Exploring Extrinsic And Intrinsic Motivations Involved Education Essay

Published:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

The purpose of this study is to explore the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation among English Language students in a private university in Malaysia. Apart from that, this study also seeks to see if there is any significant difference between genders in their motivation to acquire English as a second language. The subjects of this study are 64 English language students in a private university in Malaysia. The research tools used are in the form of questionnaire and interviews. The mean scores show that generally, the students are more intrinsically motivated in acquiring English as a second language. The t-test conducted shows that there is a significant difference between the two motivations. Gender wise, female participants are more intrinsically motivated compared to male participants who scored higher means in extrinsic motivation. However, t-tests were run and the tests done show that there is no significant difference between genders in their motivation to acquire English as a second language although the means computed show some slight differences. The interviews conducted with 10 participants show that generally, the respondents feel that intrinsic motivation is important in acquiring English as a second language. However, when asked about their reasons for acquiring English language, their answers are more towards extrinsic reasons like to get a good job and to communicate with others.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Introduction

This chapter consists of background to the study, statement of problem, purpose of the study, research questions, scope of the study, significance of the study, theoretical framework, conceptual framework, definition of key terms, limitations and conclusion.

Background of the Study

The concept of motivation came forth around 1930 and the topic has long been discussed and studied in order to recognize the reason why people choose to do a particular action (Constanta & Madela, 2011).

For the past few decades, researchers have found how important motivation is in order to succeed in the acquisition of a second language (Gardner, 1985). In fact, researchers (Hussin, Maarof and D'Cruz, 2001; Ellis, 1985) discovered that factors such as age, aptitude, cognitive style, motivation, environmental support, involvement, goals and personality play major roles in the second language acquisition.

During the early years of psychology, motivational theories only revolve around extrinsic forms of motivation (Lepper, Sethi, Dialdin, & Drake, 1996). This can be seen in Pavlov's classical conditioning model and Skinner's operant conditioning model. Lepper et al.,(1996) noted the following:

…in the present context, both paradigms involved the study of the learning of essentially capricious relationships between arbitrarily selected responses of the organism, arbitrary environmental stimuli, and arbitrary external rewards and punishments. A person might, thus, be asked to press a button/move a lever/state a preference, in the presence of a bell/light/tone/colour, in order to obtain food/ money/social approval. Motivational theories of the time, in short, were focussed deliberately and almost exclusively on extrinsic forms of motivation.

However, due the limitations that these dominant models posited, theorists from different fields started to probe into the forms of motivation that did not fit the conventional extrinsic motivation model which arose and persisted in the absence of external rewards or punishments (Lepper et al., 1996) but come from the organism itself which was then identified by Bruner (1966) and Hunt (1965) as intrinsic motivation.

Apart from that, Ames (1992) mentioned that there have been many theoretical approaches applied in order to understand why individuals behave in a certain way in a particular situation and motivations are believed to exist as part of an individual's goal structures and they are said to guide a person on whether or not they should be involved in a given pursuit. Deci and Ryan (1985) posited a theory called self-determination theory to investigate the roles of such self-motivated behaviour in academic performance. According to the theory proposed, the self-determination continuum consists of behaviours which are either intrinsically motivated, extrinsically motivated or amotivated and this paper will focus on the extrinsic and intrinsic motivation and explore what motivates most undergraduates who are undertaking the English Language course. Cokley (2003) found that when self-determination theory is applied in academic motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic motivations are the two main types of motivated academic conduct.

Statement of the Problem

English is a widely used language in this multi-racial country (Ministry of Higher Education, n.d.). English is also a prominently growing as the world's lingua franca. According to Gill (2002), English is positioned as a second language in Malaysia. Therefore, it is taught as a second language in schools. Graddol (1997) has said that "within a decade or so, the number of people who speak English as a second language will exceed the number of native speakers". This shows how important it is to master the English language in order to cope with this fast moving world. This is supported by Aminuddin (2012) when he mentioned in his article that the ability to master English is an important criterion looked for by employers in Malaysia.

Seeing how important it is for graduates to be well-versed in English, there is a demand to conduct more research in this field especially researches that are related to the motivations of Malaysian undergraduates in acquiring English as a second language because by knowing what drives students to acquire a second language, educators and institutions will be able to know what to include when structuring a course or lesson plans in order to motivate the students.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this present study is to look at how the formulation of extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation in self-determination theory posited by Deci & Ryan (1985) might be used to determine the motivation mostly applied by the English Language in course students in a private university in Malaysia in acquiring English as their second language. This study also tries to see if there is any relationship between gender and motivation. The results from this study will be useful to increase the understanding of lecturers on what motivates the students to learn English and thus help them improve the current English course structure and lesson plans.

1.5 Research Questions

1.) Are the students more intrinsically motivated or are they more extrinsically motivated in acquiring English as their second language?

2.) To what extent, if any, do English Language male and female students in the university differ in their intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in acquiring English as a second language?

1.6 Scope of the Study

This study focuses on English Language students from a private university in Malaysia and their motivations in acquiring English as their second language. A total of 64 students were involved in answering the questionnaire for this study and 10 students were interviewed to cross-validate the results obtained from the questionnaire. The participants were from Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3 of the English Language course. The study took approximately a month.

Two hypotheses were formulated to be answered through the findings of this study:

The students from the English Language course are more intrinsically motivated than they are extrinsically in acquiring English as a second language.

There is a significant difference between male and female students in their extrinsic and intrinsic motivation to acquire English as a second language.

1.7 Significance of the Study

Motivation is an important element in learning a second language. According to Ebata (2008), motivation helps to "plant the seed of self-confidence" in students who are learning a language. Therefore, this study is important especially for lecturers and students who are involved with the teaching and learning of English as a second language. Learners of English as a second language will be able to understand better their own motivation for learning the language and so, make use of that motivation to improve on their English language skills.

