LEARNER ATTITUDES ABOUT INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN

Aloha & Welcome,

"I enjoy doing group projects, but I hate role-plays." It’s safe to say that almost all learners surely have preferences for instructional activities. And it is likely that such preferences are connected to their motivation and ultimate success at language learning. The following questionnaire draft attempts to relate multiple theories in psychology and education to learner attitudes about instructional design in language learning.

Items were suggested by the following prominent theories and categories: Aptitude theory; Learner Autonomy; The role of culture in the classroom; Multiple Intelligences; Goal Setting theories; TARGET categories; Keller’s Model of motivation; Dornyei’s strategies to motivate learners; and multiple theories from the discipline of psychology. Question items on Learning Strategies are also included.

Every effort has been made to accurately represent the theorists. Small blurbs are included on a few important points drawn from the individual models. For information on a particular topic or theory, please consult the original sources listed in the references at the end of the document. This is by no means an exhaustive list; obviously, not every possible question is listed. As well, there are certainly other theories which can inform us about learner attitudes towards instructional design and its relationship to motivation and language learning.

Items are written as statements intended to be judged by learners studying in a foreign language class. Learners would choose one response on a 5 or 6-point likert scale from strongly agree to strongly disagree. Most questions are worded in support of the theory. However, a few items are written the opposite way (reverse of the theory), and are marked with an *asterisk.

Please keep in mind that this is clearly a preliminary DRAFT of a prototype questionnaire. It is very much a work in progress! The items have NOT been piloted or tested in any way for reliability and validity. They are not intended to be used for research, placement or any other decision-making purposes. I’d like to suggest that, instead, this questionnaire could be used as a resource of possible questions to consider concerning your students’ preferences.

This collection of questions is quite long (perhaps overwhelmingly long). Items have been organized by theory, but not grouped under specific sub-categories. No attempt has been made to condense the list of possible items. So, please note that many similar or exact items are repeated under different theories, especially for certain recurring themes such as learner choice. There are also many alternative wordings of essentially the same item. Items taken directly from a source have been enclosed in quotation marks.

Hopefully ideas generated by these items will lead teachers to incorporate them and other relevant theories and questions into the process of selecting motivating instructional activities.

We invite any ideas, comments or questions. Please contact either:

Priscilla Faucette, University of Hawai’i at Manoa:
faucette@hawaii.edu
Or
Dr. Richard Schmidt, University of Hawai’i at Manoa:
schmidt@hawaii.edu

Hope you find something you like !

Aloha

1. Aptitude Theory

Source: Ehrman (1998)

Comment: Aptitude and its relationship to learner attitudes, motivation and personality were examined. Unlike self-determination theory which assumes that motivation always increases when learners are given choices, some results have suggested that low aptitude learners may be overwhelmed by unstructured and uncontrolled input.

Items possibly favored by high aptitude learners:

• I enjoy reading in the language even if it is above my level.
• I prefer to listen only to native speakers of the foreign language.
• I enjoy listening in the language even if it is above my level.
• I like class activities such as role-plays, simulations and skits.
• It’s beneficial for students to give presentations in the target language.
• I prefer authentic materials.
• The classroom activities should be unstructured.
• I prefer a syllabus that is not rigid.
• I want my teacher to be flexible and willing to change the lesson plan as needed.
• Pronunciation should not be corrected unless it’s impossible to understand me.
• I like to figure out the grammar patterns myself.
• Grammar explanations should be in the target language.
 
Items possibly favored by low aptitude learners:

• Students should not try to read beyond their level.
• I like listening to tapes in the language lab.
• I think practicing drills is useful to learn a language.
• You should learn grammar before using the language to communicate.
• The teacher’s role is to make a class plan and carry it out.
• I prefer to have a clear laid-out syllabus for the course.
• The teacher should correct our grammar.
• I think group study should be an important part of the course.
• It’s important for me to master one thing before another point is covered in class.
• The teacher should go step-by-step so students don’t get confused.
• I like to go at a slow pace in this class.
• I want the teacher to explain grammar in my native language. 


Source: Skehan (1998)

Comment: Aptitude components are: language (grammatical sensitivity & inductive learning); memory; and auditory ability (phonemic coding).

Items suggested by this theory:

Grammatical sensitivity
• Grammar practice should be an important focus of this class.
• The teacher should instruct us on how the language works.
• I like practice which helps me figure out the grammatical structure of the language.
*• I don’t enjoy lessons focused on grammar.
*• It’s more important to communicate than to figure out grammar.
*• I just go by ‘feel’ in learning a language, not by grammar rules.

