge them to take part in the lesson to make their names first known to the teacher and second to their classmates because this makes them feel that they occupy a high position and increase their self-esteem. They feel as well that teachers are taking care of them and giving value to every student’s identity to establish good relationships with them. In this sense, Downs (2001, cited in Wang 2008:33) stated that “knowing a student’s name can be a powerful motivator”. Moreover, Carnegie (1981:83) in his book ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ pointed out “We shouldbe aware of the magic contained in a name and realize that this single item is wholly andcompletely owned by the person with whom we are dealing and nobody else. Rememberthat a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in anylanguage”.

   Significantly enough, Dörnyei (2001:34) indicates that “If students can sense that the teacher doesn’t care...this perception is the fastest way to undermine their motivation. The spiritual (and sometimes physical) absence of the teachers ends such a powerful message of` ‘It doesn’t matter!’ to the students, that everybody, even the most dedicated ones, are likely to be affected and become demoralized”. The table reveals also that teachers do their best to create a pleasant and comfortable working atmosphere so as to operate smoothly and progress with learners.In this context, Susan Thompson, John G.Greer, Bonnie B. Greer (2004) have expressed that displaying fairness, having a positive outlook, being prepared, using a personal touch, possessing a sense of humor, possessing creativity, admitting mistakes, being forgiving, respecting students, maintaining high expectations, showing compassion, and developing a sense of belonging for students, when demonstrated by classroom teachers, they increase students’ achievement. To our surprise, students play down this teacher practice and rank itsixth (M=4.04) which may lead us to think that they probably did not experience such practice as more motivating for them.

The fourth research question is:  Which teachers’ characteristics are perceived as the least motivating ones?

Table 4:Teachers’ Perceptions of Least Important Teachers’ Characteristics.

Teachers’characteristics

Teachers

 

Score

Rank

Mean

-Encouraging interest among your students.                                

86

7th

4.10

-Knowing better your students’ needs.

75

8th

3.57

Source: Made personally

The teacher’s characteristics that are perceived as the least motivating ones by teachers are shown above in table four. The findings unveil that teachers do not know their students’ needs sufficiently enough so as to allow them raise their motivation. This demonstrates as well that teachers do not have very close contacts with their students which enable them to know what their students necessitate. In fact, this teacher characteristic has received the lowest mean (M=3.57) and obviously ranked last. Encouraging interest amongstudents is regarded as a least motivating practice in the eyes of teachers as it requires from them huge efforts to make students draw attention to their learning and get profit from one another. As mentioned previously, teachers ignore their students’ needs so creating interest among them seems to be a tough mission, if not, an impossible one!

The fifth research question is how do teachers and students’ perceptions of the teachers’ most important characteristics compare?

Table 5: Teachers andStudents’ Perceptions of Teachers Most Important Characteristics.

Teachers’characteristics

Students

Teachers

Score

Rank

Mean

Score

Rank

Mean

-Being a respectful teacher.

904

1st

4.52

/

/

/

- Addressing students by their names.

863

2nd

4.31

/

/

/

-Addressing students by their names.

/

/

/

98

1st

4.66

-Creating a relaxed study atmosphere in classroom.

/

/

/

97

2nd

4.62

Source: Made personally

Our fifth table reveals that there is a slight difference in the way both teachers and students perceive the most motivating teacher practices. Teachers relied heavily on calling students’ names as a motivating practice with a significant high arithmetic mean (M=4.66) while students placed emphasis on being respected by the teacher with an arithmetic mean (M=4.52). Indeed, teachers seem to be more practical by considering students’ names as a motivating practice since it draws students’ attention and keeps them alert. Students want to be valued and respected to engage in the learning process and when they feel respected, trusted, and treated fairly by their teachersthey unleash their forces to achieve academic outcomes. Though we have to notice that students recognize the practice of calling their names by the teacher as a motivating characteristic and rank it second right after the teacher’s respect with an arithmetic mean (M=4.31). In the same vein, Susan et al (2004) have stated that teachers who convey a personal touch with their students call their students by name, smile often, ask about students’ feelings and opinions, and accept students for who they are make them interested. Teachers place more emphasis on the relaxed study atmosphere and ranked second since they desire to develop a stress-free climate where learners can voice their ideas without any form of anxiety and above all to make them self-confident.