Lecturers will be able to use the results as well as the findings of this research to make a change and hence, improve the teaching and learning experience because as mentioned before, motivation is one of the main factor which affects second language learning achievement.

Second language learning materials developer will also be able to benefit from this study because by concentrating more on the motivation and enjoyment in producing the second language learning materials and textbooks, they can help in moulding a more motivating learning settings (Guilloteaux & Dörnyei,2008).

1.8 Conceptual Framework

Figure I shows how the research is going to work. This research basically focuses on the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation among students in a private university in Malaysia. The study is conducted by adapting an instrument called Academic Motivation Scale (AMS) to test and find out the motivations which drive the English Language undergraduates to acquire English as their second language.

The instrument was developed by Vallerand, Pelletier, Blais, Brierre, Senecal, and Vallieres (1992) and it was the result of a panoptic study done in the realm of self-determination theory. The original AMS consists of 28 items which measures intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation. However, for this study, only intrinsic and extrinsic motivations were taken into consideration. Therefore, the four items related to amotivation were eliminated from the original study.

Responses collected throughout this study via interviews and surveys were collected and analyzed to answer both the research questions and to reach to a conclusion.

Findings and Conclusion

Self- Determination Theory Deci & Ryan (1985)

Deci & Ryan (1985)

Academic Motivation Scale

Vallerand et al. (1992)

Research Question 2: Are there any differences between the English Language students from Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3 in their motivation in learning English as the second language?

Research Question 1: Are the students more intrinsically motivated or are they more extrinsically motivated in acquiring English as their second language?

Deci & Ryan (1985)

Intrinsic Motivation

Deci & Ryan (1985)

Amotivation

Deci & Ryan (1985)

Extrinsic Motivation

Deci & Ryan (1985)

Intrinsic Motivation to know

Deci & Ryan (1985)

Extrinsic Motivation- external regulation

Deci & Ryan (1985)

Intrinsic Motivation toward accomplishments

Deci & Ryan (1985)

Extrinsic Motivation- introjected regulation

Deci & Ryan (1985)

Extrinsic Motivation- identificaton

Deci & Ryan (1985)

Intrinsic Motivation to experience stimulation

Deci & Ryan (1985)

Figure I. Conceptual framework of the research

1.9 Definition of Key Terms

Motivation

According to Melendy (2008) the word "motivation" comes from the Latin word "movere"which means "to move" and thus suggested that motivation is a process which begins from a need which then triggers a conduct that will move a person towards attaining a goal.

Intrinsic motivation

Intrinsic motivation refers to the motivation to be involved in a certain activity because it is something that is pleasurable and fulfilling to do (Noels, Pelletier, Clement, & Vallerand, 2000).

Extrinsic motivation

Extrinsic motivation behaviours are actions performed by individuals in order to obtain extrinsic reward such as good grades or teacher's approval or to avoid being punished (Dev, 1997, Lepper, 1988; Dörnyei, 1994; Noels et al., 2000).

Second language

A second language is any language which is acquired or learned after the first language or the mother tongue. (Unit 1: Fundamentals of Second Language Acquisition, n.d.)

Second language acquisition

The process of learning another language after the native language or the first language has been learned. By this term, it means both the acquisition of a second language in a classroom situation, as well as in more "natural" exposure situations (Gass & Selinker, 2008).

1.10 Limitations

A total number of 64 students from the English Language course in a private university were chosen randomly to perform test. This small sample size does not cover the entire population of the English Language students and therefore the result will not be able to accurately define the types of motivation that drive the English Language undergraduates in acquiring English as their second language.

The questionnaire used to collect data in this study which is adapted from Vallerand et al. (1992) and interviews with ten students were the only methods adapted to explore the motivations involved in second language acquisition among the English Language students. Therefore, both will not be able to cover all motivational variables.

The results from this study also might only be applicable to other second language learners who are within the similar age ranges.

1.11 Conclusion

Motivation is an important element in second language acquisition (Dörnyei, 1994; Gardner, 1985). Through the survey conducted on students who are pursuing their degree in English Language in a private university in Malaysia, this study seeks to explore the motivations that drive the students to acquire English as a second language. This is important as it will help students and educators in identifying the motivations involved in second language acquisition and thus manipulate that motivation in order to do better in acquiring English as the second language.

CHAPTER 2

LITERATURE REVIEW

Motivation is considered as one of the main determinants in learning a second language (Gardner, 1985; Gardner & Clément, 1990; Scarcella & Oxford, 1992; Dörnyei,1994). According to Melendy (2008) the word "motivation" comes from the Latin word "movere" which means "to move" and thus suggested that motivation is a process which begins from a need which then triggers a conduct that will move a person towards attaining a goal. MacIntyre, MacMaster and Baker (2001) indicated that motivation represents one of the most appealing and yet complicated variables employed to define the differences of language learning in individuals.

According to Dörnyei (1994), motivation refers to the effort and desire to acquire a language and the positive attitudes towards acquiring it. Dörnyei (2003) also added that a motivated person is persistent as well as attentive to the task at hand, has goals, desires and ambitions, takes pleasure in the activity and feels reinforced when he or she succeed and disappointed when fail. A motivated individual is also said to produce attributions regarding their success or failure, is energized and use a systematic plan of action to help him or herself in attaining the desired goals. Gardner (1996), however, believed that instead of being only internally driven, motivation should be seen as a crossbreed concept where an external force causes an internal tribute.

The relationship between an external force and internal tribute can be seen in the self-determination theory proposed by Deci and Ryan (1985). According to them, the theory is based on three rudimentary innate needs namely the need for autonomy or self-determination, need for competence and need for relatedness. Baard, Deci and Ryan (2004) suggests that the need for autonomy basically concerns about experiencing choice while the need for competence deal with the need to do well at an optimally difficult tasks and be able to achieve the desired results. The need for relatedness is the social need which concerns about building a sense of mutual respect and relatedness with others (Baard et al., 2004).

