Arab World English journal
AWEJ Vol.2 No. 4 December 2011                                                                                                 pp.257-285

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Motivational instruction in practice: Do EFL instructors at King Khalid University motivate their
students to learn English as a foreign language?

Dr.Fakieh Abduh Alrabai
Faculty of Languages and Translation
King Khalid University, Saudi Arabia

This paper reports on the findings of an empirical investigation of how frequently instructors of English as a foreign language (EFL) at King Khalid University, Saudi Arabia motivate their learners to learn English in their EFL classes. Using a structured questionnaire, a group of thirty EFL instructors at the department of English, King Khalid University (KKU) in south of Saudi Arabia were asked to rate their use of specific motivational techniques in the language classroom based on a 5 point Likert scale that ranges from hardly ever to very often. These techniques suggest a variety of methods that are usually used to promote different aspects of learners’ motivation. Data collected from respondents was subjected to a variety of preliminary and main analyses. The findings derived from the analyses revealed that participating instructors usually pay attention to utilizing some motivational techniques in their EFL classes like demonstrating proper teacher behaviour and promoting learners’ self-confidence. These findings have further indicated that those teachers, on the other hand, usually pay little or even no attention to using other techniques like enhancing learners’ autonomy.

Key words: Motivation, Motivational techniques, EFL teachers, EFL learners, Teacher behavior


Dr. Fakieh Alrabai is an assistant professor at the department of English, King Khalid University, Saudi Arabia. Alrabai is the author of two published books that deal with the applications of motivation in foreign language teaching/learning. Research areas: Applied Linguistics, Second Language Acquisition, Psycholinguistics, L2 Motivation