A Case study of CILOS, Dar es Salaam
Asteria Gabriel Ngaiza
Department of Management, Moshi Co-operative University (MoCU)
- O. Box 474, Kilimanjaro-Tanzania
This study investigates motivation factors for learning English among Kiswahili learners of English. The study is a descriptive one which involved 20 Kiswahili learners who were learning English as their second language at Cilos center for language courses in Dar es Salaam. A questionnaire comprising 20 item statements to elicit learners’ motives for learning English was used as a method for data collection. The study used Gardener’s integrative-instrumental motivations. The findings indicate that the learners were motivated with the level of instrumental significantly higher than that of integrative motivation. The study suggests that English as Second Learning (ESL) teachers should try to use a variety of motivation strategies and a variety of tasks in order to strength learners’ motivation in second language learning.
Keywords: motivation, English as Second Language (ESL), English as Foreign Language (EFL)
Motivation is one of the most important concepts in psychology. Theories concerning motivation have attempted to explain why humans behave and think as they do. The notion is also of great importance in language education. Teachers and students commonly use the term to explain what causes success or failure in learning. Indeed, motivation provides the primary impetus to initiate second or foreign language (L2) learning and later the driving force to sustain the long learning process. Without sufficient motivation, individuals with the most remarkable abilities cannot accomplish long-term goals. For language learners, mastery of language may be seen as a goal. Motivation is one of the most important prerequisites for learning a second language; motivation affects the way you practice, what you observe and what you do (Dörnyei, 2001a). Motivation has been thought to be a very important factor determining whether or not a learner can acquire second language successfully since highly motivated students do seem to be more successful in terms of acquiring a language (Logan, 1969 & Dörnyei, 2001b).
Further, Yashima (2002) affirms that, factors like motivation, anxiety, and attitude have an effective role in language achievement and proficiency. When learners start learning a language, they may already have some motives for learning it. However, the motive may vary widely from person to person. Some people may learn an L2 (Second Language) for the pure intrinsic enjoyment that comes with learning a new language while others may learn it in order to obtain the extrinsic reward such as passing an examination.
Empirical Studies on Motivation to Second Language Learning
The study on motivation as a predictor of second language learning performance was initiated by Robert Gardner and his Canadian colleagues. A lot of researches on second language acquisition have provided empirical evidence on the relationship between language achievement and motivation, for instance (Bernaus & Gardner, 2008; Csizér & Dörnyei, 2005; Yu & Watkins, 2008). As far as language is concerned, motivation is defined as a “combination of effort plus desire to achieve the goal of learning a language plus favourable attitude towards learning a language” (Gardner, 1985). In his socio-educational model, Gardner describes two kinds of motivation: integrative and instrumental, with much emphasis on integrative motivation. Integrative motivation refers to learners’ desire to at least communicate or at most integrate (or even assimilate) with the members of the target language. Instrumental motivation refers to more functional reasons for learning the language such as getting a better job, a higher salary or passing an examination.
Studies by Taylor, Meynard and Rheault (1977); Ellis (1997), and Crookes et al. (1991) indicate that integrative and instrumental motivation types are essential elements of success when learning a second language. In some of the early researches conducted by Gardner and Lambert, integrative motivation was viewed as being of more importance in a formal learning environment than instrumental motivation (Ellis, 1997). In later studies, integrative motivation has continued to be emphasized, although now the importance of instrumental motivation is also stressed.
Similarly, Noels (2001) suggests that both integrative and instrumental orientations help to sustain efforts in learning a second language, though integrative orientation may not exist in particular contexts especially in EFL settings where learners have limited contact with the L2 community or culture. In that case integrative orientation could be less important than instrumental orientation to promote successful L2 learning in some particular contexts. However, it is important to note that instrumental motivation has only been acknowledged as a significant factor in some researches, whereas integrative motivation has been continually linked to successful second language acquisition. It has been generally found out that in most cases students select instrumental reasons more frequently than integrative reasons for the second language learning.
Gardner and Lambert (1972) assert that individuals with an integrative orientation would demonstrate greater motivation in learning L2, and, thus, achieve greater L2 competence. This is in agreement with Gardner and Lambert (1959) who upheld the relative importance of the integrative orientation in L2 acquisition. However, Chihara and Oller, (1978); Gardner and Lambert, (1972); and Lukmani, (1972) did not support the model either because it was found that instrumental orientation predicted L2 outcomes as well as, or better than, integrative orientation, or because integrative orientation had a negative correlation with proficiency.
In Tanzania, Mwalimu (1997) noted that students in tertiary colleges (e.g IDM Mzumbe and Moshi Cooperative College) who were instrumentally motivated performed better in their Communication Skills course. The students had a positive attitude towards the course because the course assisted them to achieve other ends such as improving their study skills and improving their English. On the other hand, he noted that those students with unfavorable attitude and low motivation did not conceive the utilitarian value of the course for their academic achievement hence scored low in this subject. A similar argument is also put forward by Brown (2000), as he points out that in India where English has become an international language, it is common for second language learners to be successful with instrumental purposes being the underlying reason for study. He then added that the majority of the learners were associating English learning with better jobs and better life.