Deci, Vallerand, Pelletier, and Ryan (1991) suggest that self-determination motivation is pertained to many educational outcomes from early school years up to college years. Cokley (2003) mentions that when this self-determination is applied to motivation in the academic sense, intrinsic and extrinsic motivations are the two primary types of motivated academic behaviour. Vallerand (1997; Vallerand et al.,1989,1992) separated the two types of motivations into a few different categories.

The intrinsic motivation consists of three-part taxonomy namely the intrinsic motivation to know, intrinsic motivation toward accomplishments, intrinsic motivation to experience stimulations. Intrinsic motivation to know refers to the motivation to do something for the affective and emotional states associated with discovering new ideas and developing knowledge while intrinsic motivation toward accomplishments relates to the feelings linked to trying to master a certain task or in achieving a goal set. Last but not least, the intrinsic motivation to experience stimulations where the motivation is basically based on the sensations stirred by executing the task. Basically, these three categories of intrinsic motivation lay on the basis of the pleasurable sensations felt while performing the task or activity (Noels et al.,2000).

The extrinsic motivation has also been divided into three categories, namely the external regulation, introjected regulation and identified regulation or identification (Vallerand, 1997; Vallerand et al.,1989,1992). External regulation refers to activities that are determined by sources which are external to the person. The second type, which is the introjected motivation, pertains to activities which are done due to some pressure that the individual has integrated into herself or himself. The third type of the extrinsic motivation posited is the identified regulation which refers to individuals who do certain activities because of some personally driven reasons.

Intrinsic motivation in general refers to the motivation to be involved in a certain activity because it is something that is pleasurable and fulfilling to do (Noels et al, 2000). Deci and Ryan (1985) claims that intrinsic motivation is based on the inborn needs for competence, autonomy and relatedness. They believe that intrinsic motivation activities are activities in which learners get involved in for their own sake due to their value, interest and challenge. People will then build up a sense of competence in their abilities when they endeavour to meet the challenges. Dörnyei (2003) and Vallerand et al. (1992) elaborate further on this by saying that the intrinsically motivated behaviours are driven by pleasure and satisfaction which are gained by getting involved in activities.

According to Noels (2001), intrinsic motivation refers to the reasons for second language learning which are obtained from a person's inbuilt joy and interest in the activity as well as the spontaneous satisfaction that comes with it. When people are intrinsically motivated, they will get involved in activities or tasks that interest them willingly and they do not need material rewards or restraints. Therefore, it can be said that the more a person takes pleasure in learning his or her target language, the higher the chance that he or she will succeed in it and so, the better he or she will feel about the activity or task. This statement is supported by Deci and Ryan (1985) when they mentioned that if someone is intrinsically motivated in learning, the quality of the learning will improve and "…that those conditions that are autonomy supporting and informational will promote more effective learning as well as enhanced intrinsic motivation and self-esteem".

Ryan and Deci (2000a) define intrinsic motivation as the inherent inclination to look for novelty and challenges, to broaden and exercise one's capabilities as well as to explore and to learn. Ryan and Deci (2000b) posit that people are only intrinsically motivated when they are involved in activities which hold intrinsic interest to them as well as "activities which have the appeal of novelty, challenge or aesthetic value". An example of intrinsic motivation would be when a student enjoys himself or herself when he or she learns about new things. The student might do the given assignment because he or she finds it interesting and fulfilling to find out more about certain subjects.

Dev (1997) views that students with intrinsic motivation do not require any form of rewards or incentives in order to complete their task and are more likely to complete the selected task. They are also eager by the intriguing nature of a certain task. Thus, students who have intrinsic motivation tend to be more passionate and self-driven. They also have the tendency to make use of strategies that might require more effort which allow them to process the information more intensely (Hasan, Imran, Kashif, & Muhammad, 2010).

Koestner and McClelland (1990) claims that study on the intrinsic motivation shows that intrinsic motivation will be the greatest under conditions that can promote the growth of challenge, competence and self-determination. They added by saying that if an outside event heightens the feelings of competence; the individual's intrinsic motivation is most likely to improve. However, events that can lead to feelings of incompetence are more likely to weaken and lower intrinsic motivation.

Extrinsic motivation behaviours are actions performed by individuals in order to obtain extrinsic reward such as good grades or teacher's approval or to avoid being punished (Dev, 1997, Lepper, 1988; Dörnyei, 1994; Dev, 1997; Noels et al., 2000). Hoyenga and Hoyenga (1984) defined extrinsic motivation as motives that are outside of and separate from the behaviours that they cause. However, the motive for the behaviour is not inborn or necessary to the behaviour itself. Hoyenga and Hoyenga (1984) found that including extrinsic inducement to study or complete a certain task has been found to reduce intrinsic motivation. According to Schraw, Horn, Thorndike-Christ and Bruning (1995), extrinsically motivated students prove their competence and intrinsically motivated students improve their competence.

Researchers (Brown, 1994; Crooks & Schmidt, 1991; Dörnyei, 1994) have proposed that intrinsic and extrinsic motivation could be useful in understanding the motivation behind second language acquisition. In fact, some evidence gathered from research and observations have shown that the distinction between both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation can be used to foretell the outcome of the second language acquisition (Noels et.al, 2000).

In the field of education, it has been widely understood and accepted that intrinsic motivation will produce learners who put in more effort in learning and utilize a more adaptive learning behaviour (Lepper, Corpus & Iyengar,2005). However, Ryan and Deci (2000b) and Ryan, Kuhl and Deci (1997) argued that although intrinsic motivation is an important part of motivation, most of the activities that people engage in are not intrinsically motivated.

Motivation studies done in the Malaysian context propose that students in Malaysia are generally more motivated extrinsically than they are intrinsically (Ainol & Isarji, 2009; Samsiah, Kamaruzaman, Nurazila, Musdiana and Taniza, 2009).

