Academic journal article English Language Teaching

Pre-Service English Teachers' Beliefs on Speaking Skill Based on Motivational Orientations*

Academic journal article English Language Teaching

Pre-Service English Teachers' Beliefs on Speaking Skill Based on Motivational Orientations*

Article excerpt


This study aimed to explore pre-service English teachers' perceptions of teaching speaking in Turkey, the importance they give to this language skill, and their self-evaluation of their speaking competence. With case design and maximum variation sampling approach, seven pre-service English teachers' beliefs about speaking skills were gathered in regard to motivational orientations based on Self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan 2002) and the data was analyzed according to interview questions. Findings revealed that the subjects, whether they were intrinsically or extrinsically motivated to speak English, had negative ideas about speaking instruction in Turkey though they all agreed that it was the most important language skill. The findings also showed that they felt incompetent in oral communication though they had different motivational orientations about speaking English. The findings are significant for understanding speaking instruction in English language classrooms from a motivational perspective and helpful for enhancing learners' speaking ability with intrinsic motivation.

Keywords: motivation, competence, speaking instruction, speaking skill, case study

1. Introduction

Speaking is often considered as a neglected skill in foreign language education and accepted as the most complex and difficult skill to acquire (Ur, 1996). It is neglected because traditional approaches still exist in the golden age of communicative approaches in language education. In addition, speaking is complex and difficult to master because it contains linguistic and non-linguistic elements such as vocabulary, intonation, articulation, formal and informal expression, gestures, and so forth. Considering its features and difficulty to master, motivation as a key factor in language success is helpful to clearly realize teaching and learning speaking in EFL settings.

The relationship between motivation and success or failure in foreign language learning is still a popular issue despite the thousands of research papers about this concept. Though there is a tremendous literature about ESL/EFL motivation (e.g. Dörnyei, 2001; 2003; Gardner, 1985; Noels, 2001; Ushioda, 2008), each day new research is being conducted to understand different educational settings' unique features. Turkey as an expanding circle country (see Kachru, 1985) is geologically far from inner circle countries such as the UK, the US, and it is a country where English is taught as a foreign language. English learners have little chance to practice English speaking outside the classroom apart from online environments. Therefore, motivating students to learn English and speak English is a challenging task in Turkey. With the present case study, it is aimed to present an overview about teaching speaking in Turkey, and learn the ideas of motivated and unmotivated language learners concerning their speaking skills. The study findings are explorative and productive to understand and lessen some of the problems associated with teaching English speaking in Turkey.

2. Literature Review

Motivation, a highly discussed and proven factor in determining language success or failure, is a productive tool in understanding language education contexts deeply. It is often mentioned as a significant psychological factor which enormously affects learners' language education process. Then, its relations with other factors and elements related to educational settings have been researched by a number of prominent researchers over seven decades. In sum, the studies researching motivation in second and foreign language environments mentioned many motivation theories such as the socio-educational model, self-determination theory, and put motivation into different categories such as instrumental or integrative, and intrinsic or extrinsic types. The studies generally reveal that students who are intrinsically or integratively motivated to learn a language are better at language performance and achievement (e. …

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