As a novel interdisciplinary concept crossing psycholinguistics and SLA arenas,
the definition of demotivation is under divergence. Dornyei
(1998) defined it as specific external forces that reduce or diminish
the motivational basis of a behavioral intention or an ongoing action,
while other linguists (Falout et al., 2009;
Zhou and Wang, 2012) supplemented the definition with
internal forces based on empirical findings. Zhou
(2012) made three prerequisites in discriminating the connotation of demotivation:
(a) Motivation must exist in L2 learners before there can be a gradual loss
of the drive to acquire or utilize the target language, (b) It is an internalized
process induced by external and/or internal triggers, namely demotivators and
(c) it is a reversible process: the recovery procedure of motivation is named
remotivation, while the total loss of motivation is termed as amotivation, which
In comparison with the salient and traditional motivation theory, the conceptualization
of demotivation takes notice of detrimental factors triggering the decrease
of learners motive in L2 acquisition. This theory expands the horizon
of motivation discipline by focusing on the negative factors or the dark
side of motives, which provides completely new perspectives for linguists
and TESOL practitioners to reflect on maintaining or recovering learners
European and North American studies: Demotivational research was initially
introduced into L2 domain by European and North American researchers. L2 learners
in primary and secondary education were targeted as the main subjects in most
of these studies and qualitative methods were adopted as the prevailing experimental
On investigating 191 British year-nine pupils and 7 teachers with a questionnaire,
Chambers (1993) found discrepant results between teacher
and learner surveys. Learners were more inclined to attribute their demotivation
mainly to teachers whereas teachers blamed it on students psychological,
attitudinal, social, historical and geographical inducements except themselves.
In addition, Chambers found the triggers of demotivation too diversified to
Subsequent to Chambers study, Rudnai (1996) was
among the early attempts to investigate L2 learners demotivation. By interviewing
15 Hungarian secondary EFL learners covering demotivation at the language level,
the learner level and the learning situation level, Rudnai
(1996) concluded that the learner level (e.g., caused mostly by negative
past experiences) and the learning situation level (e.g., lack of free choice)
were found to be the most influential causes of subjects demotivation.
Oxford (1998) surveyed 250 American high school and
college students by conducting a content analysis of their essays in retrospect
of their past L2 learning experiences. All subjects in the study reported to
have demotivating experiences. However, Oxford (1998)
specifically referred to the teachers role as a source of demotivation,
while other potential sources were not taken into account.
In Ushiodas (1998) follow-up interview of 20 Irish
L2 learners, the subjects were more inclined to attribute their demotivation
to external inducements like school learning environments rather than internal
factors such as personal capabilities. One outstanding finding of the study
was that subjects managed to sustain or revive their motivation by resorting
to a series of self-motivating strategies, which laid the foundation for future
research on remotivation.
In a structured long interview of 50 demotivated Hungarian secondary school
learners, Dornyei (1998) analyzed the results with a
stepwise theme-based processing procedure and summarized nine categories among
hundreds of demotivating factors, namely The Teachers, Inadequate School Facilities,
Negative Attitude toward L2, Reduced Self-confidence, Compulsory Nature of L2
Study, Interference of L3 being Studied, Negative Attitude towards L2 Community,
Attitudes of Group Members and Coursebook. Dornyei sequenced the categories
and The Teacher ranked the largest with 40% of the total frequency of occurrences
directly and 15% indirectly. The other two were proposed as significant (above
10%), namely, Inadequate School Facilities and Negative Attitude toward L2.
The nine categories are prototypes of demotivators in later demotivational studies
and provide a measure scale for cross comparison of demotivation among L2 learners
from different countries.
Asian studies: Inspired by preceding occidental research, a number of
empirical studies were carried out worldwide, among which Asian experiments
were impressive. Most of these studies targeted at university students who were
believed as relatively successful English learners but not highly demotivated.