A study done by Samsiah et al., (2009) on the motivation to acquire English as a second language among 620 UiTM students in the northern region of Malaysia, shows that the students are more extrinsically motivated than they are intrinsically. Ainol and Isarji (2009) conducted a survey to test the motivation to learn a foreign language in Malaysia. The survey was distributed to students from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) and the results obtained shows that the students in both universities are generally motivated intrinsically and extrinsically. However, the results of the t-test done indicate that there is a significant difference in the motivation of the students from both universities.

CHAPTER 3

METHODOLOGY

3.1 Introduction

This chapter consists of purpose and research questions, participants, instrumentations used to conduct the research, procedure, data analysis and conclusion.

3.2 Purpose and Research Questions

The purpose of this study is to identify whether it is extrinsic motivation or intrinsic motivation which drives the English Language students in a private university in Malaysia to acquire English as their second language. The results from this study will be useful to increase the lecturers' understanding on what motivates the students to learn English and thus help them improve the current English course structure and lesson plans.

Two research questions were developed in order to shape and direct this study. These questions seek to identify the motivations for acquiring English as a second language amongst the students and then distinguish the differences between the different years of study. The questions are:

Are the students more intrinsically motivated or are they more extrinsically motivated in acquiring English as their second language?

To what extent, if any, do English Language male and female students in the university differ in their intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in acquiring English as a second language?

3.3 Participants

The participants in this study consist of 64 students from a private university in Perak. The students chosen are those who are undergoing Bachelor's Degree Programme in English Language regardless of which year they are from because this study seeks to understand the motivation that drives the students from the course in learning English as a second language. They ranged in age from 19 to 25, with a mean age of 22 years. The sample is composed by 20 (31%) male students and 44 (69%) female students. 14 (22%) of the total respondents are Year 1 students, 22 (34%) participants are from Year 2 and 28 (44%) of them are made up of Year 3 students. They were chosen by using purposive sampling method because this study is focussing only on English Language students and so the samples selected are those who fit the criteria which are relevant to the research questions posed. In order to minimise unwanted variables, students who did not acquire English as their first language were chosen to participate in this study.

3.4 Instrumentations

The research instruments used in this research are in the form of questionnaire and interview. The first questionnaire (Part A) is used to understand the background of the participants. This part consists of three items namely age, gender and year of studies. This background information is collected to assist in the second research question which is needs information regarding the gender of the participants. Apart from that, the information regarding age and year of studies also important to make sure that the students from all three years of studies are involved in the survey conducted.

The second questionnaire (Part B), attempts to measure both Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivation of students (see questionnaire in Appendix A). A valid and reliable instrument, the Academic Motivation Scale (AMS) (Vallerand et al.,1992) that accurately examines motivation, was adapted to fulfil this task. This scale was chosen because it is "the most comprehensive measure of the Extrinsic/Intrinsic dichotomy" (Seyyed and Mohammad, 2008). According to Vallerand et al. (1992), the AMS presents "a reliable and valid scale in its own right".

The original questionnaire, "Construction et validation de I'echelle de motivation en education (EME)" by Vallerand, Blais, Brierre, and Pelletier, (1989) was in French and in 1992, Vallerand et al. translated it into English.

The Academic Motivation Scale consists of 28 items which was designed to assess amotivation, intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. The AMS has seven categories with three reflecting the intrinsic motivation which are intrinsic motivation to know, intrinsic motivation toward accomplishments and intrinsic motivation to experience stimulation; three reflecting extrinsic motivation namely the external regulation, introjected regulation and identified regulation and last but not least the amotivation (Vallerand et al., 1992). However, for the purpose of this study, the amotivation-related items were eliminated and thus, only 24 items were used to measure the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation among the English Language students. The items were randomly distributed throughout the questionnaire.

The survey done was based on a six-point Likert scale. A six- point scale was chosen "to spread responses and encourage mid-point decisions rather than neutral responses" (Recommendations Presented to the Faculty Senate,2002). For each item, respondents will rate themselves to which extent the proposed reasons applied to them on a scale of 1 to 6. The scale consists of the following response options:

6- Strongly agree

5- Agree

4- Slightly agree

3- Slightly disagree

2- Disagree

Strongly disagree

A high score would suggest that there is a high agreement between the purported reason and the student's motive for acquiring English as a second language. The structure of the questionnaire will be as such:

Intrinsic motivation to know - Items 2,8,14,20

Intrinsic motivation toward accomplishments - Items 5,11,17,23

Intrinsic motivation to experience stimulations - Items 4,10,16,22

Extrinsic motivation - external regulation - Items 1,7,13,19

Extrinsic motivation - introjected regulation - Items 6,12,18,24

Extrinsic motivation - identification - Items 3,9,15,21

Apart from the questionnaire, interviews were also conducted in order to further to understand the respondents' point of view regarding their motivation in acquiring English as a second language. A standardized open-ended interview method is used to ensure that all interviews are done in a consistent and thorough way. Listed here are the three standardized interview questions:

Is motivation an important factor in acquiring English as a second language? Why is that so?

Which type of motivation (extrinsic or intrinsic motivation) plays a bigger role in acquiring English as a second language?

What is your reason for acquiring English as a second language?

3.4.1 Pilot study.

The survey instrument was pilot tested in order to test whether the questionnaire prepared has an accurate assessment of the students' motivation. 10 students from the English Language course were randomly selected as the subjects.

The internal consistency reliability of the elements of motivation was evaluated by using Cronbach's alpha coefficient (see reliability test results in Appendix D). The reliability coefficient for the 24 items in the questionnaire was .930 which, according to George and Mallery (2003), is excellent. The internal consistency of intrinsic motivation questions was .864 and for the extrinsic motivation, the Cronbach's alphas were .944. Based on the results which show that all the values are above 0.7, the survey instrument can therefore be used for the formal survey of this study.

3.5 Procedure and Time Frame

The entire research took approximately one month. 64 respondents took part in the survey and from the 64 students who completed the survey, 10 (five males and five females) agreed to participate in follow-up interviews.