The last research question is as follows: How do teachersand students perceptions of the teachers’ least important characteristics compare?

Table 6: Teachers’ and Students’ Perceptions of Teachers Least Important Characteristics.

Teachers’characteristics

Students

Teachers

Score

Rank

Mean

Score

Rank

Mean

-Your teacher develops a good relationship with you.

800

7th

4.00

/

/

/

- Your teacher knows better your learning needs.

784

8th

3.92

/

/

/

-Encouraging interest amongyourstudents.

/

/

/

86

7th

4.10

- Your teacher knows better your learning needs.

/

/

/

75

8th

3.57

 

Source: Made personally

From table six mentioned above, it is crystal clear that both students and teachers agree todisregard the teacher practice of‘knowing better your needs’ as a motivational practice by giving it the lowest means (M=3.92) and (M=3.57) respectively. This means one clear point, teachers are not actually close enough to their students and their needs are not known to them since they are not catered for. In fact, this finding runs in the opposite direction of what educators, researchers and the literature suggest as developed previously in this paper.Students’ needs are part and parcel of the teaching learning context and contribute effectively in boosting learners’ motivation. Yet, teachers had better pay attention to their students’ needs by being much closer, developing strong and positive relationships and eliciting from them what they practically require not only in terms of needs but in terms of wants and lacks as welldoing a needs analysis about learners’ language goals and needs to succeed in creating interest in learning and among learners themselves.

Conclusion

   To sum up, in our study we have addressed several research questions and attempted to bring them adequate answers from the gathered data. The findings of this study disclose that students and teachers seem to have slight differences in their perceptions of which teacher practices are more influential than others on their motivation to learn the English language in the classroom context. There was little difference between the rankings of the students and those of the teachers. This suggests that both students and teachers view the teaching practices that will increase their motivation to learn from a different angle. This indicates as well that it would be better and more effective for teachers to see the learning process form the learners’ eye to have a full and precise picture of what they really need in terms of teaching practices which enhance their motivation and boost it. Teachers should bear in mind that the angle from which they see things in the classroom context is not necessarily the same as that of their learners. Hence, they need to see their teaching with a learning eye so as to cater for learners’ needs and interests regardless of well-designed textbooks,suitable curriculums and teaching methods.

After all, I would like to point out that the present study could offer only a tentative ranking of some teachers’charateristics. Theinvestigation did not includethe testing of the learning benefits of teacher characteristicsor their actualimportance, but rather yielded perceived measures. Then, our understanding of motivation leaves room for intervention and further research following  an experimental design is neededto examine the extent to which these characteristics actually function in the classroom, and specify the necessary conditions for and constraints of their use to help English language teachers to boost their students’ motivation and hence improve their learning behaviour.

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Appendix

 

 

 

Questionnaire about Students’ and Teachers’ Perceptions of some Teacher Characteristics.

-Please put a cross next to each statement according to how important you perceive it for (your motivation) students’ motivation to learn the English language.

Not  important

Somewhat important

Moderately important

Important

Very important

 

 

   1

   2

   3

   4

   5

1

The teacher develops a good relationship with students.

 

 

 

 

 

2

The teacher is a respectful person. He/she respects all students.

 

 

 

 

 

3

The teacher knows better students’ learning needs.

 

 

 

 

 

4

The teacher encourages interest among students.

 

 

 

 

 

5

The teacher addresses students by their names.

 

 

 

 

 

6

The teacher creates a relaxed classroom study atmosphere.

 

 

 

 

 

7

The teacher takes care of students.

 

 

 

 

 

8

The teacher selects interesting topics for students.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family Name:……………………                                                                                         Source: Made personally

 Age (in years):………………….

 Gender (circle what applies): 

M                        

 

F

 

 

 

                                                                                   Thank you so much for your time

Pour citer ce document

Haroun BOURAS, «Teacher Impact on EFL Students’ Motivation»

[En ligne] مجلة العلوم الاجتماعيةRevue des Sciences Sociales العدد 23 ديسمبر 2016N° 23 Décembre 2016
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Date Publication Sur Papier : 0000-00-00,
Date Pulication Electronique : 2017-01-30,
mis a jour le : 14/06/2017,
URL : http://revues.univ-setif2.dz/index.php?id=2068.