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33 Seiten, Note: 1.3
2 Modern communicative language teaching (CLT)
2.1 Theoretical context
2.2 Current Paradigms
3.2 Motivation in foreign language learning
3.2.1 Self-Determination Theory: Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation
3.3 Teacher and learner motivation
3.4 Motivational strategies in the foreign language classroom
4 Task-based language teaching (TBLT)
4.1 Defining a task
4.2 Task types
4.3 Teacher and learner roles in TBLT
4.4 The TBL framework by Jane Willis
5 The impact of TBLT on student’s motivation
Generating motivation in the EFL classroom can be demanding for instructors as well as students. The worst scenario might be the experience of an unspectacular lesson one has to endure simply because it is compulsory. It goes further by having to cope with anxieties while using the target language due to the lack of a pleasant and comfortable atmosphere which drastically impedes the language learning process. Therefore, it is crucial to find a method capable of motivating learners and providing a suitable environment to make foreign language learning successful; one in which tasks are introduced that imply real and authentic language use and at the same time awake learners’ interest in the subject.
Task-Based Language Teaching is considered an approach that converts real-world situations into tasks which can be implemented in the EFL classroom. These tasks can activate learners’ creativity by engaging them in situations where they work in pairs or groups and make use of spontaneous language. Hence, the setting created by TBLT can serve as a fundamental basis for a motivational EFL classroom.
Thus, this thesis aims to examine the intrinsically motivating aspects of task-based language teaching (TBLT) in the EFL classroom. It will be started with communicative language teaching (CLT) as a precursor to TBLT. The theoretical context will be discussed with particular reference to Stephen Krashens’ Affective Filter Hypothesis as it has influenced research on motivation in foreign language learning as well as TBLT. After that, the current paradigms of CLT will be presented, focusing on its changes compared to former language teaching methods.
Moreover, the terminology of motivation will be addressed by first providing a clear definition and then going on to discuss motivation in foreign language teaching. Although there are countless theories in this particular field, the most important theory for the course of this thesis is the Self-Determination Theory by Ryan and Deci as it first introduced the concepts of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Besides, the teacher and learner roles will be discussed to see how they affect each other’s motivation. Furthermore, Dörnyei’s motivational strategies for the foreign language classroom will be outlined to show how student motivation can be initiated and maintained.
The next chapter introduces the task-based language teaching approach thoroughly explaining the concept of a task in order to grasp its main ideas and differences compared to an exercise. Then the various task types and the role of teacher and learner will be explored to see how they operate in the EFL classroom. Thereafter, Jane Willis’ TBL framework will be presented by discussing the aim of each stage in detail.
Lastly, a sample lesson designed by Jane Willis will be presented to demonstrate the implementation of TBLT and to scrutinize its impact on student motivation. Therefore, the previously mentioned aspects of motivation will be taken up to examine how they are integrated in TBLT focusing especially on intrinsically motivating factors.
The emergence of communicative language teaching (CLT) in the 1970s and 1980s is regarded as a reaction to the previous language teaching methods such as the traditional grammar-translation method and audiolingual method. The main idea that distinguishes CLT from the traditional methods is the view of language as a “[…] tool for communication rather than as a set of phonological, grammatical and lexical items […]” (Nunan 2014: 7). In other words, it is not just about the ability to produce grammatically correct sentences. But more importantly, it elaborates how a language is used to communicate in a meaningful way. Thus, real-world communicative competence is the goal (Surkamp/ Viebrock 2018: 196). To achieve this, it is crucial to employ real authentic communicative activities so that learners have the opportunity to use their knowledge to communicate in the target language (Harmer 2007: 50). Providing learners with this opportunity allows them to acquire the target language rather than actively learning vocabulary or grammar (Richards/ Rodgers, 2001: 161).