Before proceeding with the interviews, each interviewee was briefed on the objectives and the meaning of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. The interviews were recorded and transcribed. An analysis was done after all the data was collected and then the conclusion was derived from the analysis done. Due to the anonymity of the respondents, interview respondents were given a code name to identify who they were. A code name for female respondents would be "F" and followed a number to differentiate them. The same goes to the male respondents. However, the letter used to represent male respondents is "M". An example of the code name would be "F1" which means female respondent one.

The data gathered from the interviews are used to validate the quantitative results.

3.6 Data Analysis

The data collected were tabulated by using IBM SPSS Statistics 20 and Microsoft Excel. Descriptive analysis was done by using Microsoft Excel to find out the means and standard deviations of the items. Inferential statistical tests called the independent t-test by using SPSS were carried out to compare the means between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation and the significant difference between male and female respondents in their intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to acquire English as a second language.

However, before conducting the independent t-test for each case, an assessment of the normality for each data is required to determine the normality of each data gathered. Since the sample size is small, Shapiro-Wilk Test results computed by SPSS for each data were used to assess the normality via numerical means (see results of Shapiro-Wilk Test for each data are shown in Appendix B).

The interviews done were transcribed and analysed (see interview transcripts in Appendix C). The opinions given by the interviewees were cross-tabulated with the results from the questionnaire.

CHAPTER 4

FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS

Introduction

This chapter consists of the findings of this study and it is divided into four main parts. The first part, 4.2, provides information on the respondents' background which includes their age, year of studies as well as gender.

The second part of this chapter, 4.3, consists of data gathered from the questionnaire distributed to the students of English Language course which will help to answer the following research questions:

Are the students more intrinsically motivated or are they more extrinsically motivated in acquiring English as their second language?

To what extent, if any, do English Language male and female students in the university differ in their intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in acquiring English as a second language?

The last part of this chapter, 4.4, provides the findings from the interviews done with the students.

4.2 Respondents' Background Information

Table 4.1 provides the details of the respondents who were involved in answering the 24-item questionnaire in the survey conducted to explore the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation involved in the acquisition of English as a second language among English Language undergraduates in a private university in Malaysia. The details include gender, year of studies and age.

Table 4.1

Background information of 64 respondents

Sex

Total

Percentage (%)

Male

20

31

Female

44

69

Total

64

100

Year of Study

Year 1

14

22

Year 2

22

34

Year 3

28

44

Total

64

100

Age

19

1

1.6

20

10

15.6

21

16

25

22

15

23.4

23

10

15.6

24

8

12.5

25

4

6.3

Total

64

100

Based on Table 4.1, it can be seen that 69% out of the 64 samples were females and 31% were males. The respondents range between 19 to 25 years old. The most number of participants were 21 years old undergraduates. They constituted 25% of the whole population who took part in the survey. 22 years old students mapped 23.4% of the samples in the survey conducted and students with 23 and 24 of age represented 15.6% and 12.5% of the samples respectively. The youngest participant, who was 19 years old, forms 1.6% of the overall percentage of participants of the study and the oldest participants who were 25 years old, formed 6.3% of the overall respondents.

4.3 Respondents' Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation in Acquiring English as a Second Language

This section is aimed to present the data obtained from the survey done to study the respondents' types of motivation in acquiring English as a second language.

Table 4.2

Summary of respondents' mean score for extrinsic motivation in acquiring English as a second Language

Item

Mean

Standard Deviation

1

I learn English because if I don't, I will not be able to find a high-paying job later on

3.53

1.57

3

I learn English because I think that this will help me to better prepare for the career that I have chosen

4.66

1.31

6

I learn English to prove to myself that I am capable of doing it

4.48

1.33

7

I learn English in order to obtain a more prestigious job later on

4.16

1.26

9

I learn English because eventually it will enable me to enter the job market in a field that I like

4.53

1.41

12

I learn English because of the fact that when I succeed in doing so, I feel important

4.00

1.57

13

I learn English to have a good life later on

4.20

1.45

15

I learn English because this will help me in my career orientation

4.53

1.19

18

I learn English to prove to myself that I am an intelligent person

3.50

1.55

19

I learn English in order to have a better salary later on

3.92

1.47

21

I learn English because I believe that a few additional years of learning the language will improve my competence as a worker

4.22

1.35

24

I learn English because I want to show myself that I can succeed

4.06

1.55

***Key:

Items 1,7,13,19 - Extrinsic motivation-external regulation

Items 6,12,18,24 - Extrinsic motivation - introjected regulation

Items 3,9,15,21 - Extrinsic motivation - identification

Table 4.2 reports the mean scores of the 12 items related to extrinsic motivation in the questionnaire. The mean computed for Extrinsic Motivation of the 64 students is 4.15. Since the highest score within the Likert scale was set to six and the lowest was one, the result obtained shows that overall; the English Language undergraduates are quite extrinsically motivated.

The mean scores of four and above for items 3, 9, 15, and 21demonstrate the students' tendency to acquire English as a second language for the purpose of identification which is to accomplish a task or activity due to its importance for attaining a highly regarded goal (Noels et al., 2000). According to Vansteenkiste, Lens and Deci (2006), when individuals are aware of the personal relevance of an activity for themselves, they will be able to see the importance of it and out of their own free will, participate in the activities.

The high scores for the items 6, 12, and 24 which are related to introjected regulation suggest that the participants in this study are most likely to carry out a task due to the pressure that they have integrated within themselves (Noels et al.,2000). A student who works hard to practice how to speak a second language because he or she feels that it would be embarrassing not to be able to speak the language is an example of introjected regulation. However, based on the findings, item 18 which also reflects the introjected regulation shows the lowest mean. This indicates that generally the participants do not really agree with the statement which says that they study the language to prove to themselves that they are intelligent.

Two items out of the four items related to external regulation, item 1 and 19 show mean scores of below four. These scores imply that most of the participants' behaviour is not determined by rewards or profits. The standard deviation of the data is also relatively small. This shows that the quality of the data collected is good as it reflects that the data collected are agglomerated around the means of the data.

