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WHY (NOT) LEARN ENGLISH: GENDER DIFFERENCES IN LEARNERS' MOTIVATION AND DEMOTIVATION

P. Krčelić

University of Applied Sciences Baltazar Zaprešić (CROATIA)
Individual differences, like motivation, aptitude or age are widely accepted to be the key factors that influence second language learning success and as such have been a major area for research. Unlike aptitude or age, motivation is a factor that a learner can have an influence on. This paper focuses on motivation and demotivation of English language learners at the University of Applied Sciences Baltazar Zaprešić. Dӧrnyei (2001) defines motivation as the choice of a particular action, the amount of effort exerted in it and the persistence with it. Furthermore, Dӧrnyei (2001) defines a demotivated student as someone who was once motivated but lost his or her interest for some reason. The first part of the paper lists key definitions and types of motivation and demotivation. Previous studies have revealed that in today’s world learners in general learn English out of practical reasons (they think they will need it in the future), i.e. they see English as lingua franca. When it comes to demotivation, there are two sets of factors: extrinsic (teacher, course materials) and intrinsic (attitudes, self-esteem). To continue, the second part provides an overview of previous surveys aimed at determining gender differences in motivation and presents the results of a quantitative survey that was conducted on a sample of 62 first year business, cultural management and office management students at the University of Applied Sciences Baltazar Zaprešić. The aim of the paper is to determine whether gender differences in motivation and demotivation for learning English exist and to describe them. The initial hypothesis states that there are some differences in motivation and demotivation among the genders. The results of the research will provide guidelines for future research and teaching practice, likewise.