Factors impacting on the motivation on Omani students to learn English as an L2.
This study of the motivation to learn English as L2 (as a second/foreign language) provides a local model of L2 motivation which employs a new contextualised perspective. It is based on the socio-cultural backgrounds of the learners and their social relations. This model not only incorporates insights from major debates in the field, but it is also in harmony with recent trends of L2 motivation research. The study had three major objectives. First, it sought to identify the factors that represent Omani students’ motivation to learn English in Oman. Second, it attempted to verify the effects of social relations on motivation. Third, it examined the mechanisms employed by the learners which influence their motivation through personal relations. Since this study views motivation as a complex bundle of constructs, it was more feasible to adopt its most significant factors as determined by the immediate socio-cultural context. Interest and Self-efficacy (SE) were established as the two main constructs representing Omani students’ motivation to learn English as L2. The ‘L2 Motivation Osmosis Model’ was suggested to offer an explanation of the workings of influence on students’ L2 motivation in Oman. This study employed a mixed methodology. A quantitative method was used to confirm the importance of Interest and SE for Omani students. A qualitative study was then designed to further verify this and ascertain the devices employed to influence learners’ motivation. The first question was answered using quantitative and qualitative data. Correlation and Linear Regression statistics were used to verify the importance of Interest and SE. This question was also examined through the students’ depictions of motivated English as L2 learners and the reasons they provided for liking English and why people in Oman learn it. The second question inspected the role of social relations in influencing students’ motivation. The third question studied the devices used by people which influence students’ motivation. The analysis also revealed the importance of the affective dimension expressed through the concept of ‘closeness’, which explains the type and strength of the influence initiated through social relations. This study emphasised the need to consider the socio-cultural context of learners in designing programs and recruiting teachers and the necessity of providing help, encouragement and emotional support. Instead of simply giving recommendations of good practice, the findings of this study provide practitioners with guidelines on how to devise their own plans and guiding principles.
- PhD