This idea of separating acquisition and learning has also been shared by second language acquisition researchers, most notably linguist Stephen Krashen, who presented a theory encompassing five hypotheses which had a major impact on CLT. The main hypothesis was the Acquisition-Learning Hypothesis which established the distinction between acquisition and learning (Ellis, 2018: 6). It emphasised that a language is not truly learnt until it is acquired so the right amount of language exposure must be provided for students to receive sufficient comprehensible input (Harmer 2007: 47). This leads to another important hypothesis, namely the Input Hypothesis, which characterises comprehensible input as the main element for language acquisition and states that if the input is understood, the required grammar of the language is also provided and thus no longer needs to be taught (Ellis 2018: 7). However, for successful language acquisition, a comfortable and anxiety-free atmosphere must be guaranteed, which is the subject of Krashen’s Affective Filter Hypothesis and considers the following key factors: “motivation, attitude, self-confidence, and anxiety” (Gass/ Selinker 2008: 402). If students are not motivated enough, suffer from a lack of self-confidence, have anxieties, and a negative attitude towards the target language, the affective filter may prevent the input from passing through the language acquisition device (LAD) and a mental block will be established. Thus, acquisition cannot occur (Gass/Selinker 2008: 402). Therefore, students’ interest in the target language and more language practice must be provided to boost their motivation (Du 2009: 164).
CLT caused a major paradigm shift in language teaching and serves as the core for the approaches which emerged afterwards . One major change drawing the most attention is the shift from teacher-centred to learner-centred instruction. As pointed out previously, communication comes first in CLT, followed by the goal of acquiring communicative competence. Therefore, learners are the ones who are asked to actively participate in class to engage in interactive conversations with their peers. It is their needs and their interests that are paramount (Surkamp/ Viebrock 2018: 199).
Constantly interrupting students can disrupt the communication flow. As such, one should look forward to meaning-focused instruction rather than focusing on form (Richards/ Rodgers 2001: 156). Richards and Rodgers also point out that according to CLT, a language is best learnt when:
- Activities are introduced that involve real communication (a reference to the real-world situation) (Richards/ Rodgers, 2001: 161)
- Activities are introduced where the language is used to carry out meaningful tasks (ibid.)
- Language is used that is meaningful for the learners (ibid.)
Consequently, learning activities are selected based on how successfully learners are engaged in meaningful and authentic conversations (Richards/ Rodgers 2001: 161). An example for such a communicative activity is for instance to talk about the weekend for 5 minutes. So, a real-world context is needed that covers a social dimension in which experiences are shared among peers (Surkamp/ Viebrock 2018: 197).
Other than that, the correlation between output and interaction is an issue which cannot be left out when talking about language learning. Learners must have the opportunity to experiment with the language to see how it works in practice. Corrective feedback is also essential in order for learners to become aware of their mistakes and improve their language skills (Surkamp/ Viebrock 2018: 198). This is why comprehensible input and producing and experimenting with language is so important and needs to be included in the lesson. For instance, face-to-face activities can motivate students to interact with others in the foreign language and produce meaningful communication (Surkamp/ Viebrock 2018: 198).
Since this approach is learner-centred, it also focuses on how each student learns differently as their interests and abilities may diverge. Therefore, it is crucial to view a class as a heterogeneous group, and that only “differentiated and individualised learning provides strategies to cope with heterogeneous groups of learners” (Surkamp/ Viebrock 2018:199). In other words, students should be given more choices when it comes to tasks, topics, materials social forms, or learning strategies (ibid.).
As learners are placed in the role of an active participant, they can make their own decisions in their learning process and so have the choice to observe, plan and determine their learning. This can be called the shift to autonomous, self-directed learning (Sarter 2006: 51).
The last point to be mentioned is the promotion of holistic learning, which includes all aspects of the learners such as the cognitive but also the “sensory, emotional and affective aspects” in the learning process (Surkamp/ Viebrock 2018: 201). As students and their learning styles differ, activities need to be offered in different ways according to the different senses. For instance, by showing pictures, integrating physical activities, or audio and visual material.
Foreign language education has made a crucial shift from teacher-centred to learner-centred language teaching in the last fifty years, focusing primarily on learners’ interests, needs, and desires (Ryan, 2018: 55 edited by Burns/ Richards). Therefore, it became vital to concentrate on the aspects that would motivate them to learn a foreign language successfully (ibid.). Frankly speaking, the widely used but quite complex term ‘ motivation’ and its core ideas need to be explained.
In general, being motivated simply means “to be moved to do something” (Ryan /Deci, 2000: 54). A person who feels no enthusiasm or excitement for something is considered unmotivated, while in contrast, a person who is animated and feels stimulated to do something is motivated.
The actual meaning of the term is understood by asking why someone is doing something. In other words, “[…] motivation attempts to explain the almost countless factors that influence human behaviour” (Ryan 2018: 55 edited by Burns/ Richards).
