Fomenting Intrinsic Motivation in a Costa Rican EFL Setting

In an EFL setting, motivation plays a pivotal role in the development and acquisition of the language, especially when learning a foreign language is a mandatory requirement of a postsecondary education program. The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential variables and test recognized...

Full description

Main Authors: Chinambu, Mauli, Jiménez Murillo, Mónica
Format: Artículo
Language: Inglés
Published: Escuela de Lenguas Modernas, Universidad de Costa Rica 2014
Subjects:
Online Access: http://revistas.ucr.ac.cr/index.php/rlm/article/view/17413
http://hdl.handle.net/10669/23480
Summary: In an EFL setting, motivation plays a pivotal role in the development and acquisition of the language, especially when learning a foreign language is a mandatory requirement of a postsecondary education program. The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential variables and test recognized strategies that influence student intrinsic motivation and consequently, their performance. By exploring this topic, we can discover ways to promote motivation within an EFL environment, where there is little exposure to the target language. Our sample consisted of 17 Costa Rican students and one Swiss instructor at a community college in Heredia, Costa Rica. Through a mixed methods approach, we implemented several motivation strategies into five detailed lesson plans. Motivation, target-culture interest and awareness, as well as instructor performance were assessed through classroom observations and survey questionnaires. Results show that students’ desire to become bilingual but do not demonstrate motivation within the classroom and are disengaged from the target culture. Furthermore, the results suggest that although the implemented strategies are useful in motivating students, the competence and attitude of the English instructor have an even stronger impact on student behavior and can promote or demote student motivation.