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The Study of Some Motivational Factors on English Language Learning Process: Evidence from Iranian English Learners

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Kolsoom Zendehboodi, Ali Akbar Khansir and Fatemeh Karampoor

Since the work of Gardener and his associates in the 1950s, the role of motivation in learning a second language has continued to interest researchers. Previous studies on L2 motivation were largely based on product oriented models of motivation, which tends to view motivation as a static phenomenon. Recently, however, there has been a shift in emphasis from a study of L2 motivation as a product to its study as a process. The methodological framework of this study was based on Dörnyei and Otto's (1998) Process Model of L2 Motivation. This model proposed that the construct of motivation is not static and changing in nature and influenced by many internal and external factors during learning process. The previous studies that analyzed the motivational variables in the Iran EFL settings have not investigated the temporal nature of motivation in L2 learning. Using qualitative methodology, the current study aimed to investigate the motivational factors in English learning for Iranian students. The participants were ten Iranian students at Payame Noor University in Bushehr, Iran. The participants were interviewed on an individual basis using a semi structured interview format. They also completed a language history questionnaire. Specifically, the participants’ oral narratives were analyzed for emerging themes and patterns relating to the development of their motivation for English language learning. The results of this study revealed the temporal and changing nature of motivation in learning English for Iranian students. The emerging themes/patterns related to motivational fluctuations included the learning environment, the role of teacher, economic factor, and the role of an effective person in enhancing or ceasing the motivational abilities of students learning English. The thesis concluded by discussing implications for future work in this interesting area of research.

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