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24 November, 2021 06:02:40 PM
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Motivation, the driving force of foreign language learning

Certainly, foreign language learning can be smoother when an individual is strict to fill up his/her purposes. Language specialists claim that the particular desires of someone help them achieve the learning outcomes of a foreign language.
Alaul Alam
Motivation, the driving force of foreign language learning

Motivation has been a well-established concept in foreign language learning which refers to the desire to perform a particular activity. It is closely related to foreign language learning. Studies have revealed that motivated learners hardly face any obstacle in regard to maximizing their leaning outcomes of a foreign language. According to Gardner and Lambert, motivation can serve short and long term benefits of the learners. When a learner is instrumentally motivated, he/she expects short term benefits such as good grades, rewards, and jobs but when somebody is motivated intrinsically, their desires are influenced by internal passions that help them flourish language skills more significantly.

In the global world foreign language learning has been one of the most pertinent issues in terms of reaching a wide range of opportunities. The multilingual nations usually see more scopes to flourish their economy, finance, trade, immigration and communication across the world. People in these days are prioritizing on learning the dominating foreign languages. It is evident that learning foreign languages adds extra advantages for the learners in their life.

In our education system English as a foreign language is taught from class one to tertiary level. Apart from English, some potential languages are taught at different language institutes in the country. The youths in our country are learning Arabic, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, French and some other languages to find employment scopes home and abroad. Students who go to overseas to pursue higher study have to take a course on culture and language in the migrated country.

It is noticeable that behind learning a foreign language there may be some specific purposes. Certainly, foreign language learning can be smoother when an individual is strict to fill up his/her purposes. Language specialists claim that the particular desires of someone help them achieve the learning outcomes of a foreign language. Besides, if somebody has a strong desire, they can pick up the most complex language in the world easily. On the other hand, without any goal, incentive or motivation it can be tough for anyone to pick up the simplest language in the world.

However, it is very unfortunate to see that though English is introduced considering the most important foreign language in our country, the learning outcomes are not yet to be desirable. Students learn this language as a compulsory academic subject for almost 12 to 14 years but in most cases they struggle to use this language in their real life context. Studies have revealed that students do not concentrate on communicative competence, rather in most cases they memorize selected answers provided by their teachers or from their guide-books to secure good grades in examinations.

But, do our teachers make the students motivated to learn English? Do they have any training on motivation to make the demotivated learners encouraged? The answers of the questions will be somehow negative. In most cases teachers concentrate on completing the syllabus assigned for the course and hardly observe whether students are motivated or demotivated to learn the language. It is observed that some students in a class are strongly motivated and enjoy long-term benefits of language learning. Obviously, classroom-centered English education hardly has the pragmatic use outside of the class, and students emphasize more on achieving good grades than enhancing English skills.

It is evident that motivational spirit never falls upon the learners automatically. The responsibility of the teachers is enormous to help the learners become motivated in foreign language learning. First, teachers should inspire the learners to set their goals. Second, content memorization culture should be discouraged but task- oriented learning should be highly encouraged. Third, it is imperative to ensure student-centric classroom where teachers are supposed to play the role of the facilitators. Fourth, the integration of culture and language should be presented. Fifth, it is important for a teacher to divide the task among the students based on their level and performance. Finally, adequate technological tools have to be ensured in the class to make the learners motivated to foreign language learning. If things are done in the organized way, the essence of motivation will ultimately be nourished amid the learners that will contribute to maximizing foreign language learning.

The writer teaches at Prime University. He is also a research scholar at the IBS. Email: [email protected].

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Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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