Inspired by research into the area of experiential psychology, this study investigates the link between motivation and autonomy and whether or not these have an effect in language learning, specifically amongst Myanmar students.
Nineteen Intermediate-level Burmese students, enrolled in the General English program at the British Council Myanmar, worked for six weeks twice a week carrying out tasks designed to boost their intrinsic motivation, develop a greater sense of autonomy, and find their own role in their language-learning process. All of this with one aim: to ascertain if there is in fact a link between motivation and autonomy, and to assess the effect of these two concepts in the learning process of the subjects.
Throughout the project students answered three questionnaires, wrote three journal entries reflecting on their experience as learners and as subjects in the project, and engaged in a variety of tasks which will be described later in this dissertation. Additionally, three students were interviewed in person to delve deeper into the issues described above.
The first questionnaire was designed to help learners reflect on their own role as learners, and was based on the works of Norton, Dörnyei and Ushioda. The second one was based on Dörnyei’s Ten Commandments for Motivating Language Learners and was an effort to uncover students’ feelings and attitudes towards the teacher, each other, the classroom, topics of study and themselves. Both of these were answered at the beginning of the project and the data gathered was then used in planning further lessons and tasks. The final questionnaire was a reflection on the entirety of the course and changes students had experienced throughout. It asked questions concerning motivation, autonomy and identity and it serves as the final data–collection instrument by which to ascertain if any changes occurred in their behaviour, attitude or thinking patterns. This last questionnaire showed evidence of a link between motivation and autonomy and in some cases, awareness of improved learning outcomes, such as improved reading and listening skills as well as greater confidence while speaking.
|School:||University of London, University College London (United Kingdom)|
|Source:||MAI 81/8(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||English as a Second Language|
|Keywords:||Myanmar, Burmese students, British Council Myanmar|
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