grades، praise، learning
accomplishments and learning experiences. He adds that the use of intrinsically motivating consequences/outcomes such as recognition of achievement and evidences of success, as well as extrinsically motivating consequences, such as grades, certificates, or tangible rewards, can ensure that learners have positive feelings about their performance and that they continue to value the given activity. Raffini (1993) emphasises that regardless of task outcome, hard work and concentrated efforts of students need to be appreciated and reinforced.
Praise is one of the best ways for teachers to recognise their students’ efforts and celebrate their victory. Brophy (1981) argues that praise goes beyond simple feedback in the way it conveys positive teacher affect and provides information about the worth of students’ behaviours. Raffini (1993) proposes that short notes or comments on papers is a way of celebrating students’ success and can be especially valuable for recognising the accomplishments of all students. Dörnyei (2001b) advises that teachers should monitor their students’ progress in order to make sure that the students’ personal milestones do not go unnoticed.
Pintrich and Schunck (2002) advise that teachers should combine providing students with feedback and praise when assisting them in performing tasks in order to make such assistance motivating. They explain that providing corrective feedback to students as a kind of help to progress will make students observe that they are progressing which raises their self-efficacy and motivates them to continue to improve. Similarly, teachers may also praise correct performance while assisting students by using some expressions and comments that raise efficacy and motivation like: “You are doing a great job,” “I am sure that you can do this,” etc. Larrivee (2002) explains that there are some downsides to praise and shows that even when praise is intended as a rewarding tool for students’ achievement by teachers, some students will not perceive it that way. Another problem with praise is with the kind of achievement to which it should be attached. Brophy (2004) has emphasised that students may find it embarrassing to be singled out, humiliating to be praised for some minor accomplishments, or irritating to have classmates’ attention called to their neatness, punctuality, or conformity behaviours rather than to more clearly noteworthy achievements. Brophy argues that effective praise expresses appreciation for the learners’ efforts or admiration for their accomplishments in ways that call attention to their efforts and achievements rather than to their role in pleasing the teacher. He adds that the teacher may express such praise as a part of a “celebration” of what students have learned or accomplished. Caffyn (1989) also clarifies that many students appreciate private praise more than public praise.
The importance of rewards as extrinsically motivating consequences in promoting students’ satisfaction about learning has been highlighted in earlier research (e.g. Keller, 1983; Dörnyei, 2001a; Brophy, 2004). Dörnyei (2001a) proposes that despite the fact that teachers regularly dispense various rewards to their students for good behaviour and academic performance, the effectiveness of rewards has been a controversial issue among educational psychologists. Brophy (2004) theorises that the appropriate use of rewards requires attention to the nature of the rewards, the ways in which they are introduced, and the student outcomes under consideration. He adds that it is important that teachers know when and how to dispense rewards effectively, to ensure that their rewards have only positive and not mixed or even negative effects. Despite the big disagreement in the literature over the effects of rewards on learners’ motivation, Dörnyei clarifies that physical rewards can become powerful motivational tools if dispensed in motivational ways. One of the ways that Dörnyei suggests is to offer rewards for involving students in complex activities that require long engagement, creativity, and considerable efforts on the students’ part.
Grades have also been found to be a significant extrinsic outcome for increasing students’ satisfaction. Covington (1992) has proposed that grades motivate students differently. He explains that good grades are apt to motivate those learners who need motivating the least but tend to demotivate those who need motivating the most. Covington and Teel (1996) argue that schoolchildren frequently equate grades with a sense of self-worth as they consider themselves as worthy only when their school-related achievements are worthy. Some concerns about using grades have been voiced in the literature. Covington (1999) articulates that the problem with grades is that they focus students’ attention on performance outcomes such as high test scores rather than on the process of learning itself. According to him, this may result in many students being grade-driven and this preoccupation begins surprisingly early in life. Dörnyei (2001b) states that grades may encourage cheating since learners may be under extreme pressure to live up to the set standards. Another vital concern with grades is the criteria on which they can be awarded. Dörnyei asserted that grades often reflect the teachers’ perception of a student compliance or good behaviour rather than academic merit. The lack of standardised assessment techniques to measure competence of learners in different fields is another example of the subjectivity of grades distribution in some situations. In his framework of motivational strategies, Dörnyei (2001b) presents a list of proposed strategies for teachers to deal with the problem of grades. Among such strategies is making sure that grades reflect the real effort and improvement of students in which Dörnyei emphasises that grades should reflect the students’ relative improvements rather than only their standard of achievement as compared to some external criterion.
2.8. Current Status of English in Iran
In Iran’s current educational context, English is predominantly considered to be the first foreign language. English is taught at different levels in the Iranian national educational system, ranging from primary schools to institutions of higher education as well as in private language schools. English is the medium of instruction in some programs at the university level. It is offered as foreign language (FL) courses in secondary schools and as a language for specific purposes (LSP). It is also the language of some of the conferences in Iran. The demand in educational institutions and learning environments grow increasingly and it requires good planning and decision making to help learners and students to prosecute their studies and fulfill their goals. On the other hand, due to economic, educational or political reasons, people — in their search for better work and better educational opportunities — have become increasingly mobile and have started to different English speaking countries. These reasons alongside with the other reasons such as ever-growing interest in learning English as a prestigious language encourage the people to learn it. It means that people and particularly young generations usually have some kind of positive feelings towards English. Therefore, knowing and learning English has progressively become more prestigious and more popular, particularly among high school and university students. Some Iranian researchers have examined the type of motivation and its orientation along with the attitudes of the learners towards learning English and found different results. For example, Moiinvaziri (cited in Chalak & Kassaian, 2010) claimed that students in her study were highly motivated in both instrumental and integrative orientations. On the other hand, studies such as Vaezi (cited in Chalak & Kassaian, 2010) claimed that Iranian students had very high motivation and positive attitudes towards learning English and they were more instrumentally motivated. As ment
ioned above, there are a lot of studies which have focused on different dimensions of motivation. However, studying the literature of studies conducted in Iran reveals that nobody has examined the use of motivational techniques in educational settings, yet. Therefore this was a motive for conducting the current study.
CHAPTER THREE- METHOD
This chapter explains the empirical investigations by which raw data were collected for this research to accomplish its stated objectives. It outlines how the survey study was conducted to collect data from teachers of English in Iran. The chapter then presents the procedures the research undertook to recruit participants for this study. Finally, some details on how the analyses of the sets of the collected data were carried out are also briefly presented.
In this stage, volunteer male and female EFL teachers who teach English in various educational institutions in Ardabil province were recruited. The participating teachers represented wide differences of age (22-54 years) and teaching experiences. The initial total number of subjects involved in the main study was 250. 15participants (6%) returned the survey with incomplete responses and they were excluded from the statistical analyses. The total final number of participants at this stage was 235 (94%). The gender distribution of the final sample of participants and their EFL teaching experiences are presented in Tables 3.1 and 3.2 below:
Table 3.1. Gender of Participants
Frequency of Frequency Questionnaires
Frequency of Importance Questionnaires
Table 3.2. EFL Teaching Experience of Participants
EFL teaching experience(