A Study of English Learning Motivation of Less Successful Students

  • Yu Yue Jiangsu University of Science and Technology
Keywords: instrumental motivation, intrinsic motivation, motivation theory, English learning, foreign language teaching


According to the motivation theory of Gardner and Tremblay, a lot of empirical researches have proven that motivation plays a driving force to enhance the foreign language learning while not much research have been done on less successful students, who most probably may not be equally motivated as those who are successful.

Based on the theories on learning motivation and the actual situation of the less successful students, the author intends to explore the types of motivation and the correlation between the types of motivation and their performance. The study investigates 207 unsuccessful students through a questionnaire and 20 of them are selected randomly to be interviewed. With the help of the software SPSS, the data was analyzed by the statistical analyses of factor analysis (principal component analysis with varimax rotation), descriptive statistics analysis and correlation analysis.

The results suggest there are nine motivation types, in which instrumental motivation affects the students the most and the intrinsic motivation the least. There is a significant correlation between language value and achievement. Therefore, effective teaching methods and measures are given on how to stimulate the learning motivation, which will stimulate students to improve academic performance in English learning and achieve the best result.