In addition, more large-sample extensive-range quantitative approaches were
Falout and Maruyama (2004) surveyed 164 Japanese university
students in a quantitative study with a 49-item Likert Scale questionnaire and
creatively segmented the subjects into higher and lower proficiency (HP and
LP) groups to validate the nine demotivators suggested by Dornyei
(1998) as mentioned above. Results demonstrated the most significant demotivator
in both HP and LP groups was an intrinsic factor of Self-confidence, which deviated
from Dornyeis definition of specific external forces. In the
following study of 900 Japanese university EFL learners, Falout
et al. (2009) summarized three categories of demotivators: external
conditions of the learning environment, internal conditions of the learner and
reactive behaviors to demotivating experiences, the latter two of which were
reported to correlate with long-term EFL learning outcomes.
In comparison with numerous Japanese studies, China and Koreas research
is relatively under-focused. Kim (2009) surveyed 220
Korean junior high school learners with a self-report 31-item questionnaire
and identified five demotivators: Difficulty of Learning English, Teachers
Competence and Teaching Styles, Characteristics of English Classes, Reduced
Motivation and Interest and Inadequate Learning Environment. By decoding the
quantitative data obtained from 6301 elementary school students and the qualitative
findings from 17 teachers in Korea, Kim and Seo (2012)
extracted three demotivators, the Teachers, Excessive Social Expectation and
Students Proficiency Gap. This categorization reflected culture-specific
features of Korean subjects demotivational behaviors from their counterparts
in other countries.
Based on theoretical reviews of overseas studies, new empirical investigations
on Chinese L2 learners were reported, the majority of which adopting blended
approaches of both quantitative and qualitative methods. Surveying 766 university
EFL learners with a 40-item questionnaire, Zhou and Wang
(2012) investigated Chinese college EFL learners demotivational behaviors
and summarized five demotivators, including external factors of Teachers
Competence and Teaching Styles, Curriculum and Materials and Inadequate Facilities,
together with internal factors of Lack of Intrinsic Interest and Learning Strategies
Deficiency. Zhou (2012) continued his study by comparing
the impact intensity of the four demotivators, namely Teachers, Learning Contexts,
Language and Culture Background and Learners, between 41 Chinese university
EFL learners and 36 counterparts from Japan. The results of this cross sectional
study indicated significant discrepancies on the item means of the three demotivators
of Teachers, Language and Culture Background and Learners between the two subject
groups and the causes of subjects disparate demotivating behaviors were
sought from culturally specific factors. The findings of Zhous two experiments
gave insight into Chinese college EFL learners internal demotivators rather
than external ones emphasized by former occidental researchers.
However, empirical studies regarding the characteristics and culture-specific
contexts of Chinese L2 learners
demotivation are few, especially those comparative studies on learners
demotivative features in L2 acquisition between neighboring countries sharing
Confucius cultures. Therefore, an investigation of Sino-Korean college EFL learners
demotivation is made.
The research questions for the study are:
||What are the demotivators eliciting Chinese college EFL learners
||What are the demotivators triggering Korean college EFL learners
||Are there any featuring demotivators concerning Chinese and Korean college
EFL learners culture-specific situations?
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Participants: In total 240 questionnaires were equally released to both
Chinese and Korean subjects. 103 returned from Chinese subjects, among which
97 were valid while 102 returned from Korean subjects with 101 valid. The mean
age of the students at the outset of the study was 20.7 and 21.2 years, respectively.
The demographic variables within the subjects were as follows: 87 freshmen (36
Chinese and 51 Korean), 72 sophomores (41 and 31), 27 juniors (11 and 16) and
12 senior (9 and 3).
Materials: The experimental instrument included two phases. The first
was written feedback on open-end questions, aiming to collect data on subjects
demographic information and their antecedent experience in L2 learning. To further
investigate and conclude subjects
insights of learning demotivation, a number of in-person interviews were supplemented
as well. Phase One was carried out in subjects
L1, namely Chinese and Korean.
The second phase was the Demotivational Questionnaire, which consisted of 40
5-point Likert scale items, ranging from 5 (Strongly Agree) to 1 (Strongly Disagree).
