Mind the Gap: Age-Related Differences in Students’ Perceptions of English Foreign Language Teacher and Motivation

  • Morana Drakulič Faculty of Teacher Education, University of Rijeka, Croatia
Keywords: age, foreign language teacher, motivation, students’ perceptions


The present paper addresses the age issue in the context of learning English as a foreign language in instructional settings. Our attention has been directed towards the examination of potential differences in students’ perceptions of their foreign language teacher and motivation in relation to age. A total of 592 participants attending higher grades of elementary school participated in the research. The results have shown that students’ perception of English language teacher characteristics and competences varies in relation to age. Although elementary school students perceive their language teacher to be the most competent in the area of instructional competences, younger students seem to put more emphasis on teacher’s personal characteristics over professional competences. The study also indicates differences in motivation, with an accentuated decline in relation to students’ age. The study offers a valuable information for teachers and policy makers and emphasizes the need for further adjustment of teaching methodology to various age groups.


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