Table 4.3

Summary of respondents' mean score for intrinsic motivation in acquiring English as a second language

Item

Mean

Standard Deviation

2

I learn English because I experience pleasure and satisfaction while learning new things

4.67

1.11

4

I learn English for the intense feelings I experience when I am communicating my own ideas to others in the language

4.41

1.19

5

I learn English for the pleasure I experience while surpassing myself in my studies

4.27

1.21

8

I learn English for the pleasure I experience when I discover new things

4.48

1.21

10

I learn English for the pleasure that I experience when I learn about other cultures

4.39

1.23

11

I learn English for the pleasure that I experience when I am surpassing myself in one of my personal accomplishments

4.16

1.22

14

I learn English for the pleasure that I experience in broadening my knowledge

4.86

0.99

16

I learn English for the pleasure that I experience when I feel completely absorbed by another culture

4.17

1.43

17

I learn English for the satisfaction I feel when I am in the process of accomplishing difficult academic activities

4.02

1.40

20

I learn English because through this, I am able to continue to learn about many things that interest me

4.67

1.18

22

I learn English for the great feeling that I experience while reading various interesting books written in the language

4.88

1.11

23

I learn English because it allows me to experience a personal satisfaction in my quest for excellence in my studies

4.30

1.40

***Key:

Items 2,8,14,20 - Intrinsic motivation to know

Items 5,11,17,23 - Intrinsic motivation toward accomplishments

Items 4,10,16,22 - Intrinsic motivation to experience stimulations

Table 4.3 demonstrates the mean scores and standard deviation for intrinsic motivation. The mean for intrinsic motivation is 4.44 which signify that the respondents are quite intrinsically motivated as well in acquiring English as a second language. The figures in the table show that all the 12 items from the three-part classification of intrinsic motivation have mean scores which are higher that four.

The highest mean is 4.88 from item 22 which is the motivation to experience stimulations. This suggests that most respondents are motivated by sensations like joy and exhilaration that they feel when doing a certain task (Noels et al., 2000). The lowest mean among the intrinsic motivation items is 4.02 which fall under the intrinsic motivation toward accomplishments category. However, although 4.02 is the lowest mean in intrinsic motivation, the value shows that the participants are still quite intrinsically motivated. Standard deviation is used to see the dispersion of the data and based on the figures reported, it can be seen that the data points are closely clustered around the mean of the data points.

Table 4.4

Mean and Standard Deviation for Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation of Respondents in Acquiring English as a Second Language

Motivation

Mean

Standard Deviation

Extrinsic

4.1492

0.37607

Intrinsic

4.4400

0.27912

Table 4.4 presents the summary of descriptive statistics of the students' extrinsic and intrinsic motivation in acquiring English as a second language. The descriptive statistics explains the difference in the means of the scores and the standard deviation of extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation. Based on the means computed, the mean score for extrinsic motivation is 4.1492 whilst the mean score for intrinsic motivation is 4.44. Therefore, the conclusion made is that the students who are undertaking the English Language degree are more intrinsically motivated than extrinsically motivated in acquiring English as a second language.

Table 4.5

The Summary of the Independent T-Test of Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation among Respondents in Acquiring English as a Second Language

Levene's Test for Equality of Variances

t-test for Equality of Means

F

Sig.

t

df

Equal variances assumed

.654

.427

-2.151

22

Equal variances not assumed

-2.151

20.298

Inspection on the Shapiro-Wilk Test results (see results in Appendix B) reveals that the means for the data are normally distributed for both extrinsic and intrinsic groups and based on the results shown by Levene's Test for Equality of Variances, it shows that there is a homogeneity of variance because the sig. value is greater than 0.05. Therefore, an inferential statistical test, called the independent t-test was then run to see whether there is any significant difference between the means of the scores in the extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation and the results can be seen in Table 4.5. Based on the sig. (2-tailed) value obtained, conclusion that can be made is that there is a statistically significant difference in the scores for extrinsic (M=4.15, SD=0.38) and intrinsic motivation (M=4.44, SD=0.28); t (22) = -2.151, p = 0.043. This result suggests that the students of the English Language course are more intrinsically motivated than extrinsically motivated in acquiring English as a second d language.

Table 4.6

Summary of Respondents' Mean Scores for Extrinsic Motivation Regarding Gender

Item No.

Items

Female (n=44)

Male (n=20)

Mean

SD

Mean

1

I learn English because if I don't, I will not be able to find a high-paying job later on

3.41

1.61

3.80

3

I learn English because I think that this will help me to better prepare for the career that I have chosen

4.48

1.37

5.05

6

I learn English to prove to myself that I am capable of doing it

4.43

1.26

4.60

7

I learn English in order to obtain a more prestigious job later on

4.00

1.22

4.50

9

I learn English because eventually it will enable me to enter the job market in a field that I like

4.50

1.49

4.60

12

I learn English because of the fact that when I succeed in doing so, I feel important

3.93

1.48

4.15

13

I learn English to have a good life later on

4.11

1.50

4.40

15

I learn English because this will help me in my career orientation

4.48

1.13

4.65

18

I learn English to prove to myself that I am an intelligent person

3.45

1.58

3.60

19

I learn English in order to have a better salary later on

3.86

1.49

4.05

21

I learn English because I believe that a few additional years of learning the language will improve my competence as a worker

4.23

1.36

4.20

24

I learn English because I want to show myself that I can succeed

3.86

1.58

4.50

***Key:

Items 1,7,13,19 - Extrinsic motivation-external regulation

Items 6,12,18,24 - Extrinsic motivation - introjected regulation

Items 3,9,15,21 - Extrinsic motivation - identification

Table 4.7

Mean and Standard Deviation for Male and Female Respondents in Their Extrinsic Motivation to Acquire English as a Second Language

Extrinsic Motivation

Mean

Standard Deviation

Female

4.0617

0.11043

Male

4.3417

0.11577

Table 4.6 presents a summary of the mean scores of 20 male and 44 female participants for each of the items related to extrinsic motivation and from Table 4.7, the means for female and male participants are 4.06 and 4.34 respectively.. Based on the means computed, it can be concluded that the male respondents are more extrinsically motivated compared to female respondents.

