English for specific purposes teachers’ beliefs about their motivational practices and student motivation at a chinese university

Xiaowan Yang, Mark Wyatt

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    While it is increasingly recognized that teachers have a crucial role to play in motivating learners, language teacher cognition research that focuses on beliefs about second language (L2) learner motivation and motivational practices is still rare, particularly in English for specific purposes (ESP) settings in Asia. Furthermore, much of what is available does not employ stimulated recall interviews to facilitate a comparison of espoused beliefs elicited beforehand, observed classroom practices and situated cognitions. We have employed such methodology in an under-researched ESP setting in China, to gain insights into the influence of culture and context on teacher beliefs and behavior. Our qualitative case study of three Chinese ESP teachers highlights harmony and tensions between espoused beliefs regarding student motivation and the teacher’s motivational role, and motivational practices, this harmony/ disharmony being likely to impact these teachers’ self-determination. It considers possible reasons for identified tensions, including limited professional development opportunities in ESP, apparently dated knowledge of L2 motivation theory, deeply embedded Confucian values and an entrenched assessment culture. Findings suggest the need for awareness-raising and mentoring activities designed to support cognitive harmony regarding motivation and motivational practices amongst ESP teachers.

    Original languageBritish English
    Pages (from-to)41-70
    Number of pages30
    JournalStudies in Second Language Learning and Teaching
    Volume11
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 2021

    Keywords

    • China
    • English for specific purposes
    • L2 motivation
    • Motivational practices
    • Stimulated recall
    • Teacher beliefs

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