Lukmani (1972) in his study of motivation for Marathi-speaking Indian students learning English as second language found that the learners who were instrumentally motivated scored high in English proficiency tests. He also added that instrumental orientation was more important than integrative orientation in non-westernized female learners of L2 English in Bombay. In fact, these studies argue that instrumental motivation plays a useful role if one wants to learn a second language successfully. Other studies have observed the integrative type of motivation to be mostly favoured. For instance Msuya (2013) when studying Koreans who were learning Kiswahili as a foreign language in Korea found out that 68% of the respondents were integratively motivated while less than 50% were instrumentally motivated. In addition, those who were instrumentally motivated were learning Kiswahili because they believed that Kiswahili would help them to understand African culture which they liked much. They also said that the Koreans who speak Kiswahili are generous. On the other hand learned Kiswahili because they wanted to come and work in East Africa.
A similar view was observed by Elisifa (2008) when studying Kiswahili speakers learning Kivunjo as their second language. The study found out that the learners who were integratively motivated outperformed those who were half motivated in their communicative competence for 74% and 54% respectively. Schmidt and Frota, (1986) observe that learners who are integratively motivated may be more receptive to communicative approaches and may suffer a severe decline of interest in language courses if the focus is primarily on grammar.
However, Brown (2000) explained the useful role of the two forms of motivation. He comments that both integrative and instrumental motivation types are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Learners rarely select one form of motivation when learning a second language, but rather a combination of both orientations. He cites the example of international students residing in the United States who were learning English for academic purposes while at the same time wishing to become integrated with the people and culture of the country.
Generally, the reviewed studies examined the role of motivation in a different perspective. There are those which argue that integrative motivation has a positive contribution for successful learning of a second language. Other studies support both integrative and instrumental motivation for successful second language learning.
On the contrary, other studies have identified rather a different kind of motivation, a personal motivation because they could not place it under integrative or instrumental motivation. For example Schmidt et al. (1996) when studying adult Egyptians learning English as a foreign language, found a unique motive behind learning the language. For the housewives, it was an opportunity for them to be able to get out and make new friends. This study by Schmidt shows us that the reasons and the motive for people to learn a second language might be beyond integrative and instrumental motives. However, the researcher thinks the so called personal motivation belongs to instrumental orientation as one seeks to learn a language in order to achieve a certain goal, that of meeting and seeing friends.
Benson (1991) noted that university students in Japan had mixed motivation for studying English as a second language. Some students appeared to be generally enthusiastic, but lacked application. He also found that some of the reasons suggested by students for learning English could not be grouped as either integrative or instrumental forms of motivation. A study by Strong, (1984) on motivation did not find any significant correlation between integrative motivation and high achievement in language learning. Similarly, the same study by Strong (ibid) revealed that motivation factors may differ according to different age groups, different environments where the target language is taught, and different expectations of the society where learners reside. Since the motive for learning second language varies, this study intends to investigate the case with Kiswahili learners of English as L2 so as to identify the motive behind
Theoretical Framework and Methodology
This study is guided by Gardner’s Socio-Educational model of integrative and instrumental motivation types to investigate the motives for learning English as a second language among Kiswahili learners of English. This model has been chosen because it looks specifically at second language acquisition in the classroom environment. Cilos centre has been chosen as a case study because this is not a compulsory environment for learning a second language so the researcher wished to know what intrigued these learners to the learning of the English language outside the compulsory setting. The centre is located in Dar es Salaam Region at the City Centre. It offers foreign language courses such as English, French, Chinese, and Spanish.
The study involved twenty (20) participants who were learning English at Cilos centre in Dar es Salaam Region, a centre that offers foreign language courses, English being one of them. The participants involved in the study were eight females and twelve males. The respondents were purposeful sampled because the researcher wanted to get only those respondents who speak Kiswahili as their First Language (L1). Also among these were five respondents who had earned a graduate degree and they were employed. Other respondents were a mixture of form four, form six, as well as standard seven leavers. All the respondents had registered for a three-month English course for various motives as will be presented in the findings. Their age ranged between 18 and 39.
Data Collection Methods
The study employed a questionnaire consisted of both closed and open-ended items. The close ended items consisted of 20 motivational item types adapted from Clement and Kruidenier (1983), Dornyei (1990), Gardner’s (1985) socio-educational orientations (instrumental and integrative) that were considered to be important across all groups of L2 learners. Thus, 13 items represented instrumental motivation and 7 represented integrative motivation. The open ended items were used so as to provide the subjects with a chance to list down any other motives not given in the list or to provide a more descriptive account on how some of the motivational variables applied to their situations at individual level. The students were asked to rate the extent to which the proposed reasons corresponded with their own reasons for L2 learning by using ‘agree’, ‘disagree’ or ‘not sure’ choices. In order to ensure that every respondent understood the questionnaire, translation was done for them by the researcher.