Memory

• I enjoy memorizing vocabulary items.
• I like to memorize words and phrases.
• Dialogue memorization should be included in language class.
• It’s important to review what was learned in earlier lessons.
*• It’s a waste of time to try to memorize vocabulary in a language class.
*• I really don’t like memorizing language. There are other ways to learn.

Auditory ability

• Listening should be an important focus of this class.
• The teacher should use authentic listening materials.
• Speaking practice is enjoyable.
• I like to listen to native speakers as part of the language lesson.
• Pronunciation practice should be included in the lesson.
*• I think listening practice is boring.
*• I don’t enjoy speaking practice.
*• I find it very difficult to follow conversations in the native language.

Aptitude

• I prefer lessons to be tailored to my strong points and weak points.
• Class activities should take into consideration students’ strengths and weaknesses.
• I like for the teacher to consider my weak/strong points in planning classroom activities.
*• I leave the lesson contents completely up to the teacher.
*• The teacher is the expert when it comes to planning the course curriculum.


2. Learner Autonomy

Self-determination Theory

Source: Deci, Vallerand, Pelletier, and Ryan (1991)

Comment: Support of competence, relatedness and autonomy leads to motivation.

Environment and teacher should not be controlling; learners should be given choices; the teacher should be informative and provide constructive feedback. This should lead to ‘valuing’ of education-- learning, achievement and accomplishment.

Items suggested by this theory:

Competence and feedback
• Students should be rewarded based on their progress in the class.
• I like to receive constructive feedback on my class performance.
• It’s important for the teacher to identify my strengths and weaknesses as a learner.
*• I don’t think teachers’ assessment of my ability is very useful.
*• I have a good idea of how I’m progressing in the language, so I don’t particularly need
feedback from my teacher.
*• Students who do poorly should be penalized.

Relatedness

• I prefer a language class in which students feel they are a cohesive group.
• I like classroom activities which help me to get to know my classmates.
*• I’m an individual; it’s not important to feel connected to my classmates.

Autonomy

• I think students and teachers need to discuss and agree upon the goals of the language course.
• Learners and teachers should clarify what each expects of the other.
• Activities used in the course should reflect the wishes of the learners.
• Language learners should have say in the ways they are evaluated.
• Students should be given a large range of classroom activities to choose from.
*• Most course decisions should be up to the teacher.
*• I leave it up to the teacher to plan the course.
*• The teacher is the expert. I expect him/her to organize everything in our class.
*• Evaluation of students is up to the teacher.
*• Students should be given a strict deadline to complete assignments.

‘Valuing’ of instruction

• I realize the benefits of certain classroom activities even if I don’t like them.
*• If a classroom activity is boring, it’s essentially useless to me.
*• Classroom activities which I don’t like are of little use to me.


Learner Autonomy

Source: Dickinson (1995)

Comment: Three key concepts relating autonomy to motivation: learner independence, choice and responsibility. Plus-- decision making; critical reflection; and detachment.

Items suggested by this theory:
• Students should be in charge of choosing materials, not the teacher.
• Classroom activities should be decided by the students.
• Students should decide grading policies.
• I like a language class in which the course objectives are set by students.
• I like it when the teacher gives students lots of choices.
*• I feel uncomfortable deciding details of our course.
*• It’s up to the teacher to make decisions about the class.
*• It’s up to the teacher to choose materials.
*• It’s the teacher’s responsibility to design and plan the course, not the students.
• I like activities which encourage students’ reflection on their learning in the course.
• I think tests and grades are useless.
• The teacher should give immediate feedback to indicate our progress in the course.
• It’s important for the teacher to give constructive feedback to students.
*• It’s important to have tests and grades.
*• I don’t find teachers’ comments useful.
*• The less time I spend thinking about my learning process the better. 


 Source: Crabbe (1993)

Comment: Public domain (tasks initiated by teachers). Private domain (tasks initiated by the learner. To foster autonomy, the teacher must relate instructional activities in the public domain (ie. in the classroom) to learning by the student in the private domain (ie. self-reflection).