Gardner, known as a specialist in the field of motivation through his work with Lambert in 1972, explains the term ‘motivation’ as follows:
Motivation involves four aspects, a goal, effortful behaviour, a desire to attain the goal and favourable attitudes toward the activity in question (Gardner, 1985: 50, cited by Gass/ Selinker, 2008: 426).
Speaking about effort, several factors must be considered, such as a strong desire to achieve a goal or to satisfy a person, i.e., receiving recognition from a teacher or a parent (Gass/ Selinker, 2008: 426).
Dörnyei is emphatic that no definition would correspond to any other. In this case, he indicates that even its function as a concept has been questioned by researchers as it has too many meanings to serve as a concept (2001: 7). Moreover, he asserts the only things all researchers would agree on are, first, “the choice of a particular action” (Dörnyei 2001: 8) one makes, followed by “the persistence with it” (ibid.) and last “the effort expended on it” (ibid.). Stated differently, to understand the idea of motivation one must address the questions of “why people decide to do something, how long they are willing to sustain the activity [and] how hard they are going to pursue it.” (Dörnyei 2001: 8). Accordingly, Dörnyei himself along with Ottó presents his definition of motivation:
In a general sense, motivation can be defined as the dynamically changing cumulative arousal in a person that initiates, directs, coordinates, amplifies, terminates, and evaluates the cognitive and motor processes whereby initial wishes and desires are selected, prioritised, operationalised and (successfully or unsuccessfully) acted out (Dörnyei and Ottó 1998: 65 cited by Dörnyei 2001: 9).
Summarizing the main ideas, motivation is always about a goal or desire that drives someone to do something, followed by the effort made to achieve the goal, and finally the persistence on the goal until it is achieved.
One of the leading theories of motivation in foreign language teaching is the so-called Self-Determination Theory of the psychologists Richard Ryan and Edward Deci. It is known for emphasising the distinction between “intrinsic” and “extrinsic” motivation (Biel 2007: 16) and for promoting learner autonomy. This is significant because if learners take control of their learning, they may discover that their “[…] learning success and failures are to be attributed to their efforts and strategies rather than to factors outside their control” (Dickinson, cited by Dörnyei 2001: 59). Cognitive motivation studies have proven, that the feeling of being able to control everything and being effective enhances intrinsic motivation, satisfaction, and pleasure in the activity (Dörnyei 2001: 59, Biel 2007: 16).
Not only does autonomy increase intrinsic motivation and satisfaction, but it also promotes “curiosity, and the desire for challenge” (Ryan/Deci 2000: 59). Whereas overly controlling teachers or parents can cause learners to be less proactive and learn poorly particularly when “[…] learning is complex or requires conceptual, creative processing” (Benware & Deci, 1984; Grolnick & Ryan, 1987 cited by Ryan/Deci 2000: 59).
The concepts of “intrinsic” and “extrinsic” motivation are not concerned with the amount of motivation a learner has, but rather about determining which factors influence learners’ motivation. In other words, not only the quantity but also the different types of motivation take an essential role in explaining why an action is performed (Ryan/ Deci 2000: 54). For instance, a learner may be motivated to complete a task either because the topic is interesting and amusing, or simply wants to receive praise by his/her teachers or parents for completing the task. Another reason could be that a learner either understands the importance and benefits of learning a skill, or simply wants to get a good grade (Ryan/ Deci 2000: 55).
Thus, Intrinsic motivation refers to an action that is done because it is “inherently interesting” (Ryan/ Deci 2000: 55) and produces enjoyment and satisfaction (Sansone/ Harackiewicz 2000: 2). In comparison, extrinsic motivation is about doing something because of a “separable outcome” (Ryan/ Deci 2000: 55) such as an extrinsic reward for accomplishing an activity or to avoid punishment (Sansone/ Harackiewicz 2000: 2).
Intrinsically motivated activities contain the reward within the activity compared to extrinsically motivated ones. The activity itself is the reward and likewise the outcome learners want to achieve (Ryan/Deci 2000: 57).
