Mind the Gap: Age-Related Differences in Students’ Perceptions of English Foreign Language Teacher and Motivation
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.
Ahn, S-Y., & West, G.B. (2016). Unmasking young learners' perceptions of good language teacher identity. English Teaching, 71(1), 73–95.
Barnes, B. D., & Lock, G. (2010). The attributes of effective lecturers of English as a foreign language as perceived by students in a Korean University. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 35(1), 139–152. https://doi.org/10.14221/ajte.2010v35n1.2
Beaudrie, S., Brown, A., & Thompson, G. (2004). Multiple perspectives on teacher evaluation in the foreign language classroom. Arizona Working Papers in SLAT, 11, 57–80.
Bećirović, S. (2017). The relationship between gender, motivation, and achievement in learning English as a foreign language. European Journal of Contemporary Education, 6(2), 210–219. https://doi.org/10.13187/ejced.2017.2.210
Bell, T. R. (2005). Behaviors and attitudes of effective foreign language teachers: Results of a questionnaire study. Foreign Language Annals, 38(2), 259–270. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1944-9720.2005.tb02490.x
Borg, S. (2006). The distinctive characteristics of foreign language teachers. Language Teaching Research, 10(1), 3–31. https://doi.org/10.1191/1362168806lr182oa
Brosh, H. (1996). Perceived characteristics of the effective language teacher. Foreign Language Annals, 29(2), 125–136. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1944-9720.1996.tb02322.x
Brown, A. V. (2009). Students' and teachers' perceptions of effective foreign language teaching: A comparison of ideals. The Modern Language Journal, 93(1), 46–60. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.2009.00827.x
Butler, Y. G. (2015). English language learning education among young learners in East Asia. A review of current research. Language Teaching, 48(3), 303–342. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0261444815000105
Carvalho, I. (1999). The effective language teacher. New Routes, 8, 12–18. https://sites.google.com/site/estesinversos/Home/curriculo-lattes/publicacoes-academicas/the-effective-language-teacher
Cenoz, J. (2003). The influence of age on the acquisition of English: General proficiency, attitudes and code-mixing. In M. P. Garciá Mayo & M. L. Garciá Lecumberri (Eds.), Age and the acquisition of English as a foreign language (pp. 77–93). Multilingual Matters.
Chen, S., Zhao, J., de Ruiter, L., Zhou, J., & Huang, J. (2020). A burden or a boost. The impact of early childhood English learning experience on lower elementary English and Chinese achievement. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. https://doi.org/10.1080/13670050.2020.1749230
Csizér, K. (2019). The L2 motivational self system. In M. Lamb, K. Csizér, A. Henry & S. Ryan (Eds.), The Palgrave handbook of motivation for language learning (pp.71–98). Palgrave.
Dewaele, J-M. (2019). The effect of classroom emotions, attitudes toward English, and teacher behavior on willingness to communicate among English foreign language learners. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 38(4), 523–535. https://doi.org/10.1177/0261927X19864996
Dewaele, J-M., & Dewaele, L. (2018). Learner-internal and learner-external predictors of willingness to communicate in the foreign language classroom. Journal of the European Second Language Association, 2(1), 24–37. http://doi.org/10.22599/jesla.37
Dewaele, G., & Mercer (2018). Do ESL/EFL teachers´ emotional intelligence, teaching experience, proficiency and gender affect their classroom practice? In M. Agudo & J. de Dios (Eds.), Emotions in second language teaching (pp. 125–141). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-75438-3_8
Dewaele, J-M., Magdalena, A. F., & Saito, K. (2019). The effect of perception of teacher characteristics on Spanish EFL learners’ anxiety and enjoyment. The Modern Language Journal, 103(2), 412–427. https://doi.org/10.1111/modl.12555
Domínguez, R., & Pessoa, S. (2005). Early versus late start in foreign language education: Documenting achievements. Foreign Language Annals, 38(4), 473–483. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1944-9720.2005.tb02514.x
Dörnyei, Z. (2009). The L2 motivational self-system. In Z. Dörnyei & E. Ushioda (Eds.), Motivation, language identity and the L2 self (pp. 9–42). Multilingual Matters.
Dörnyei, Z. (2020). Innovations and challenges in language learning motivation. Routledge.
