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Critical Review of Children’s Foreign Language Learning Motivation

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Nikolov, Marianne. ‘Why do you learn English’ ‘Because the teacher is very short.’ A Study of Hungarian Children’s Language Learning Motivation. Janus Pannonious University: Language Teaching Research 3.1 (1999); pp. 33-36

Fera Komalasari. VA. E1D010002. English Department. Morning Reguler. 2012. FKIP. Mataram University

I SUMMARY

This article consist of attitudes and motivation of Hungarian children between the ages of 6-14: Why they think they study a foreign language? What factors motivate them to do so, in what ways and to what extent?  The purpose of Pecs project was to develop and pilot materials, task and teaching techniques for children between 6-14 where the teacher, syllabus designer, researcher was the author it self.

The study began in 1977 where it was followed by three groups of students over the first eight years of schooling. Participants come from disadvantages families (in second group), middle class families where parents wanted their children to study English (in third group).

The questionnaire for instrument was open questions in Hungarian. It consists of six questions. One of them is why do you learn English? That question can be grouped into for broad types: the classroom experience; the teacher; external reasons; and utilitarian reasons.

‘Beacause it is so good (fun)’, ‘so interesting ’, ’because we just play’, ‘Because I like it’, ‘Because it is easy’, ‘Because it is easy to get a reward’, ‘I am good at it’. Those are the answer for classroom experiences.

The answer relating to the teacher: ‘Because the teacher is nice and kind’, ‘Because the teacher has long hair’, ‘because the teacher is short’, ‘Because the teacher loves me’.

The result is ‘The teacher is less frequently mentioned’ where the classroom-related answers are frequent.

In conclusion the most important motivating factors for children between 6-14 years of age, they have positive attitudes towards the learning context and the teacher; intrinsically motivating activities, task and materials; and they were more motivated by classroom practice than integrative or instrumental reasons. The implication for the teacher and syllabus designer are children are motivated in FLL if they find classroom activities, task and materials interesting and the teacher supportive. Children will choose to pay attention to, engage and persist in learning task only if they find them worth in trouble.

II REVIEW

This review aims to show the teacher roles in classroom activities are very wide to influence student of EFL in classroom learning motivation. The teachers as the actor to manage the class activities, to modeling the first utterance, to what the students are like.

Most teachers used practices that encouraged students to take responsibility for their own learning rather than being over dependent on the teacher to supply solutions and procedures. For example, Leng encouraged children ‘to ask someone else’ if they had difficulties with the class work. Obviously the teachers saw the development of learner autonomy and self management skills as key elements in the process by which students learned a second language. Understandably the teachers of children were more explicit in modeling and explicitly explaining strategies for independent learning. (Bernand Hird 2000).

Obviously, time was a very important element: the teachers decided when to start and when to stop a certain activity (Jingzi Huang 2003). What is the weakness of the article is that the writer doesn’t explain the time for teaching in the class room. How do we know the time and what for the teacher use the time it self. She doesn’t explain what happen in the classroom the fact that she says her teaching is successful to motivate the student.

Here, what is Nikolov show about teacher role in playing an important part of student motivation is arguable. She states that ‘The Pecs study did not follow the research tradition on attitudes and motivation outlined in the first part of this article for various reasons, and the weakness of the inquiry are foreshadowed by this fact. It was the author very first teaching experience after graduation from collage she was not familiar with theoretical background or the questionnaires used in other studies as books and article published abroad were neither included in the syllabus of teacher training programmes nor available in libraries(p. 39).

With consciousness she know what is the weakness of her finding research. But what we notice here is she did the research in long-term.

Throughout the years of FLL, achievements represented by good grades, rewards and language knowledge all serve as motivating forces: children feel successful and this feeling generates the need for further success. They are motivated to participate actively and enjoy classroom activities, for they are aware of the availability of success. They trust their own ability and consider task as challenges (p. 46)

III CONCLUSION

In conclusion, the role of the teacher in playing teaching-learning activities of EFL class is very important to the success of the learning. The teacher plays the major game to the motivation of the students. The teacher can as an artist for the student which they like and motivate them to like the subject matter.

IV REFERENCESS

  1. Hird, and Anne Thwaite. Teaching English as a Second Language to Children and Adults: Variations in Practices. Bernard Edith Cowan University, Michael Breen University of Stirling, Marion Milton and Rhonda Oliver Edith Cowan University (2000)
  2. Huang, Jingzi. Activities as a Vechicle for Linguistic and Socio cultural Knowledge at Elementary Level. Monmouth University, New Jersey, USA.2003.

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