The importance of promoting intrinsic motivation rather than extrinsic motivation has been proven by extensive research that began in the 1970s. For example, Lepper, Greene, and Nisbett found out in 1973 how some children in nursery schools lost the joy of spontaneously drawing pictures in their free time when they recognised that their pictures were not rewarded like others (Sansone/ Harackiewicz 2000: 2). Instead, the reward was prioritised and became the goal for painting a picture rather than doing it as a pleasure-giving leisure activity. This phenomenon is also referred to as “overjustification effect” and occurs when individuals have both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for performing an activity and as a result, ascribe their behaviour towards the extrinsic reward. Hence, intrinsic motivation declines even when the extrinsic reward is no longer present (Sansone/ Harackiewicz 2000: 2). As a result, the creativity and quality of a person’s performance and their subsequent motivation can be seriously damaged (Sansone/ Harackiewicz 2000: 3).
Douglas Brown was one of the primary proponents of intrinsic motivation who also emphasised its relevance for foreign language learners in the classroom. He highly criticised schools for fostering extrinsic motivation by rewarding learners or expecting them to please teachers than truly awakening their interest and creativity in the subject. Intrinsically oriented schools can guarantee a more pleasant and positive environment for the learners leading to “[…] an appreciation of love, intimacy, and respect for the wisdom of age.” (Brown: 1994: 39-41, cited by Dörnyei 2001: 59).
In sum, intrinsic motivation is what promotes learners’ inherent interests while the task itself is what motivates them. Extrinsic motivation, on the other hand, is driven not only by external rewards such as good grades or praise from authorities, but also by the avoidance of punishment.
Keeping learner’s motivation uplifted in the foreign language classroom is challenging for teachers. Once their interest is attracted, it will be hard to maintain it. It goes further by creating a pleasant and supportive environment, where students do not suffer from anxieties and feel free to commit mistakes when using the target language. The teacher’s degree of enthusiasm and engagement also plays a part in whether a student is motivated to learn or not (Dörnyei 2001: 156). Consequently, if the teacher is not motivated enough, the student subsequently cannot be expected to be motivated as well. Teachers are asked to manage every step in the best way and therefore it is not uncommon that they are sometimes put under considerable pressure.
Instead of going through the dry syllabus and expecting students to understand everything, the key to keep motivation high is simply to look at the learners and treat them as “individuals whose ideas, opinions, and personal interests are worthy of [teachers] respect.” (Allen 1974: 2 edited by Grittner). So, whenever motivation is discussed, the student must be regarded as someone who is “reacting to his classmates, teachers, and environment.” (ibid.).
Not to mention, learners enjoy activities which provide them pleasure, while other activities are avoided as they can produce anxieties and pressure (ibid.). Hence, students who believe in a successful foreign language classroom and its impact in their lives will prosper (Allen 1974: 2 – 3 edited by Grittner).
Regarding teacher’s motivation, Dörnyei already stated that their motivation is the key for learner’s motivation (2001: 156). Therefore, a glance at the motives teachers had before they chose their profession can be helpful. The most occurring reasons were all intrinsically motivated, meaning their goal was for instance to bring learners intellectually and emotionally further. In doing so, they not only provide learners success but also gratify their own psychological needs and grow as a person (Deci et al 1997: 57 cited by Dörnyei 2001: 158). In addition, the psychologists Deci and Ryan (1985) present three fundamental basic human needs that are linked to the intrinsically motivated behaviours of teachers:
- "Autonomy", which means being the reason for someone’s behaviour (Dörnyei 2001: 159)
- "Relatedness", which is the feeling of a close interpersonal relationship with other individuals (ibid.)
- "Competence", which describes the feeling of being effectual and the feeling of achievement (ibid.)
There is no doubt that intrinsic rewards are the clue for successful teaching and at the same time, work as the primary element for teacher motivation. The question still remains on how to increase intrinsic motivation in the classroom.
Students often want to see fast results and feel instant satisfaction. Thus, it is in their interest to be able to communicate in the target language no matter how much language competency they achieved (Allen 1974: 4 edited by Grittner). Accordingly, students should be engaged in real communication and try to achieve goals that are clear and realistic because otherwise, they can get frustrated. As a consequence, their motivation to learn the target language decreases rapidly (Allen 1974: 7-9 edited by Grittner). Furthermore, students are expected to be the ones who speak most of the time in the classroom rather than the teacher (Allen 1974: 7 edited by Grittner). Therefore, students should be considered as active participants in the classroom and not as passive recipients.
Bachelorarbeit, 41 Seiten
Bachelorarbeit, 41 Seiten
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