Dörnyei, Z., & Muir, C. (2019). Creating a motivating classroom environment. In X. Gao (Ed.), Second handbook of English language teaching (pp. 719–736). Springer International Handbooks of Education. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-02899-2_36
Drakulić, M. (2018). Young learners’ perceptions on effective foreign language teacher characteristics – A qualitative study from Croatia. In M. Orel & S. Jurjevič (Eds.), EDUvision 2018 'Modern approaches to teaching the coming generations' (pp. 284–300). Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Drakulić, M. (2019). Exploring the relationship between students’ perceptions of the language teacher and the development of foreign language learning motivation. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 9(4), 364–370. Doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.17507/tpls.0904.02
Enever, J. (Ed.). (2011). ELLiE. Early language learning in Europe. The British Council.
Enever, J., & Moon, J. (2009). New global contexts for teaching primary ELT: Change and challenge. In J. Enever, J. Moon, & U. Raman (Eds.), Young learner English language policy and implementation: International perspectives (pp. 5–21). Garnet Education.
European Commission. (2007). Key competences for lifelong learning European reference framework. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. https://www.voced.edu.au/content/ngv:59967#
Fenyvesi, K. (2020). English learning motivation of young learners in Danish primary schools. Language Teaching Research, 24(5), 1–24. https://doi.org/10.1177/1362168818804835.
Gardner, R. C. (2010). Motivation and second language acquisition. The socio-educational model. Peter Lang.
Gardner, R. C., & MacIntyre, P.D. (1993). A student’s contribution to second-language learning. Part II: Affective Variables. Language Teaching, 26, 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0261444800000045
Gardner, R. C., & Mihaljević Djigunović, J. (2003). AMTB. University of Western Ontario, Canada and University of Zagreb, Croatia.
Hainzmann, S. (2009). "Girls are better at language learning than boys": Do stereotypic beliefs about language learning contribute to girls' higher motivation to learn English in primary school? Bulletin VALS-ASLA (Swiss association of applied linguistics), 89, 19–36. https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/20644378.pdf
Horwitz, E. (1999). Cultural and situational influences on foreign language learners' beliefs about language learning: A review of BALLI studies. System, 27(4), 557–576. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0346-251X(99)00050-0
Hattie, J. (2003). Teachers make a difference: What is the research evidence? Paper presented at the Building Teacher Quality: What does the research tell us. ACER Research Conference, Melbourne, Australia. http://research.acer.edu.au/research_conference_2003/4/
Jakominić, N., & Mihaljević Djigunović, J. (2004). Učenički stavovi prema nastavniku stranoga jezika [Students' attitudes towards a foreign language teacher]. In D. Stolac, N. Ivanetić & B. Pritchard (Eds.), Suvremena kretanja u nastavi stranoga jezika, (pp. 187–194). HDPL.
Johnstone, R. (2002). Addressing 'the age factor': Some implications for language policy. (Guide for the development of language education policies in Europe. From linguistic diversity to plurilingual education. Reference study). Council of Europe. https://rm.coe.int/addressing-the-age-factor-some-implications-for-languages-policy-/1680886e92
Kadha, H. M. (2009). What makes a good English language teacher? Teachers' perceptions and students' conceptions. Humanity and Social Sciences Journal, 4(1), 1–11.
Mihaljević Djigunović, J. (1998). Uloga afektivnih faktora u učenju stranoga jezika [The role of affective factors in foreign language learning]. Filozofski fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu.
Mihaljević Djigunović, J. (2007). Croatian EFL learners’ affective profile, aspirations and attitudes to English classes. Metodika, 8(1), 115–126. https://hrcak.srce.hr/26944
Mihaljević Djigunović, J. (2012). Attitudes and motivation in early foreign language learning. Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal, 4(3), 55–74.
Mihaljević Djigunović, J. (2014). L2 learner age from a contextualized perspective. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 4(3), 419–441. https:doi.org/10.14746/ssllt.2014.4.3.3
Mihaljević Djigunović, J., & Nikolov, M. (2019). Motivation of young learners of foreign languages. In M. Lamb, K. Csizér, A. Henry, & S. Ryan (Eds.), The Palgrave handbook of motivation for language learning (pp. 515–533). Palgrave Macmillan.
Mihaljević Djigunović, J., & Lopriore, L. (2011). The learner: Do individual differences matter? In J. Enever (Ed.), Early Language Learning in Europe (pp. 43–61). The British Council.