The items were set and revised on the qualitative results of Phase One, so as
to cover as many potential demotivating factors as possible. Phase Two was taken
in English to avoid ambiguity in translation.
Data collection and processing: Mixed methods were adopted to process
both quantitative and qualitative data. Qualitative data were dealt through
the content analysis of students
feedbacks, together with teachers
evaluation to extract possible triggers of demotivation. Subsequently the quantitative
data were accumulated via questionnaires and analyzed with Statistical Program
for Social Sciences (SPSS) 18.0. Mean scores of each item were calculated to
conduct reliability analysis and factor analysis to explore demotivators in
subjects EFL learning.
Descriptives and frequencies: Table 1 illustrates
the descriptive statistics for each item of both Chinese and Korean subjects
in the survey. As to Chinese surveys, the means of Item 1 (dislike of classmates),
Item 20 (deficiency in guessing the meaning of words from texts) and Item 35
(insufficient support from teachers) ranked the highest of all, at 3.650, 3.732
and 3.691, respectively. These three items were considered by Chinese subjects
as the most demotivating elements. Besides, it is noteworthy that more than
half of the subjects chose scale 4 (Agree) or 5 (Strongly Agree) on the following
items: Item 8 (aversion of English language), Item 18 (unspecific and unclear
textbooks), Item 31 (no future plan for English-related professions); Item 34
(test-oriented curriculum), Item 38 (inability to learn English independently)
and Item 1, 20, 35 as mentioned above. The items were reported as the major
factors leading to Chinese subjects
EFL learning demotivation as well. By contrast, not all factors negatively influenced
subjects demotivation, for instance,
the means of Item 12 (excessive class size), Item 17 (confidence lost in communicating
with Westerners), Item 22 (predominance of grammar-translation method) and Item
28 (insufficient English communicating activities) were below 2.000, embodying
their minor or naught impact on subjects.
The demotivating status of Korean subjects is presented in Table
1 as well. It is remarkable that seven items exceeded the extraordinary
high means of 3.500, which indicated their excessively strong impact on Korean
subjects demotivation, namely, Item 4 (inferiority to classmates), Item
5 (teachers personalities), Item 8, Item 14 (monotonous teaching pedagogy),
Item 30 (insufficient school facilities), Item 31 and Item 39 (teachers
insufficient preparation). Contrary to the high scores of aforementioned items,
less than five Korean subjects selected scale 5 (Strongly Agree) on the following
items: Item 1, Item 6 (inappropriate teaching contents), Item 21 (excessive
information in reading texts), Item 24 (goal-lost in English learning), Item
34 and Item 40 (infrequent utilization of Internet facilities).
|| Descriptive statistics for items in the demotivational questionnaire
|CHN: China, KOR: Korea, n (Chinese) = 97, n (Korean) = 101
|| Factor analysis of Chinese EFL learners demotivation
These items were not reported by Korean subjects as their demotivational factors.
Factor analysis: The Bartletts
test of Sphericity of this study was significant, which proved that the data
collected was suitable for factor analysis. The principal component factor analysis
with direct oblimin rotation procedure was performed, extracting six and five
factors from Chinese and Korean subjects, respectively. Table
2 and 3 demonstrate the loading on each item within the
factors (demotivators) extracted. The cutoff point for factor loadings on each
item was set at 0.40.
As to Chinese subjects, Factor One (F1) included five items (12, 19, 25, 26,
40), all correlated with teaching facilities and school equipments. Just as
Zhou (2012) remarked, it was rational to ascribe L2
learners demotivation to inadequate facilities. Therefore, this factor
was entitled Inadequate Facilities. Factor Two (F2) contained merely three items
(7, 8, 36). Item 7 and 8 revealed subjects aversion of target language
whereas Item 36 reflected how disinterest of target language culture demotivated
subjects. This factor was named Negative Attitude toward Target Language and
Culture. Factor Three (F3) covered three items: Item 9 (unfamiliarity with L2
learning strategies), Item 20 and Item 38, indicating subjects strong
inclination of reflecting on personal learning modes. This factor was nominated
Learning Strategies Deficiency. Factor Four (F4) consisted of five items (3,
5, 10, 32, 39), which associated with teachers teaching capability, personality,
pedagogy and attitude. Subjects believed these items directly caused their demotivation
in EFL learning. This result echoed Dornyeis (1998)
first type of demotivator-The Teacher (personality, commitment, competence,
teaching method), which was the major trigger of learners demotivation.
