What Do They Actually Need? An Investigation of English Learning Motivation of the Underprivileged Students

  •  Ruth Wong    


Motivation plays an indispensable role in education because it directs students’ behaviour toward goals; enhances cognitive processing which leads to effort and persistence in learning activities; and determines what learning behaviours should be enforced and brings learning outcomes. To the underprivileged students, what is the meaning of learning English? Why do they need to get English Language education? What drives them to learn English? To answer these questions, this paper has established a framework of learning motivation to profile the English learning motivation of the underprivileged students. Based on the proposed framework, a questionnaire has been developed. Over 2800 adolescents responded to the questionnaire. Data analysis included two procedures: Principle Components Analysis and Exploratory Factor Analysis were employed. According to the results found in this study, parental-teacher influence, extrinsic values and self-perception on own abilities are the most significant factors influencing the English learning motivation of the underprivileged.

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