Based on the results obtained from the Shapiro-Wilk Test (see results in Appendix B) on the data distribution and Levene's Test for equality of variance, the mean scores of the male and female respondents are revealed to be normally distributed and the variances in both samples are found to be equal. So, independent t-test was run to determine whether there is a statistically significant difference between the mean of scores shown in Table 4.7 for extrinsic motivation in female and male respondents and the results are shown in Table 4.8.

Table 4.8

The Summary of the Independent T-Test between Male and Female Respondents in their Extrinsic Motivation in Acquiring English as a Second Language

Levene's Test for Equality of Variances

t-test for Equality of Means

F

Sig.

t

df

Equal variances assumed

.008

.928

-1.750

22

Equal variances not assumed

-1.750

21.951

The sig. (2-tailed) figure which is greater than 0.05 in Table 4.8 suggests that there is no significant difference between the female (M=4.06, SD= 0.11) and male (M=4.34, SD= 0.12) in their extrinsic motivation. However, although there is no significant difference between male and female, there is still a difference in means as shown in Table 4.7 where female respondents are less extrinsically motivated compared to male respondents.

Table 4.9

Summary of Respondents' Mean Scores for Intrinsic Motivation Regarding Gender

Item No.

Items

Female (n=44)

Male (n=20)

Mean

SD

Mean

2

I learn English because I experience pleasure and satisfaction while learning new things

4.70

1.07

4.60

4

I learn English for the intense feelings I experience when I am communicating my own ideas to others in the language

4.36

1.16

4.50

5

I learn English for the pleasure I experience while surpassing myself in my studies

4.34

1.12

4.10

8

I learn English for the pleasure I experience when I discover new things

4.36

1.18

4.75

10

I learn English for the pleasure that I experience when I learn about other cultures

4.36

1.31

4.45

11

I learn English for the pleasure that I experience when I am surpassing myself in one of my personal accomplishments

4.09

1.25

4.30

14

I learn English for the pleasure that I experience in broadening my knowledge

4.86

0.98

4.85

16

I learn English for the pleasure that I experience when I feel completely absorbed by another culture

4.32

1.41

3.85

17

I learn English for the satisfaction I feel when I am in the process of accomplishing difficult academic activities

4.18

1.42

3.65

20

I learn English because through this, I am able to continue to learn about many things that interest me

4.64

1.26

4.75

22

I learn English for the great feeling that I experience while reading various interesting books written in the language

4.86

1.19

4.90

23

I learn English because it allows me to experience a personal satisfaction in my quest for excellence in my studies

4.34

1.36

4.20

***Key:

Items 2,8,14,20 - Intrinsic motivation to know

Items 5,11,17,23 - Intrinsic motivation toward accomplishments

Items 4,10,16,22 - Intrinsic motivation to experience stimulations

Table 4.10

Mean and Standard Deviation for Male and Female Respondents in Their Intrinsic Motivation to Acquire English as a Second Language

Extrinsic Motivation

Mean

Standard Deviation

Female

4.4508

0.25275

Male

4.4083

0.39934

Table 4.9 provides an overall view of the mean scores for each item associated with intrinsic motivation based on gender. The mean scores of 20 male respondents and 44 female respondents for the 12 extrinsic motivation items are then shown in Table 4.10 where female participants' mean score is higher than male participants' score. With female participants showing higher mean score, this shows that the female group is more intrinsically motivated compared to the male group. However, it should be noticed that the difference between the mean score of male and female participants is very close.

The Shapiro-Wilk Test reveals that the mean scores for both male and female respondents in their intrinsic motivation are normally distributed and the Levene's Test for equality of variance which is higher than 0.05 proves that both gender have about the same mean scores. Therefore, independent t-test was carried out to find out whether there is a significant difference in the means between the two groups in their motivation for acquiring English as a second language. Table 4.11 below provides a detailed result of the t-test conducted.

Table 4.11

The Summary of the Independent T-Test between Male and Female Respondents in their Intrinsic Motivation in Acquiring English as a Second Language

Levene's Test for Equality of Variances

t-test for Equality of Means

F

Sig.

t

df

Equal variances assumed

2.554

.124

.312

22

Equal variances not assumed

.312

18.594

The returned p-value, 0.758, reveals that there is no significant difference between the female (M= 4.45, SD= 0.25) and male groups (M= 4.41, SD= 0.40) and the small difference in means seen in Table 4.10 between the male group and the female group is most likely due to chance.

4.4 Participants' Responses through Interviews

This section shows the opinions given by participants regarding their intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in acquiring English as a second language. The opinions given are cross-validated with the results obtained from the questionnaire.

10 respondents were asked to answer four questions related to motivation in order to gather more information to support the data collected through questionnaire (see Appedix B for full transcriptions on the interviews).

Question 1: Is motivation an important factor in acquiring English as a second language? Why is that so?

9 out of 10 interviewees agree that motivation is indeed an important factor in acquiring English as a second language. Below are the direct quotes taken from two of the interviewees:

Yes, I think motivation is an important factor in acquiring English as a second language because motivation is the drive that can overcome the difficulties one would face when…learning English for example L1 influence and English itself is a…very special language…for example its grammar, inconsistencies in the tenses used (F2, 2012).

Yes, Motivation is important because is like some sort energy that pushes someone to do something. If there is no motivation, I don't think a person will learn English as a second language, they could have stick to their own comfortable language such as their mother tongue. (F4, 2012).

One of the participants did not think that motivation is important in acquiring English as a second language because he feels that it is something that a person has to do, with or without motivation. He said that:

…For me it is not necessary… to be motivated to learn English..I know English is really really important and…how to say…it's a must (to learn English) and so…motivation is not really the factor (M1, 2012).