|| Factor analysis of Korean EFL learners demotivation
Hence F4 was labeled as the Teachers. Factor Five (F5), named as Confidence
Deficiency, was made up of three items (17, 33, 37) related to subjects
self-confidence in L2 learning. Factor Six (F6) comprised three items (22, 27,
34), which covered a wide range of fields. Item 22 directed at the prevailing
teaching methods in classroom. Item 34 targeted at curriculum design. In addition,
inappropriate testing instruments (Item 27) were regarded by subjects as detrimental
factors, too. According to Brown (1995), testing is an
indispensable part of curriculum design as the firsthand feedback of learners
adaptation to the curriculum. Therefore, F6 was named The Learning Environment.
Meanwhile, Table 3 illustrates the results of factor analysis
among Korean subjects. Factor One (F1) comprised five items. Item 6, 22 and
27 manifested subjects motivation
might be impaired by inappropriate learning context, while Item 21 and 29 reflected
the detriment of information overload. Therefore, F1 was regarded as The Learning
Environment. Factor Two (F2) included five items (3, 5, 14, 32, 35), concerning
teacher-related elements and was hence addressed as The Teachers. Factor Three
(F3) covered Item 16, 17, 33, 37, relating to subjects
internal triggers of demotivation and was entitled as Confidence Deficiency.
Factor Four (F4) was named Peer Pressure as the constituent Item 1, 4 and 23
embodied the interpersonal features of language learning, peers
detrimental influences in particular. Factor Five (F5) highlighted subjects'
demanding of both hardware (Item 25, 30) and software support (40) in L2 classroom.
This factor was nominated as Inadequate Facilities.
|| Chinese subjects' average means of demotivators
(RQ1) What are the factors eliciting Chinese college EFL learners
demotivation?: Six demotivators were extracted from the study on Chinese
respondents: Inadequate Facilities (F1), Negative Attitude toward Target Language
and Culture (F2), Learning Strategies Deficiency (F3), The Teachers (F4), Confidence
Deficiency (F5) and The Learning Environment (F6). The sequence of the six demotivators
in descending order in accordance with their average means were F3 (3.213),
F2 (3.158), F4 (2.798), F6 (2.667), F1 (2.419) and F5 (2.409) (Fig.
Based on classical theoretical framework of demotivation, the six factors were
divided into two types, namely, internal and external demotivators. Internal
demotivators correlated with learners interior forces to reduce or diminish
motivation in language learning, including Negative Attitude toward Target Language
and Culture (F2), Learning Strategies Deficiency (F3) and Confidence Deficiency
(F5); whereas external demotivators related to exterior drives detrimental to
learners motivational basis of second language acquisition, comprising
Inadequate Facilities (F1), The Teachers (F4) and The Learning Environment (F6).
|| Teachers attribution to learners demotivation
in different studies
|| Proportion of demotivators and constitution of Chinese subjects'
Figure 2 demonstrates the percentage of the demotivators
attributed to learners demotivation and the constitution of internal and
(RQ2) What are the factors triggering Korean college EFL learners
demotivation?: Concerning Korean subjects, five demotivators were rotated
from this experiment: The Learning Environment (F1), The Teachers (F2), Confidence
Deficiency (F3), Peer Pressure (F4) and Inadequate Facilities (F5). The mean
Likert value of each demotivator differed substantially from Chinese counterparts
(Fig. 3), the mean scores of F2 and F3 were relatively high
(3.222 and 2.847, respectively), followed by F5 and F4 (2.832 and 2.796). The
mean score of F1 bottomed at 2.380. Among these five demotivators, The Learning
Environment (F1), The Teachers (F2) and Inadequate Facilities (F5) were categorized
as external demotivators whereas the other two were internal demotivators (Fig.
