This study examined longitudinally the effectiveness of some motivational strategies in promoting the L2 motivation of Saudi learners in their EFL classes. The study conducted empirical investigations over two stages. In the first stage, the study utilised a 53-item questionnaire survey among 119 EFL teachers in Saudi Arabia by which they were asked to rate strategies in terms of how important they consider each for enhancing students’ motivation in the language classroom. Based on the participating teachers’ responses, the rank order of the macro strategies in this survey was obtained. The top 10 motivational single strategies that were implemented in the Saudi EFL classes at the second stage of the experiment were also identified. In the second stage, 296 EFL students and 14 teachers were involved. Students were randomly divided into two groups: an experimental group that was exposed to the 10 pre-selected motivational strategies in their classes by seven teachers, and a control group in which the other seven teachers followed the traditional way of teaching. The treatment continued over the duration of one semester/school term of study. Motivation questionnaires were administered to students at the start and the end of the experimental period. In addition, a classroom observation protocol and a teacher post-lesson evaluation protocol were used to assess the teachers’ motivational practices and students’ motivated behaviours in the classroom. The statistical analyses of the data clearly showed a significant rise in motivational levels for students in the experimental, but not the control group. The results of the study therefore provide compelling evidence that teachers’ motivational behaviours do lead to enhanced motivation in their L2 learners.
University of Newcastle Research Higher Degree Thesis