Findings and Discussion
The respondents’ motivation types were classified considering the two orientations of Gardner’s socio-educational model of integrative and instrumental orientations. Out of 20 factors, 13 (65%) represented instrumental items and 7 (35%) represented integrative items. The summary of the results are presented in Table 1
Learners’ Instrumental Motivation Orientation
The information drawn from the data reveals that 16 (80%) of the respondents chose instrumental factors as reasons for learning English. These participants clearly related learning English with advancement in their studies and work. As such they agreed with the proposed list of motivation orientations. “It will be helpful for my future career” this statement has the highest frequency among all as it was chosen by 18 (90%) respondents. The least preferred item among the instrumental item was the statement: “The main reason I am taking this class is because my supervisor want me to improve my English”. This item was chosen by 3 (15%) only. This kind of response suggests the majority of the respondents decided to learn English out of their own free will.
Learners’ Integrative Motivation Orientation
In this motivation type, results reveal that only 4 (20%) chose integrative orientation as their drive for learning English as their second language. The prevalence of instrumental over integrative is also in line with a study by Strong (1984) which asserts that motivation factors may differ according to different age groups, different environments where the target language is taught and different expectations of the society where learners reside.
Among the proposed integrative motivation choices, a considerable number of the respondents 14 (70%) agreed with the proposed motivation statement: “I want to learn English because it is useful when traveling in many countries.” This response shows that a substantial number of the respondents were interested in foreign cultures and wished to travel to foreign countries. This is in line with a Gardner’s study of (1985) which found out that; integrativeness is a motivation to learn a second language because of positive feelings toward the community that speaks that language. Similarly, the statement “I enjoy learning English very much” was the second to be chosen by the majority of the respondents 8(40%) among the proposed list of integrative motivation orientations.
Learners’ Motivation Types
When learners were asked to explain their own motive for learning the language, besides those which were proposed by the researcher, the results were a mixture of both integrative and instrumental motivation orientations. In this which 13 (65%) instrumental reasons for learning English while 7(35%) were integrative. These results suggest that, Kiswahili learners of English learn English because of the practical values of English such as personal success. From the findings 2(15%) respondents said “I want to learn English because I have a dream of going to live in Europe” This response suggests that, learners of a second language can still be motivated to learn the language for integrativess despite the fact that they are not in the native country.
While 9 (45%) out of those who were instrumentally motivated said that they were learning English because they wanted to be able to improve their job performance such as in communication and report writing. “Report writing has been a challenging task to me that is why I have decided to join here so that I can improve my writing”. This comment suggests that this respondent decided to learn English solely due to its practical importance in achieving his/her goals. Students of this kind have limited interest in the people and the culture of the target language community. This finding implies that Kiswahili learners of English are motivated to learn more languages for the purpose of high career possibilities.
Furthermore, there was another respondent who said: “My job as a tour guide requires me to be able to speak English in order to communicate with my clients”. This respondent as well added that “the majority of my clients speak English”. This respondent chose to learn English so that he would be able to do well in his career. A similar assertion was given by a typist who said that she had joined the programme because many of the tasks she was typing were written in English. She had therefore joined the course because she wanted to improve her job in typing without spelling mistakes.
Additionally, other 2 (10%) learners commented that they were learning English for translation purposes as one of them said “I am working as a translator with construction companies so English is highly demanded….” Similarly, there were 2 other respondents who said they were learning English because their parents wanted them to do so. These two learners were just the form four leavers. The implication in this motive from these respondents shows that there are those people who learn the language because of external pressure like to please parents. Another respondent commented:
“My children are studying in an English medium school that is why I have joined this class in order to be able to communicate with them and assist them in their assignments…” This comment was given by one of the respondents who said the drive for her to join the course was because she wanted to help her children when doing their learning tasks as well as to be able to communicate with them using English Language. These findings are also similar to those of Dornyei, (1990); Ghaith, (2003); and Oxford, (1996) who asserted that when a learner sees practical benefits in learning the language, he/she is motivated even if the language is not widely spoken in the learner's community.
Conclusions and Recommendations
This paper has analyzed motivation for second language learning among Kiswahili learners of English where the findings suggest that motivational factors for English language learning among Kiswahili learners of English are broad, with both instrumental and integrative characteristics. Even though, there is dominance of instrumental motivation over integrative motivation for that reason, a big number of Kiswahili speakers are learning English for its utilitarian value or purpose. Following these findings Dornyei (1994) suggests that an integrative orientation might be of little use to foreign language students who have little opportunity to communicate with members of the target language community.
Consequently, in the light of above findings it could be suggested that teachers of ESL need to use a variety of skills in order to motivate their learners. In the same line, these teachers are supposed to employ appropriate tasks that will meet every individual learner’s needs in the language classroom. Furthermore, in motivating students, it is important for language teachers to use motivational strategies that can be selected according to the characteristics of each particular language class. It is therefore expected that in utilizing motivational strategies and the suitable application of learning tasks will enhance motivation, willingness, and the pursuit of learning, and sustain language learning motivation among L2 learners.
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