(RQ3) Are there any featuring demotivators concerning Chinese and Korean
college EFL learners culture-specific
Shared demotivators: In Chinese and Korean subjects
categorization of demotivators, four are shared by both sides, The Teachers,
Confidence Deficiency, Inadequate Facilities and The Learning Environment. Some
phenomena in the above demotivators are noticeable and worth reviewing, namely
EFL teachers diminishing role
of incurring demotivation among the two groups of subjects; the high percentage
of Confidence Deficiency; and the increasing proportion of internal demotivators.
|| Korean subjects' average means of demotivators
The teachers: In retrospect of past investigations on EFL learners
demotivation, no matter age, proficiency or native culture, a high percentage
of L2 learners reported teachers as the prime demotivator. In this survey, teachers
negative impact was considered by Korean subjects as the most significant demotivator
whereas by Chinese counterparts the third. However, teachers
detrimental influence on learners in this study has decreased substantially
in comparison with that of former experiments (Table 4). The
diminishment of teachers role
in demotivating EFL learners probably consists in the strong influence of traditional
Confucian pedagogy salient in the two countries, which emphasizes teachers
unchallengeable authority in classroom. Imbued with Confucianism, students are
less inclined to blame the cause of demotivation on respected tutors.
Meanwhile, the figure of teacher-related items in this survey revealed as well
the differences between the two subject groups. The lower attribution of teachers
role in Chinese subjects demotivation (16.79%) than that of Koreans
(22.89%) exemplified this discrepancy. This phenomenon might root from the educational
reform carried out in the past decade throughout Chinese colleges, which have
gradually overthrown the traditional teacher-centered pedagogy and introduced
learner-centered module into EFL classrooms.
|| Proportion of demotivators and constitution of Korean subjects'
As a result, Chinese EFL learners concern more on teachers supportive
role in classroom while Korean counterparts still depend significantly on teachers
centeredness. For instance, Chinese subjects means on Item 35 (insufficient
support from teachers) was much higher than that of Koreans (3.691 and
2.960, respectively), while Korean subjects (4.040) scored higher on Item 14
(monotonous teaching pedagogy) than Chinese (2.876).
In response to the teacher-related factors that exert strong impact on learners
demotivation, sufficient correlated teacher-training or teacher-education is
suggested, recommending teachers to avert practices that demotivating learners.
Just as Falout et al. remarked (2009): Ultimately,
teachers have the greatest potential to influence the external contexts in the
classroom and the internal conditions of the learner, for better or worse.
Confidence deficiency: Ranking the second in Korean group and the sixth
in Chinese, this demotivator resembles Dornyeis (1998)
categorization of Reduced Self-confidence, which was deemed as a significant
demotivator to Hungarian subjects. However, the two demotivators are not exactly
the same due to subjects different cultural backgrounds and thinking habits.
Dornyei blamed the reduction of Hungarians confidence on too many failures
in past language learning experiences, while the triggers for the Chinese and
Korean subjects in this study might be more complicated. Lack of experience
in reaching success (Item 16), together with failing to reach parents
or teachers expectations and inferior performance to peers (as given in
subjects feedback of open-questions) might incur the declining of subjects
confidence. To be precise, this phenomenon might root from Confucian philosophy
shared by both Chinese and Korean subjects. Different from Westerners
egocentrism, Confucianism stresses on the sense of hierarchy. Students are brought
up to be obedient to parents or teachers authority and expectations.
Once learners become aware of their incapability to attain the objective set
by dominants, they will be more likely to attribute their failure to self reasons,
which eventually elicit learners confidence deficiency. Dornyeis
(2009) L2 self system theory might explain the trigger of this demotivator
as well: when subjects real self fail to achieve the altitude set by ideal
self and ought-to self, confidence will be shattered and demotivation will occur.
