Demotivation Factors in Foreign Language Learning

Pınar Çankaya


This study initially attempts to discuss motivation and demotivation in the field of second language acquisition and additionally to explore the main factors causing demotivation in learning English among university students of vocational school. Demotivation, an understudied area in SLA is a relatively new issue for researchers. In this respect, this study attempts to explore the main factors causing demotivation in learning English among vocational school students. In the search of the reasons of demotivation, a 35-item questionnaire, which was developed by Sakai and Kikuchi (2009a), was filled by 60 university students. Descriptive statistics were employed in order to identify the most and the least demotivating factors grouped into 6 main categories such as (a) Class Characteristics (b) Class Environment (c) Experiences of Failure (d) Lack of Intrinsic Motivation (e) Class Materials and (f) Teacher. Findings from this study indicated that Teacher Competence was not a very strong cause of demotivation compared to Class Characteristics and Class Environment. This study also showed that learners did not perceive Inadequate Class Materials as demotivating. Finally this paper discusses participants’ own factors for demotivation with an open-ended question in the questionnaire provided to the participants.

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