Academic journal article International Research Journal of Arts and Humanities

Motivating English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Adult Learners: Challenges to Prepare Them for Future and Job Market

Academic journal article International Research Journal of Arts and Humanities

Motivating English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Adult Learners: Challenges to Prepare Them for Future and Job Market

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

1.1 Background

Motivation is crucial for success in every field of life in general and in effective language learning/teaching in particular. The role of motivation for adult language learners gets specifically significant as they have to do it at conscious level unlike the children who go through the process in a natural and unconscious way. If adult learners are not intrinsically motivated or steps are not taken to motivate them extrinsically, language learning process is affected badly. Saudi students are basically EFL (English as a Foreign Language) learners unlike some other countries where English language teaching and learning is carried out in ESL (English as a Second Language) paradigm. There are some countries in the world with English having ESL status and the learners see the immediate utility of English language learning in their career growth and social status enhancement. It is quite unlike the Saudi context where learners feel that they are not required much to use the English language in the society and media.

There is dire need to bring about a deeper awareness in PYP students about the role of English language for their success in their future lives. With the world becoming a global village, they need to be proficient in the lingua franca of the world to play an effective role in the development of their country and nation. They need to realize that without proficiency in English language, they cannot represent and present their religion and culture to the rest of the world. It has been observed that there is still strong psychological resistance in the Saudi youth against English language. Some of them consider it as the language of infidels and do not count it essential for success in this world and the world hereafter. This study tends to explore how far such notions are going through a change in the positive direction and impacting the motivational level of PYP students/ EFL adult learners in Saudi Arabia.

It is equally important to take into consideration the role of English language teachers and educational administrators dealing with PYP students in raising their motivational level since the curriculum, materials and education and examination policies are designed by the administrators and implemented by the teachers in the classes. This trio of administrators, teachers and students interplay on each other when it comes to motivating the PYP students/EFL adult learners to learn English. If PYP administration has a clear vision, and is well-directed and self-motivated, it automatically keeps the teachers charged up and motivated. Once the teachers are motivated, they can prove to be the biggest source of motivation for the students. This research study gives due consideration to the feedback of the administrators and teachers regarding their roles in raising the motivational level of PYP students/EFL adult learners.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

In Saudi Arabia, English is considered to be a foreign language, and the citizens generally feel that they can lead a successful life without English language skills, since in most parts of the country, all official work and everyday businesses are carried out in Arabic. This attitude and approach goes through a diametrical change when Saudi students leave their high schools and enter Preparatory Year Programme (PYP) to prepare for the professional colleges and professional fields later. All of a sudden English gets the status of the academic language and a medium of instruction. Thus the knowledge of English becomes the prerequisite for dignified and successful survival in the professional life of the PYP students/EFL adult learners. As a matter of fact, learning a foreign language is highly dependent on the level of motivation of learners. There is dire research need to analyze the current status of motivational level of PYP Saudi students to bring about awareness among all the stakeholders involved, and to bring reforms in such a way that the students are more motivated to focus on English to be well prepared for the professional colleges in general and the job market in particular. …

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