Items suggested by this theory:
• Teachers should provide clear and specific explanations for why learners are expected to docertain classroom activities.
• Classroom activities should be directly relevant to my needs.
• The teacher should ‘let me in on the secret’ of the reasoning behind the classroom activities
she/he chooses.
• When students are given a task to do, the teacher should clearly explain the purpose of the task.
• There is no sense in doing an activity if it’s not directly related to learning.
• It’s important for students to be given feedback on their performance.
• I like materials which are authentic and reflect the real world.
*• It’s not important to me that the teacher connects classroom activities to my needs.
*• There’s room in a language class for all kinds of activities. They don’t always have to do with
my personal life.
• Choosing all classroom activities should be left up to the students.
• Students and teachers should decide the course goals together.
*• It’s the teacher’s role to make most decisions about the class.
• Time should be allotted for students to learn strategies they can apply outside the classroom.
• It’s important for the teacher to teach us specific strategies and tips for language learning.
• I don’t like classroom activities that aren’t applicable outside class.
• I like lessons on how to use the dictionary and other practical ideas on how to check for meaning.
• I like practicing useful reading strategies.
• Listening strategies should be introduced in the class.
• I like a language class that provides me with tips on how to improve my language skills when I’m
on my own.
• I hope when this class is over I will have many specific ideas on how to improve my language on   my own.
*• Classroom activities have value in their own right. It’s not necessary for me to apply them immediately to my life.
*• I can figure out by myself how to apply what I’ve learned in class. 


Source: Benson & Voller (Eds.) (1997)

Note: The following authors all appear in Benson & Voller (Eds.) (1997).

Sheerin (1997, p. 59) -- She suggests some useful questions. Learners must choose one from each pair below:

•"I think it’s the teacher’s job to correct all my mistakes."
• "It’s good for me to find out my own mistakes whenever possible."

• "I want my teacher to tell me what I have to do to learn better English."
• "I want to find out for myself what I have to do to learn better English."

• "My teacher should tell me what exercises to do and what books to read, etc."
• "I want to choose for myself what exercises to do and what books to read, etc."

• "I don’t think it’s useful to do speaking activities in pairs or groups if the teacher isn’t listening to my group all the time."
• "I think speaking activities in pairs or groups are useful, even when the teacher isn’t listening to my group."

• "The teacher should give us lots of tests and tell us how well we’ve learned."
• "Tests can’t tell you everything. You know yourself if you’ve been learning well."

Other items suggested by this theory:
• I like authentic materials.
• I enjoy activities which encourage speaking practice with my classmates.
• It’s useful to get feedback from classmates and not just the teacher.
• It’s interesting to make and use materials produced by students.
• I want the teacher to tell students exactly how to listen/ read, etc.
*• Materials should be adapted to the students’ level.
*• My classmates can’t really help me improve my language ability.


 Sturtridge (1997) -- self-access centers

• Materials should be available outside the classroom for students to use on their own.
• I enjoy studying on my own by computer.
• I like a class in which students use multimedia to learn.
• E-mail is an interesting way to learn.
• I like working with a classmate when we do language practice on the computer.
• I like for regular classroom activities to be supplemented by work we do individually on the
computer.
• I like materials I can use on my own.
• The teacher should act only as a consultant when students are doing computer work.
• It’s important for the teacher to train students on effective ways to use materials when he/she is not around.
*• I prefer a ‘traditional’ classroom where the teacher is in charge.
*• I can’t study on my own; I need the teacher to teach me.
*• When I try to use language-learning materials on my own it’s not very effective.


Littlewood (1997) -- Self-access should encourage independence in real-life situations; responsibility; and general autonomy as individuals

• I like a variety of classroom activities.
• A good language classroom should have a range of activities from grammar-focussed to authentic
communication.
• I have confidence learning the language alone.
• I like lessons which are a mixture of grammar and communication.
• I enjoy topic discussion practice in the foreign language.
• Authentic communication should be the main purpose of this class.
*• I like activities and materials focussed on grammar.
*• Pattern drills should be included in classroom activities.
*• I can’t improve in the language by myself; I need the teacher’s guidance.


Voller (1997)-- the role of teacher

• I think a good teacher should play a minor role in deciding classroom activities.
• Teachers and students should work together on an equal level.
• I prefer a teacher who supports very independent students.
• A good teacher should encourage and support learners.
• A good teacher should act as a human resource who provides lots of information for students.
• The syllabus should be decided by discussion between teacher and students.
*• I like a teacher who is in control of most classroom activities.
*• It’s up to the teacher to determine what we do in class.


