Project

Authentic and personalized English activities to motivate Korean elementary school students

Project (M.A., Education (Curriculum and Instruction))--California State University, Sacramento, 2016.

Motivation is highly important in foreign language learning. Motivation influences factors which affect language learning such as effort, study time, and development of language proficiency (Brown, 2001; Deci & Ryan, 1985; Dörnyei, 2005; Gardner, 2001; Gardner & Lambert, 1972; La Guardia, 2009). Motivating elementary school students is especially significant as Korean students begin to learn English. Creating and maintaining positive language learning motivation is crucial for their future English learning success (Im, 2015). Once students are demotivated, it is difficult to motivate them again. This consistently has a negative effect on their English learning (Cho, 2014). 
 Unfortunately, more and more young learners in Korea lose their interests in learning English. It was found that there is a direct-inverse relationship between grade level of elementary school students and motivation to learn English (Im, 2015; Kim, T. Y., 2011). Students who lose learning motivation do not feel interested in learning English but have negative attitudes, become easily frustrated, and lose their desire to learn. As a result, this causes negative learning outcomes (Cho, 2014). 
 Purpose of Project:
 This project presents a set of motivating activities for elementary school English teachers in Korea. The ultimate goal of the project is to encourage young students (5th and 6th graders) to be persistently motivated and autonomous English learners who are eager to learn enthusiastically and actively inside and outside of the classroom. By being motivated, they can achieve their goals of English learning with interests and curiosity.
 Project Description:
 This project is devised based on three dimensions of literatures; motivation to make learners have a sense of purpose, constructivism and personalization in terms of learning method, and authentic language learning pertaining to learning content.
 English teachers in elementary schools in Korea will utilize this project for an entire school year. The project consists of an introduction, a first semester activity, a second semester activity, and recommendations. Through the introduction, teachers will enhance students’ intrinsic, integrative, and instrumental motivation by pointing out current limits of English education in Korea and explaining reasons and benefits of learning English. In the first semester activity, which adopts a “scaffolding” technique, students will learn authentic expressions from the book Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Greg Heffley’s journal. In the second semester activity, aimed to make students autonomous learners, students will inquire about English expressions from their daily lives. Lastly, recommendations for teachers will be given.

Motivation is highly important in foreign language learning. Motivation influences factors which affect language learning such as effort, study time, and development of language proficiency (Brown, 2001; Deci & Ryan, 1985; Dörnyei, 2005; Gardner, 2001; Gardner & Lambert, 1972; La Guardia, 2009). Motivating elementary school students is especially significant as Korean students begin to learn English. Creating and maintaining positive language learning motivation is crucial for their future English learning success (Im, 2015). Once students are demotivated, it is difficult to motivate them again. This consistently has a negative effect on their English learning (Cho, 2014). Unfortunately, more and more young learners in Korea lose their interests in learning English. It was found that there is a direct-inverse relationship between grade level of elementary school students and motivation to learn English (Im, 2015; Kim, T. Y., 2011). Students who lose learning motivation do not feel interested in learning English but have negative attitudes, become easily frustrated, and lose their desire to learn. As a result, this causes negative learning outcomes (Cho, 2014). Purpose of Project: This project presents a set of motivating activities for elementary school English teachers in Korea. The ultimate goal of the project is to encourage young students (5th and 6th graders) to be persistently motivated and autonomous English learners who are eager to learn enthusiastically and actively inside and outside of the classroom. By being motivated, they can achieve their goals of English learning with interests and curiosity. Project Description: This project is devised based on three dimensions of literatures; motivation to make learners have a sense of purpose, constructivism and personalization in terms of learning method, and authentic language learning pertaining to learning content. English teachers in elementary schools in Korea will utilize this project for an entire school year. The project consists of an introduction, a first semester activity, a second semester activity, and recommendations. Through the introduction, teachers will enhance students’ intrinsic, integrative, and instrumental motivation by pointing out current limits of English education in Korea and explaining reasons and benefits of learning English. In the first semester activity, which adopts a “scaffolding” technique, students will learn authentic expressions from the book Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Greg Heffley’s journal. In the second semester activity, aimed to make students autonomous learners, students will inquire about English expressions from their daily lives. Lastly, recommendations for teachers will be given.

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