Researching_ESL_Motivation_Which_Skill_I.pdf - International Journal of English Research International Journal of English Research ISSN 2455-2186 Impact

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International Journal of English Research 4 International Journal of English Research ISSN: 2455-2186 Impact Factor: RJIF 5.32 Volume 4; Issue 4; July 2018; Page No. 04-13 Researching ESL motivation: Which skill is learners’ favorite motivator? Mohamed A Eno 1* , Pramod Kumar 2 , Sadak H Hamza 3 1 Social Studies, Appl. Ling. & TESOL, St Clements University Somalia, Mogadishu, Somalia 2 English Department, School of Humanities, Indira Ghandi National Open University, Delhi, India 3 Danish Refugee Council, Somalia; & English Dept., Faculty of Arts & Humanities, Mogadishu University, Mogadishu, Somalia Abstract Although a great paucity exists in scholarly studies on education in Somalia, the scarcity is more evident in the English studies area, particularly English as a Second Language (ESL) or English as a Foreign Language (EFL) (used interchangeably in this study), where almost none had existed until Mohamed Eno’s MA TESOL Dissertation in 2005 and his recent article in the Journal of Somali Studies in 2017. Influenced by both the paucity and the latter study in 2017 1 , which recommended further examination of ESL/EFL area studies, this research investigates EFL students’ perceptions of what they consider as more motivating or most motivating skill among the four second language acquisition (SLA) skills of reading, listening, speaking and writing. 2 Consequently, the results reveal that learners do not perceive more listening as a very motivating factor compared to more speaking , identified as the most motivating skill and ahead of more writing in the overall ratings. With very low results on the whole, more reading , on the other hand, is much below both speaking and writing in significance, though ahead of listening as a potential motivator. Interestingly, the findings also reveal persistent learner misunderstanding of the interlinkedness of the four skills, with a misperception that acquisition of one skill is independent of the others, as captured from an analysis of the vagaries in their responses. Keywords: ESL/EFL education, ESL/EFL research, extrinsic motivation, instrumental motivation, integrative motivation, intrinsic motivation, Somalia, Somali education 1. Introduction 1.1 An Overview of Motivation The development of [the] structure inside our heads comes in part from the exposure to language and from significant relationships of mutual respect. Those relationships are the motivation for learning.-Ruby K. Payne 2001:231 In learning English as a Second Language (ESL), or Second Language Acquisition (SLA) in general, motivation is considered a core factor affecting learner’s achievement (Scarcella & Oxford 1992; Rehman et al ., 2014; Mallik 2017). Gardner (2010) [64, 70, 50, 28] symbolizes motivation as a mental powerhouse that energizes a learner’s natural desire to act upon learning for the sake of self-enjoyment or contentment in achieving a goal. This is unraveled in his argument saying “motivation is a multifaceted construct that has behavioral, cognitive and affective components” (Gardner 2010:23) [28] .
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