Ryan (1997)-- resources beyond the classroom

• It’s very useful to research where to find foreign-language sources outside the classroom.
• A good teacher will help students find ways to learn the foreign language outside the classroom.
• I prefer making use of outside materials rather than just using a textbook.
• I like lessons on how to exploit foreign-language resources outside the classroom.
• I enjoy practicing how to read a foreign-language newspaper.
• I like learning tips on how to effectively watch TV in a foreign language, followed by actual
practice outside class.
• It’s important for the teacher to explain theoretical reasoning behind the use of certain materials.
• I enjoy assignments of listening to the radio in the foreign language outside class.
• I like reading newspapers in the foreign language.
• Watching films in a foreign language is a fun, effective way to learn the language.
*• I prefer studying in the classroom to using authentic materials outside of class time.
*• The classroom is the safest, best place to learn a foreign language.


Nunan (1997)-- materials for autonomy. Learner’s autonomous action develops through stages of lesser autonomy to full autonomy: awareness; involvement; intervention; creation; transcendence

• I want my teacher to make the class goals clear to me.
• Students should be involved with the teacher in making decisions about the class.
• Students should be proactive in designing the course curriculum.
• It’s up to students to set their own goals for learning.
• You can only go so far in the classroom; in order to improve in the language you must take advantage of resources outside the classroom.
*• It’s up to the teacher to decide the best way for me to learn.

Note: There are many, many other possible items that could be suggested by the contributors in Benson and Voller’s (Eds.) (1997) collection on learner autonomy, as well as drawn from other sources and perspectives on learner autonomy.


 3. The Role of Culture (& Autonomy) in the Classroom

Sources: Brophy (1998); Ho & Crookall (1995); Ladson-Billings(1994);

Littlewood, W. (1999); Pennycook (1997).

Comment: Multiple and differing theories on the role of students’ culture in the classroom.

Items suggested by this theme in general:

• I like classroom activities which I feel reflect my cultural background.
• I like activities relevant to my culture.
• The curriculum should reflect the cultural background of the students.
• I like classroom activities which have a multicultural perspective.
• I like discussing cultural issues in class.
• The teacher should be sensitive to the cultural background of the students.
• The classroom activities should be designed to appeal to students’ cultural values and beliefs.
• In cross-cultural lessons, cultural commonalities should be emphasized over cultural differences.
*• In a classroom situation, individual differences among students are most important, not cultural
differences.
*• Teachers should take a completely color-blind, neutral position towards the culture of students since it leads to dangerous stereotyping.
*• I don’t think the teacher should choose activities based on his/her impression of students’cultural values.


Ladson-Billings (1994)

Comments: Contrasts ‘culturally relevant teaching’ to ‘assimilationist’ teaching. Contends that culture does and should matter. Writes primarily on the experiences of African Americans. "Culturally relevant teaching uses student culture in order to maintain it and to transcend the negative effects of the dominant culture." (p.17).

Items suggested by this theory of "Culturally Relevant Teaching":

Conceptions of self and others (Ladson-Billings, 1994, p.34)
• I like a teacher who draws on students’ own knowledge.
• One goal of a good language class should be to "help students make connections between their
community, national, and global identities."
*• I don’t think it’s the teacher’s role to decide classroom activities based on students’ culture.
*• I think the teacher should choose everything that we are going to study in the class.

Social relations
(p.55)
• The teacher should encourage a connectedness with all students.
• I like to feel that our class is a cohesive whole.
• Students should participate in teaching other students.
• Students should work together and be responsible for each other.
• I can learn a lot from my fellow classmates.
*• I don’t think it’s particularly important to feel close to my fellow students.
*• I learn more from my teacher than from my classmates.

Conceptions of knowledge (p.81)
• I think the teacher should be passionate about what she/he is teaching.
• Classroom activities should take student diversity into account.
• Individual differences should be considered in classroom activities.
• Classroom activities should draw on students’ own knowledge and background.
• Students’ real-life experiences should be included in the curriculum.
• The students’ home culture should be respected and considered in classroom activities.
*• The content of the course should be based on what is currently considered to be most
important.
*• The content of the course should be left completely up to the teacher.

Other possible items suggested by this theory
:
• Teachers should encourage students to fight negative stereotypes (of their culture).
*• I want a teacher who only focuses on teaching us content.
• Politics is relevant to a language class.
*• There’s no place for politics in a language class.
• I like it when the teacher recognizes my abilities.
• It’s important for the teacher to try to find out my language-learning needs.


