Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Relationship between Motivation and Self-Efficacy of Iranian High School Learners and Their Vocabulary Size

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Relationship between Motivation and Self-Efficacy of Iranian High School Learners and Their Vocabulary Size

Article excerpt


It is a common belief that people with high levels of self-efficacy perform tasks better than those with lower levels of self-efficacy. Graham (2011) asserted that self-efficacy as individuals' beliefs in their ability has a strong influence on levels of persistence and the choices individuals make. Regarding the importance of self-efficacy, Bandura (1984) considered self-efficacy to have a major role in language learning by fostering or impeding learners' progress.

As Barry (2007) said motivation has long been a major problem for most teachers of English as a Second Language (ESL) or as a foreign language. Motivation in the ESL/EFL classroom is easily one of the most important factors but unfortunately most of our students have low motivation to learn English. In addition to was stated most of them have a vague sense that whether "English will be useful for my future" or not. Therefore, the teachers need to understand the role and importance of motivation in any learning process.

Vocabulary knowledge is vital when applying a foreign language that is,anybody is not capable to communicate without words .Thus, this knowledge has a critical role in academic development of students . Carter and McCarthy (1988)pointed out that learning vocabulary is closely related to teacher's and student's perceptions of the difficulties of words,therefore ,teachers should be taken into account also in vocabulary learning,motivation,and self -efficacy of students.

Since students' motivation is essential for engaging them in vocabulary instruction, it is necessary to pay attention to the factors affecting students'behaviors and emotion in vocabulary learning. Sokmen (1997) reported that the central role of vocabulary in second language learning during the 21 century. This can be a good reason for teachers to help students learn and use new words.

With regard to what the present body of research states about the importance of motivation and self-efficacy in learning process they should be emphasized by the practitioners (Yilmaz, 2010). Previously, self-efficay was considered as unidimentioanl concept attributing to the students performance while it has been investigated that there is a close positive correlation between self-efficy and students motivation (Yilmaz, 2010). Therefore to achive the greatest gain in this area, and based on the importance of vocabulary, in the present study we examine the relationship between selfefficay, motivation and vocabulary knowledge.

The result of this study can be an assistant to those teachers who intend to have more effective language classes and students will be expected to use vocabulary in productive skills. It is hoped that the present study can offer a helpful perspective and opens a new window in high school instruction and serves as a means for the teachers to develop their teaching methods in regard to vocabulary learning.

This study attempts to answer the following questions:

1-Is there any relationship between Iranian EFL learners' motivation and vocabulary size?

2-Is there any relationship between Iranian EFL learners' self-efficacy and vocabulary size?

3-Does motivation predict vocabulary size of learners better than self-efficacy?

Review of Literature

2.1 What Is Motivation

According to Dornyei (2001), motivation has three components that are purpose, keeping on, and the initiation of learning effort and it interprets why individuals choose a certain activity, how long people continue that activity, and how they try to achieve their goals. Motivation is typically defined as the forces that account for the arousal , selection, direction, and continuation of behavior. Based on socio-psychological model by Gardner and Lambert (1974) motivation for learning a language is the desire to control the language through effort ,want, affect or attitude.

Based on Sadeghi (2013) there are various kinds of motivation namely: instrumental and integrative motivation. …

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