Student Motivation: A Comparison and Investigation of ESL and EFL Environments

Ashley Renee Dimitroff, Andrea Jo Dimitroff, Rebekah Alhashimi


Student motivation is a multifaceted topic that English Language Teachers continually discuss and investigate. Differences of the learning environment and whether the student is in the ESL or EFL context are of special interest in the present paper. This paper presents the findings of a survey related to the topic of motivation that was given to students in both the ESL (English as a Second Language) and EFL (English as a Foreign Language) contexts. Findings include observations about student motivation in each context, glimpses of classroom occurrences in each context as well as student and teacher reflections from each context. Motivation in the ESL and EFL contexts is also discussed and different factors of student motivation are considered. Implications for teaching that can be drawn out of this study are related to the student and teacher roles in the classroom, instructional design, and attention to intercultural communication

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