Internal demotivators: In comparison with former studies carried out
in Europe and North America, one significant finding of this study is the increasing
proportion of internal demotivators, which attributed 52.68 and 40.34%, respectively
to Chinese and Korean learners demotivation (Fig. 2,
4). This finding signifies Korean subjects still tended to
ascribe the major inducement of demotivation to external elements whereas Chinese
college EFL learners were more inclined to perceive internal demotivating triggers
such as confidence, learning strategy and attitude towards target language/culture.
The high scale of internal demotivators coheres with findings from former empirical
studies administered on Chinese collegiate learners (Li,
2011; Zhou, 2012; Li, 2013a,
b) that demotivation is not merely a specific
external forces as Dornyei (1998) defined. Both
internal and external demotivators induce L2 learners demotivation, the
specific segmentation of the two demotivators is decided by culture-specific
factors together with other unidentified variables, which needs to be investigated
in future research.
The high segmentation of internal demotivators among Chinese college EFL learners
is not an optimistic indicator as it might lead to attribution bias, incurring
learners down-spiral affective state of self-blame or amotivation at worst.
Therefore, particular attention is needed from Chinese college EFL practitioners
to tackle this demotivative state. Ushiodas (1998)
advice of attribution training is an appropriate approach of remotivation. Learners
are to be instructed with certain strategies to place blame on external factors,
which will dissociate past demotivating experience from self-confidence and
consequently debilitate the occurrence of demotivation.
Discrepant demotivators: Owing to different educational contexts, the
Chinese and Korean subjects in this study manifested discrepant culture-specific
demotivators, namely Chinese subjects
Learning Strategy Deficiency and Negative Attitude toward Target Language/Culture,
as well as Koreans Peer Pressure.
Learning strategies deficiency: The average means of Learning Strategies
Deficiency (F3) in this study is 3.213, attributing the largest to Chinese subjects
demotivation, accounting for approximately 19.28% (Fig. 2).
This salience consists in the gap between traditional and modern EFL pedagogies.
The English education in Chinese primary and secondary schools is more Confucianized,
emphasizing teacher-centeredness and grammar-translation method. Students are
accustomed to depending deeply on teachers
theoretical output and practical modeling in classroom. However, the EFL education
in Chinese universities is more Westernized, stressing learner-centeredness.
The abrupt shift between two pedagogies highlights students
deficiency in language learning strategies, bringing them sense of maladjustment
and anxiety and consequently triggering demotivation.
Having not been observed in former studies on Western L2 learners, the demotivator
of Learning Strategies Deficiency demonstrates significant correlation with
Confucius culture prevailing in Eastern Asia. This demotivator is not unique
to Chinese college EFL learners, as in Tsuchiyas
(2004) study of Japanese counterparts, the factor of Ways of Learning is
In detail, this study has revealed two types of learning strategy deficiency.
One is students lack of learning strategies that can be utilized. The
high means of Item 38 inability to learn English independently (3.464)
fully exemplified subjects awareness of the importance as well as their
devoid of learning strategies. The other type is students low proficiency
in using the strategies appropriately, as Item 9 unfamiliarity with L2
learning strategies (2.443) and Item 20 deficiency in guessing the
meaning of words from texts (3.732) illustrated. The finding proves Lis
(2011) viewpoint that both the acquired quantities and the effectiveness
of the learning strategies used would directly impact on Chinese college EFL
learners demotivation. Therefore, proper and relevant learning strategy
training is suggested in tackling this demotivator.
Negative attitude toward target language and culture: The average mean
value of constituent items in this demotivator reaches 3.158, ranking the second
among all six demotivators. This result reveals Chinese subjects were more resistant
to English language and culture than Koreans. Chinese students
attitude toward English language might be explained from the perspectives of
L1 negative transfer. The huge gap between native and target languages magnifies
learners difficulty in acquiring
English. Belonging to Sino-Tibetan and Indo-European families, respectively,
the Chinese and English languages differ substantially in pronunciation, morphology,
semantics and even ideology. Therefore, Chinese learners, who have been imbued
in hieroglyphic L1 for approximately two decades, are more liable to be negatively
influenced by L1 transfer than Koreans whose native language is alphabetic script
like L2 English. The high means of Chinese subjects on Item 7 (disinterest in
learning English) and Item 8 (aversion of English language), accounting for
3.381 and 3.443, respectively, fully proved this negative attitude. Moreover,
this phenomenon can be explained by instrumental motivation theory as well.
