Journal of Social Sciences

Academic Motivation to Learn English in a Malaysian private University

Ahmed Fahim Youssef

DOI : 10.3844/jssp.2016.152.159

Journal of Social Sciences

Volume 12, Issue 4

Pages 152-159


Motivation is accepted as one of the key factors in promoting second language teaching and learning. The study is based on the Self Determination Theory (SDT) developed by Deci and Ryan who were greatly interested in both the quantity and the quality of motivation. They categorized motivation from the unmotivated to the motivated and in between there are many levels of motivation. This study investigated 230 trainee teachers' Academic Motivation (AM) to learn in English in terms of gender, nationality, ethnic group, specialization and years of study at the Faculty of Education in a Malaysian private university. The results revealed that participants were significantly different in their Academic motivation based on their specialization and the period they spent in the Faculty of Education. There were no significant differences based on gender or nationality. Significant differences were noticed among participants from different ethnic groups in Intrinsic Motivation. Building on the findings a better understanding of trainee teachers' cognitive abilities, attitudes about self and university, as well as their language skills would help in improving their Academic Motivation to learn English. Providing opportunities to learn English outside the classroom through English language clubs, journeys to English speaking countries, debates, drama, songs and free writing competitions can help motivate them away from traditional classroom activities. Furthermore, communication between faculty and home is important to better understand the factors that may affect trainee teachers' Academic motivation to learn English.


© 2016 Ahmed Fahim Youssef. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.