feedback، lack، learning
enables learners to take charge of their own learning, determine their objectives, select methods and techniques for learning, and evaluate what has been acquired. Reactive autonomy, on the other hand, is the kind of autonomy which does not create its own direction but, once a direction has been initiated, enables learners to organise their resources autonomously in order to reach their goals.
Brophy (2004) proposes that autonomy-supporting teachers promote learners’ intrinsic motivation by understanding their perspectives, supporting their initiatives, creating opportunities for choice, being encouraging rather than demanding or directive, and allowing students to work in their own way.
Nakata (2006) has proposed two approaches that a teacher in a teacher-centered classroom may take to develop learners’ autonomy. The first is an explicit approach whereby the teacher discusses the question of responsibility with the learners and suggests how they might start to take the initiative in their learning activities. The other is an implicit approach by which the teacher ensures that the learning activities in the classroom, such as using the target language and the freedom of choice, provide opportunities for learner’s autonomy to flourish.
An excellent way to support students’ autonomy and consequently increase their L2 motivation is through promoting their self-motivating capacity. Ushioda (1996) claims that a fundamental question about motivating students seems no longer to be concerned with how we can motivate our learners, but rather how can we help learners to motivate themselves? This can be achieved by raising students’ knowledge of relevant ways by which they can adopt, develop, and apply self-motivating strategies for learning the foreign language. Giving students the chance for self-assessment is another strategy that can be utilised for enhancing students’ autonomy. It is well-known that self-assessment raises students’ awareness about their mistakes and successes and gives them a concrete sense of participation in the learning process (Dörnyei, 2001b).
Among the other strategies that can also be used to enhance learners’ autonomy is encouraging students’ contribution and peer teaching. Dörnyei (2001b) proposes, based on a personal experience, that learners are very resourceful about finding ways to convey new materials to their peers. He recommends that teachers should hand over as much as they can of teaching leadership to the learners.
2.7.4. Encouraging Positive Self-Evaluation
The fourth dimension of motivational strategies deals with encouraging learners’ positive self-evaluation by promoting their motivational attributions, providing motivational feedback, increasing learners’ satisfaction, and offering rewards in a motivating manner.
18.104.22.168. Promoting Learners’ Motivational Attributions
In psychology, the term attributions refer to the justifications people offer about why they succeeded or failed in the past (Dörnyei, 2001b). As mentioned earlier, Graham (1994) has summarised that students typically attribute their successes and failures in terms of ability, effort, task difficulty, luck, mood, family background, and help or hindrance from others. Other studies designate lack of information and lack of strategy knowledge as other causes of attributions. Both success and failure attributions are classified according to whether the attributed causes are internal or external to the person, controllable or uncontrollable by the person, and stable or unstable across situations (Brophy, 2004). Some of the factors identified by Graham (1994) such as lack of ability can be classified as stable/uncontrollable causes, while others like insufficient effort are unstable/controllable factors.
Ability and effort are well-known attributional explanations relevant to the unsuccessful performance in the study of a foreign language. Their subsequent effect on students’ motivation in such a procedure is, however, completely different. According to Brophy (2004), the failures attributed to controllable factors, such as insufficient effort provide a basis for believing that performance can be improved and success can be achieved in contrast to the attributions made to external and uncontrollable factors such as, for example an inexperienced teacher, which would provide less basis for confidence in improved performance and consequent success. It is worse yet, according to him, if students attribute their failure to the internal causes of low ability especially if they view this cause as stable and uncontrollable. Galloway and associates (1998) support this conclusion by stating that if children believe they have failed on a task due to lack of ability, their motivation to attempt the same task again is likely to be low. They add that if teachers believe that children have failed due to lack of ability, their motivation to encourage children to continue working on similar tasks is likely to be low too. One way teachers can avoid ability attributions by learners is to provide them with a sufficient chance to succeed as proposed by Raffini (1993) when he states that “students should never be allowed to fail at tasks until they have a reasonable chance to succeed. If they do, they have no choice but to attribute their failure to lack of ability and therefore stop trying,” (p.107). Teachers should also encourage students’ effort attributions rather than ability attributions. Dörnyei (2001b) claims that if teachers can make students believe that higher levels of effort in general offer a possibility for success, they will persist in spite of the inevitable failures that usually accompany learning.
22.214.171.124. Providing Learners with Motivational Feedback
Providing students with positive feedback and appraisal about their performance is another way to enhance their positive motivational self-evaluation. Behavioural psychologists were the first to recognise the motivational power of feedback (Williams & Burden, 1997). Ford (1992) argues that “without feedback, motivational headquarters is effectively shut off from action,” (p.210). Dörnyei (2001b) goes in line with this clarifying that “when there is no feedback, it is easy for goals, including the important learning goals, to lose salience and priority, and eventually end up ‘on the shelf’,” (p.123). Pintrich and Schucnk (2002) believe that teachers who tell students they are performing well or give corrective information help substantiate students’ self-efficacy for learning.
Chambers (1999) has argued that teachers can give their feedback on both stable and unstable causes of learning like the students’ efforts and abilities to learn. He indicates that the serious problem in manipulating teachers’ feedback to students lies, however, in deciding what feedback to give. Brophy and Good (1986) identify two types of feedback: Informational feedback, which comments on progress and competence of learners, and controlling feedback, which judges performance against external standards. Jones and Jones (1995) explain that it is the former that should be dominant from a motivational point of view as it enables students to understand where they are in relation to achieving goals and what they need to do to continue or improve their progress. On the other hand,
Reid (2007) identifies three types of feedback: monitoring feedback (monitoring students’ progress and providing comments on what has been achieved and what still to be achieved), constructive feedback (giving regular positive feedback on students’ progress), and negative feedback (when the main purpose of feedback is to assess students’ work). Reid believes that the constructive feedback is the one that should be seen as a method for motivation. Dörnyei (2001b) terms the feedback that involves positive, descriptive feedback regarding students’ strengths, achievements, progress and attitudes as the positive information feedback. He emphasises that this kind of feedback is effective from a mo
tivational point of view as it provides students with information rather than judgements against external standards or peer achievement, which is, according to him, the main feature of controlling feedback.
On the contrary, there are other types of feedback that teachers can run the risk of demotivating students if used. Graham (1994) believes that communicating pity after failure and offering praise after success in easy tasks are examples of such types of feedback. The teachers’ attributional feedback that follows students’ failures is of big concern to students’ motivation. Brophy (2004) gives some guidelines for providing feedback in such situations. He proposes that unless the failures are clearly due to lack of effort, teachers should attribute them to lack of information or strategy knowledge but not to lack of ability. Similarly, Chambers (1999) clarifies that the teacher’s feedback can be destructive if attributed the poor progress of a learner to his or her low ability to learn.
126.96.36.199. Increasing Learners’ Satisfaction
There is a general assumption that the feeling of satisfaction is a significant factor in reinforcing achievement behaviour, which makes this factor a major component of motivation (Dörnyei, 2001a). Such importance is well-acknowledged in many different studies like that of Burden (2000) who states that enabling students to feel satisfied with their learning outcomes is an important part for motivating them to learn. This can be done, according to him, by drawing attention to successes students have experienced and by helping students to recognise their efforts and improvements over time.
Beside attention, relevance, and confidence, satisfaction is one of four key motivational components presented in Keller’s (1983) prominent model of motivational design. In a later publication (Keller, 2000), he hypothesises that satisfaction is about the positive feelings about one’s