AWEJ Volume.5 Number.1, 2014                                                                    Pp.224-246

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Motivational Practices in English as a Foreign Language Classes in Saudi Arabia: Teachers Beliefs and Learners Perceptions


Fakieh Alrabai
Faculty of Arts, Muhayel Aseer branch
King Khalid University
Saudi Arabia



This study investigated the beliefs of 36 teachers of English as foreign language in Saudi Arabia of their motivational practices in language classes and their 826 students’ perceptions of their foreign language motivation in these classes. A structured questionnaire was employed to identify the teachers’ frequency of use of some motivational techniques like developing a positive relationship with students, designing and presenting stimulating learning tasks, promoting learners’ self-confidence, enhancing autonomy, reducing language anxiety, etc. A self-report questionnaire was utilized to evaluate some aspects of students’ motivation like their attitudes toward language teacher, self-confidence, autonomy, anxiety, as well as instrumental, integrative, and intrinsic orientations. A variety of preliminary and main analyses were used to analyze the collected data. The findings of these analyses indicated that teachers’ beliefs of techniques use mostly matched learners’ perceptions of their motivation in language classes. Some areas of discrepancy in teachers’ and learners’ ratings were identified. Results further indicated that motivational techniques are not frequently utilized in English language classes in Saudi Arabia and that very important aspects of learner’s motivation like reducing learners’ language anxiety and promoting their autonomy are frequently ignored in teacher’s practices in this context.
Keywords: Motivation; motivational teaching; motivational techniques; teacher behavior.


Dr. Fakieh Alrabai is an assistant professor of Applied Linguistics at the Faculty of Arts,
Muhayel Aseer branch, King Khalid University, Saudi Arabia. Dr. Alrabai is the author of many
books and journal articles that deal with issues in the areas of foreign language motivation and