Question 2: Which type of motivation (extrinsic or intrinsic motivation) plays a bigger role in acquiring English as a second language?

For this question, three female respondents think that intrinsic plays a bigger role in acquiring English as a second language and two female respondents feel that extrinsic motivation plays a bigger role. The respondents explained by saying:

…Both but intrinsic more than extrinsic because of grades and stuff…but…intrinsic is more important because if it doesn't come from inside you, you won't be able to do it…your heart is not there. ( F5, 2012 ).

The type of motivation that plays a bigger role…I think…intrinsic motivation would be the one because learner themselves will be self-motivated to study the language and they do not need to be pushed by others for example their teachers. They are very aware of their learning progress (F2, 2012).

Extrinsic factor, since most people are speaking in English, there is a need to learn English to communicate with other people (F3, 2012).

Extrinsic…last time my English is not that good, I failed my English but motivated by my teacher to learn English…I wanted to learn, but I don't really understand English at that time, I struggled till secondary school.. And gave up, but my teacher motivated me by saying "if you don't start learning now, when you go university, you will be laughed at, now…you are in a tuition center, you are only laughed at the tuition centre. As long you learn it, when you enter into the university, you will know more about English and people wouldn't laugh at you" (F4,2012).

On the other hand, for male respondents, two of them feel that intrinsic motivation is more important in acquiring English as a second language, another two respondents think that extrinsic plays a bigger role while one of the male respondents feel that it depends on the person's own will which can be grouped into intrinsic motivation. Some of the explanations given were:

Extrinsic because you are going into the working world and you need English to be able to compete with the other graduates (M3, 2012).

Intrinsic motivation because I think this is actually…is all about me. External factors like…let's say like… I don't know how these external factors can push me. All I know is that if I am internally driven…I can do it (M1, 2012).

Largely… it relies on the person's own will. So…he or she has to ask himself, if he really wants to master the second language (M5, 2012).

Based on the responses given through the interview for this question, general conclusion that can be made is that most of the respondents think that intrinsic motivation is more important than extrinsic motivation in acquiring English as a second language. This supports the findings in Chapter 4 which say that generally the English Language students are more intrinsically motivated than they are extrinsically.

Gender wise, male respondents seem to think that intrinsic motivation is more important in acquiring English as a second language as compared to female respondents. However, based on the data gathered from the questionnaire, the mean scores show that female respondents are more intrinsically motivated than male respondents but based on the t-test done on the samples to compare the means between both groups, it shows that there is actually no significant difference between both groups and the difference is most likely caused by chance. Conclusion can be made that the responses to this question are still supporting the results obtained from the survey done.

Question 3: What is your reason for acquiring English as a second language?

All the 10 respondents' reasons for acquiring English as a second language are basically based on extrinsic motivation. Generally they acquire English because they will get a reward for doing so and as a mean of communication. Some of the respondents' answers are:

….Because most Schools make it compulsory to take English Language and have to pass the paper, to go to the next level. All universities also require the students to have at least passed English or they wouldn't accept you in (F3,2012).

Reason is, English is important..Because it's an international language. AS we grow older and older, English is one of the main languages that are required for us to survive in the society (F4,2012).

…To get a higher salary…with English…I can go and work overseas where the exchange rate is higher (M3,2012).

Because it is a very very important language that you must acquire. Because everyone is using it…you'll be using it at work, and it is internationally used…therefore I say it is important for work…to communicate with other people (M1,2012).

Their answers for this question contradicts with the earlier findings in this study which show that in general the students are more intrinsically motivated than they are motivated in acquiring English as a second language.

CHAPTER 5

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION

5.1 Introduction

This chapter consists of the summary and discussion of findings, limitations, recommendations and conclusion of the study.

5.2 Summary and Discussion of Findings

This study was done in order to explore the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation of students in acquiring English as a second language. The participants involved are English Language students from a private university in Malaysia.

The result in this research have shown that generally the English Language students are intrinsically motivated (M=4.44) in acquiring English as a second language than they are extrinsically (M=4.15). Therefore, the result gathered shows that it is parallel with the hypothesis developed earlier which says that the students from the English Language course are more intrinsically motivated than they are extrinsically in acquiring English as a second language. This finding is supported by the responses gathered through the interview conducted with English Language students in the university. This result also confirms the findings recorded by Noorlinda, Zarlina, and Sheema (2012) who conducted a study on UiTM accounting students. They found that the students are more intrinsically than extrinsically motivated to acquire English language. Apart from that, this finding in this study is also consistent with the result obtained in other Malaysian context done by Ainol and Isarji (2009). They conducted a study on UiTM and UKM students to test their motivation in learning a foreign language in Malaysia.

Writing Services

Essay Writing
Service

Find out how the very best essay writing service can help you accomplish more and achieve higher marks today.

Assignment Writing Service

From complicated assignments to tricky tasks, our experts can tackle virtually any question thrown at them.

Dissertation Writing Service

A dissertation (also known as a thesis or research project) is probably the most important piece of work for any student! From full dissertations to individual chapters, we’re on hand to support you.

Coursework Writing Service

Our expert qualified writers can help you get your coursework right first time, every time.

Dissertation Proposal Service

The first step to completing a dissertation is to create a proposal that talks about what you wish to do. Our experts can design suitable methodologies - perfect to help you get started with a dissertation.

Report Writing
Service

Reports for any audience. Perfectly structured, professionally written, and tailored to suit your exact requirements.

Essay Skeleton Answer Service

If you’re just looking for some help to get started on an essay, our outline service provides you with a perfect essay plan.

Marking & Proofreading Service

Not sure if your work is hitting the mark? Struggling to get feedback from your lecturer? Our premium marking service was created just for you - get the feedback you deserve now.

Exam Revision
Service

Exams can be one of the most stressful experiences you’ll ever have! Revision is key, and we’re here to help. With custom created revision notes and exam answers, you’ll never feel underprepared again.