Due to the large scale domestic job market, Chinese students have more possibilities
than Koreans of working in L1 context. Hence Chinese learners are less prone
to get engaged in English-related professions, just like the high means of Item
31 shows (3.299). As a matter of fact, the importance of English as a working
tool is relatively low to Chinese learners and so forth their instrumental motivation
to learn the target language.
In addition, Chinese students
negative attitudes toward English culture increase their demotivation in learning
the language. Due to the relatively seclusive geographical location and the
hegemony of monoculture, the Chinese culture is more continental, exclusive
and unique, which in turn deepens Chinese students
resistance to heterogeneous culture, as Item 36 (2.650) exemplified.
Peer pressure: As the particular discrepant demotivator of Korean subjects,
the pressure of peers on EFL learners is alarming. The dark side of prevailing
cooperative learning method is to some extent unveiled in this study. The mean
value of Item 4 (inferiority to classmates) was 4.050, ranking the highest of
all items. The detrimental influence of competition and cooperation among learners
in pairwork, groupwork or teamwork was also reconfirmed by Korean subjects in
their written feedback on open-end questions in the first phase of the study.
The majority of subjects admitted having suffered from demotivating experiences
from classmates, eliciting sense of embarrassment and reluctance to practice
English among peers in classroom, as Item 23 (2.743) illustrated. Furthermore,
this result is not unique to Koreans, as similar findings were reported among
Japanese EFL learners (Falout and Maruyama, 2004).
The demotivator of peer pressure raises the need to reconsider the designing
and organizing of cooperative activities in EFL classroom and appropriate countermeasures
are to be schemed out to lessen the rivalrousness of activities and the frustrating
feeling to most college EFL learners. Therefore, future research is warranted
to make a series of in-depth inquires into the cause of peer pressure among
college EFL learners by Asian EFL practitioners besides Koreans.
The empirical evidence taken from Chinese and Korean college EFL learners in
this study gives support to the inclusion of internal forces that
trigger L2 learners demotivation in language acquisition. Therefore, the
conceptualization of demotivation should take into account both the internal
and external demotivators as Li (2011), Li
(2013a, b) and Zhou (2012)
claimed in antecedent research.
In this study, six demotivators were identified among Chinese college EFL learners
as well as five among Korean counterparts. By comparing the categorization with
former studies carried out worldwide, it is apparent that demotivation reveals
strong culture-specific features in accordance with different contexts. Learners
from East Asia demotivate disparately from those on the other side of the Eurasia
Continent and even those sharing similar cultures show distinct features, as
the Chinese and Korean subjects exemplified in this study.
By contrasting the correlated similarities and discrepancies in this study,
a number of variables have been revealed to impact on L2 learners
demotivative behaviors, including philosophy, native culture, L1 transfer, educational
settings and so forth. Yet more are to be explored for EFL practitioners to
manipulate appropriate counter-demotivating or remotivating pedagogies for learners
from different contexts in classroom.
To unveil what demotivates EFL learners is not the entire story of demotivation
research, the ultimate objective is to diminish or overcome the occurrence of
demotivators detrimental to learners
English language acquisition. Therefore, correlative implications might be derived
from this study for policymakers, administrators and EFL teachers to reflect
on language education policies, syllabus design, evaluation, as well as classroom
This study is sponsored by the Youth Foundation of Humanities and Social Sciences
of Chinese Ministry of Education (13YJC740044), China Foreign Language Education
Funds (ZGWYJYJJ2012A55), the Key Research Topics of Zhejiang Philosophy and
Social Science Planning Projects (11JCWW02Z), Ningbo Philosophy and Social Science
Planning Projects (Education) (G12JY-13).