American University of Beirut, Lebanon
This study investigated the interrelatedness of the perceived demotivation factors to learn English as foreign language (EFL) and achievement in critical reading and writing. The factors included learners’ perceptions of learning difficulties, threats to self-worth, monotonous teaching, and poor student-teacher relationships. A basic premise behind the study is that demotivation to learn (EFL) is an issue in many international contexts and that there is at present a dearth of research into the interplay of the external, internal, and contextual determinants of demotivation and learners’ EFL achievement. Eighty collegebound students (n = 80) enrolled in the university preparatory program of a Middle Eastern University which uses English as the medium of instruction in various fields of study participated in the study. There were 59 females (68.6%), 21 males (24.4%) and 6 participants with missing gender data (7%). The age of the participants ranged from 19 to 23 years. The native language of the participants is Arabic and they are all considered academically strong but needed to improve their English language and general academic literacy skills in order succeed in their respective fields of specialization. Data were collected through administering a five-level strongly disagree – strongly agree likert-type scale and the critical reading and writing test scores on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). Results revealed a positive correlation between proficiency in critical reading and writing and between perceptions of threats to self-worth and learning difficulties. Likewise, while monotonous teaching was negatively correlated with proficiency in critical reading, it correlated positively with learning difficulties and threats to self-worth. Poor teacher relationship with learners was positively related to perceptions of learning difficulties, threats to self-worth, and to perceptions of learning difficulties. These findings suggest that teaching quality plays an important role is EFL motivation and achievement.
Demotivation, EFL, critical reading, writing