Motivational Strategies: The Perceptions of EFL Teachers and Students in the Saudi Higher Education Context

Eman Alshehri, Siân Etherington


Motivation plays a significant role in the L2 learning process, leading many researchers to investigate strategies which can generate and maintain students' motivation in English as a foreign language (EFL) classrooms. However, little research has investigated the perceptions of both EFL teachers and students in the same context. This paper reports an investigation of EFL teacher and student perceptions of motivational strategies in the Saudi Arabian EFL context, aiming to explore potential mismatches. A mixed methods approach was used to collect quantitative and qualitative data in the context of three women's universities. Results indicate the teachers' role in motivating students in EFL classrooms is appreciated by both teachers and students. However, there is a discrepancy in their beliefs about how students should be motivated. Teachers believe strongly that students are mainly motivated by strategies which help achieve academic outcomes. Students, in contrast, appear more motivated by strategies; which relate to actual learning process and promote social aspects of learning, such as participation and interaction. A key implication is that teachers within this context should be encouraged to develop a more balanced view about L2 motivation and motivational strategies, focussing on both academic and social outcomes along with actual learning process.

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International Journal of English Language Education    E-mail:    Copyright © Macrothink Institute    ISSN 2325-0887

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