Mihaljević Djigunović, J., & Letica Krevelj, S. (2010). Instructed early SLA – Development of attitudes. Studia Romanica et Anglica Zagrabiensia, 54, 137–156.
Muñoz, C., & Lindgren, E. (2011). Out-of-school factors: The home. In J. Enever (Ed.), Early Language Learning in Europe (pp. 103–124). The British Council.
Muñoz, C., & Singleton, D. (2011). A critical review of age-related research on L2 ultimate attainment. Language Teaching, 44(1). 1–35. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0261444810000327
Nikolov, M. (1999). 'Why do you learn English?' 'Because the teacher is short.' A study of Hungarian children's foreign language learning motivation. Language Teaching Research, 3(1), 33–56. https://doi.org/10.1177/136216889900300103
Nikolov, M. (2002). Issues in English language education. Peter Lang.
Nikolov, M., & Mihaljević Djigunović, J. (2019). Teaching young language learners. In X. Gao (Ed.), Second handbook of English language teaching (pp. 1–23). Springer.
Nikolov, M., & Mihaljević Djigunović, J. (2006). Recent research on age, second language acquisition, and early foreign language learning. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 26, 234–260. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0267190506000122
Pfenninger, S. E., & Singleton, D. (2019). Making the most of an early start to L2 instruction. Journal of Language Teaching for Young Learners, 1(2), 1–35. https://doi.org/10.1075/ltyl.00009.pfe
Radišić, M., Pavičić Takač, V., & Bagarić, V. (Eds.). (2007). Competences of primary school foreign language teachers in the Republic of Croatia. Faculty of Teacher Education in Osijek.
Rúa, P. L. (2006). The sex variable in foreign language learning: An integrative approach. Porta Linguarium, 6, 99–114. https:/doi.org/10.30827/Digibug.30663
Sakurai, Y. (2012). Learners’ perceptions of ‘good’ foreign language teachers: A quantitative analysis between native and non-native teachers. Electronic Journal of FL Teaching, 9(1). https://www.researchgate.net/publication/286273612_Learners%27_perceptions_of_good_foreign_language_teachers_A_quantitative_analysis_between_native_and_non-native_teachers
Sert, O. (2019). Classroom interaction and language teacher education. In S. Walsh & S. Mann (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of English language teacher education (pp. 216–238). Routledge.
Shishavan, H. B. (2010). The relationship between Iranian English language teachers’ and learners’ gender and their perceptions of an effective English language teacher. English Language Teaching, 3(3), 3–10. https:/doi.org/10.5539/elt.v3n3p3
Shishavan, H. B., & Sadeghi, K. (2009). Characteristics of an effective English language teacher as perceived by Iranian teachers and learners of English. English Language Teaching, 2(4), 130–143. https://doi.org/10.5539/elt.v2n4p130
Tragant, E., & Lundberg G. (2011). The teacher´s role: What is its significance in early language learning? In J. Enever (Ed.), ELLiE. Early Language Learning in Europe (pp. 81–102). British Council.
Vanhove, J. (2013). The critical period hypothesis in second language acquisition: A statistical critique and a reanalysis. PLoS One, 8(7). https://doi.org/ 10.1371/journal.pone.0069172
Williams, M., Burden, R., & Lanvers, U. (2002). ‘French is the language of love and stuff’: Student perceptions of issues related to motivation in learning a foreign language. British Educational Research Journal, 28(4), 504–528.
Yashima, T., Nishida, R., & Mizumoto, A. (2017). Influence of learner beliefs and gender on the motivating power of L2 selves. The Modern Language Journal, 101(4), 691–711. https://doi.org10.1111/modl.12430
Yuksel, H., & Halici, Y. (2010). Motivating young EFL learners through effective classroom management. In P. Hüseyin (Ed.), 2nd International Symposium on Sustainable Development (pp. 105–115). International Burch University. https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/153447149.pdf
Zamani, R., & Ahangari, S. (2016). Characteristics of an effective English language teacher (EELT) as perceived by learners of English. International Journal of Foreign Language Teaching and Research, 4(14), 69–88. http://jfl.iaun.ac.ir/article_563432.html
In order to ensure both the widest dissemination and protection of material published in CEPS Journal, we ask Authors to transfer to the Publisher (Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana) the rights of copyright in the Articles they contribute. This enables the Publisher to ensure protection against infringement.