A Case Study of the Perceptions and Reactions of Spanish-Speaking Students to Motivators and Demotivators in the English Language Classroom.
Using a qualitative approach, this study explored and analyzed the experiences of Spanish-speaking students who took English language (EL) classes in grades K-12 as well as the experiences of teachers licensed in EL who teach in public schools in Indiana. Data were collected by conducting individual interviews with four EL teachers and one focus group session with three Spanish-speaking Hispanic students who were English Learners (ELs) for at least four months in Indiana public schools. Analysis demonstrates how motivation is fostered among teachers and students with six emergent themes between the two groups of participants: language learning environment; student-teacher relationship; choice of task or reading material; use of technology; peer scaffolding; and difficulty of the task. Although the emergent themes were present in both sets of data, there were some similarities and dissimilarities in the perception of these themes. While the teachers believed that all six emergent themes played an important role in fostering and promoting motivation in the EL classroom, the students only acknowledged the use of technology, the difficulty of the task, and peer scaffolding as motivators. The interviewed students did not consider the language-learning environment or the student-teacher relationship to be motivators; and the option to choose a task or reading material was not part of their K-12 experience.
Keywords: Spanish speakers, motivation, demotivation, English language
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