Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

What Demotivates Foreign EFL Teachers? A Case Study in Turkish Context

Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

What Demotivates Foreign EFL Teachers? A Case Study in Turkish Context

Article excerpt

This article is the report of a qualitative case study proposed to investigate the demotivation factors of foreign EFL teachers in Turkish context. To that end, two foreign teachers of English language were chosen as the subjects at a primary/ secondary school in east of Turkey. Face-to-face interviews, profile forms, field notes and diaries were used to obtain the necessary data for the research. The findings indicated that lack of effective communication with school administration and colleagues and lack of interest, attention and respect from behalf of students were the main causes of demotivation at work for both teachers. Keywords: Demotivation, Foreign, Native, EFL Teachers

Many countries have adopted and implemented national projects for recruiting native speakers of English as EFL teachers; such as Brunei, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Taiwan (Copland, Davis, Garton, & Mann, 2016). The Foreign Expert (FE) scheme in China, the Native English Teacher (NET) scheme in Hong Kong, the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) scheme, and the EPIK (English Program in Korea) program in Korea are some examples (Copland, et al, 2016). Similarly, Turkey, as 16 (th) largest economy in the world, plans to set about a project - Yabanci Dil Ogretiminin Gelistirilmesi Projesi (1) - (Turkish Ministry of Education) to recruit 40,000 native English speaker teachers (NESTs) to work with local English teachers (LETs) in EFL classes in Turkey (Coskun, 2013). The reason is that, in spite of large investments in ELT area, the proficiency level of English cannot reach an optimum level in the country and Turkey ranks 43 (rd) among 44 countries in terms of English proficiency (Coskun, 2013).This impelled the educational authorities to embark on a project to create an environment for LETs to collaborate with NESTs for upgrading teaching skills of LETs and general English proficiency levels by injection of native English teachers into the education system of Turkey. In order to attain successful integration of NESTs with LETs, there are several key elements which must be taken into account. Copland, et al. (2016) investigated the NEST schemes around the world. Among the factors which have led to the failure of such schemes, lack of joint planning was identified as the key factor. Planning itself is dependent on many other factors, such as experience, confidence, time, English language skills, cultural understanding and motivation.

In this study, we draw on motivation factor of EFL teachers, proposing to contribute to the rare literature of the issue. We do believe that motivation level of NESTs is one of the key principles which determines the success of the project in obtaining its goals.

Motivation is a process by which individuals begin and maintain purposeful activities (Rakes & Dunn, 2010). Hastings (2012) asserted that there had been a transition of focus in L2 motivation research, since it had changed from macro-level studies (social level) to micro-level (individual level), and at the new level it had also undergone many changes. The focus of attention was turning away from understanding the learners' needs to teachers' role because it was believed that, since learners were in a wide contact with their teachers, they had a vital role in learners' success and degree of motivation.

Hastings (2012) pointed out an important difference between students' motivation and teachers' motivation, namely that teacher motivation was in fact work motivation. According to Herzberg (1966), there are growth or motivator factors that are intrinsic to the job (e.g., achievement, recognition for achievement, the work itself, responsibility, and work promotion). On the other hand, there are factors called dissatisfaction-avoidance or hygiene factors that are extrinsic to the job (e.g., administration and company policy, supervision, interpersonal relations, working conditions, payment, status, and security). Based on Herzberg's theory, work satisfaction originates from growth factors and work dissatisfaction is the result of hygiene factors. …

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