Culture and Autonomy

Littlewood, (1999)

Comments: Challenges the assumptions that autonomous learning is unsuited to East Asian contexts. Warns that teachers should avoid stereotypic notions of East Asian learners.

Items to test stereotypes about culturally-varying preferences (particularly East Asian learners): (Littlewood, p.90)
1. "I like activities where I am part of a group which is working towards common goals."
2. "I like to take part in activities which involve discussion within a group."
3. "When I am working in a group, I like to help maintain a sense of harmony in the group."
4. "In the open classroom, I often feel hesitant to ‘stand out’ by voicing my opinions or questions."
5. "In the classroom I see the teacher as an authority figure."
6. "I tend to see knowledge as something to be ‘transmitted’ by the teacher rather than
‘discovered’ by me as a learner."
7. "I expect the teacher (rather than me myself) to be responsible for evaluating how much I have
learnt."
8. "I feel strong motivation to follow through learning tasks of which I perceive the practical value."
9. "I feel more motivated to work when my own success contributes to the goals or prestige of significant groups (e.g. family, other students)."
10. "In the classroom I feel very concerned to perform well and correctly in what I do."

Other possible items related to stereotypes about culturally-varying preferences suggested by Littlewood’s theory
:
• I enjoy team-based project work.
• I like group discussions.
• I prefer working in groups to working alone.
• If I let my group members down I feel ashamed.
• I prefer to work alone to working in groups.
• I think students can learn more by studying alone than in groups.
• I feel very uncomfortable in group work.
• I feel shy to speak up in class.
• I feel uncomfortable volunteering in class.
• I prefer for the teacher to call on me than to volunteer in class.
 • It is too stressful to have to perform in front of my classmates.
• If I make a mistake I feel embarrassed.
• Making mistakes is a natural part of learning.
• The teacher should be in charge of the curriculum.
• Students should be involved in choosing the curriculum.
• Only the teacher should evaluate my progress.
• It is useful to get input from other students on assignments and not just the teacher.
• Students are the ‘clients.’ They should be the ones to decide the course of the curriculum (as
opposed to the teacher).
• Students should never challenge the teacher.
• I prefer a formal, serious atmosphere in the classroom.
• I like a casual, fun atmosphere in the classroom.
• I feel comfortable expressing strong opinions.
• I enjoy argumentation and debate.
• I don’t think controversial topics should be discussed in class.
• On most topics, I don’t have a strong opinion.
• Heated discussion is the best way to generate conversation.
• It’s important for consensus to be reached in group activities.
• I don’t think any one student should stand out in class.
• I think the teacher should correct most of my mistakes in the language.
• The status of class members should be acknowledged.
• Lower status/ranking members of the class should not outshine higher status members.
• Younger students should not show off their abilities in front of older students.
• All students should be considered equal in the classroom context.
• I prefer a class where the teacher lectures and students listen and take notes.
• Students should not be expected to come up with original ideas for classroom activities; that’s the
teacher’s role.

Littlewood distinguishes between two types of autonomy -- proactive and reactive.

Proactive -- Western concept of autonomy. Usually actions words: learners take charge, evaluate, etc. their own learning. Collaborative learning. (Littlewood, 1999, pp. 75-76).

• The students should be in charge of choosing the curriculum.
• It’s up to the students to set the pace of the lessons.
• Learners, and not teachers, should establish their own learning agenda.
• The goals of the class should be decided by students.
• I like to determine my own objectives for the lesson
*• The class objectives should be set by the teacher. 

Reactive - "..once a direction has been initiated, enables learners to organize their resources autonomously..." (Littlewood, 1999, p. 75). Cooperative learning.

• The teacher should set the overall goals of the class.
• I enjoy working in groups.
• In the classroom the teacher should take the lead.
• Once the teacher sets up the task I enjoy working independently.
• I enjoy studying on my own.
• I like to set up study groups on my own.
*• I am hesitant to take the initiative for any of my studying.


Source: Pennycook (1997). In Benson & Voller (Eds.) (1997) (pp. 35-53)

Comment: Most items would pertain particularly to learning English due to its world-wide influence.

• I like studying about many different Englishes around the world.
•I like a language class which teaches us the political significance of English around the world.
• One of the goals of this class should be empowerment of students through English.
• Students should learn ‘international’ English not just the most widespread English (American or
British).
• Our teacher should encourage students’ own cultural ‘stamp’ on how we use English.
• Students shouldn’t be encouraged to speak ‘native-like’ English; accented English is fine.
*• Language learning should be a-political.
*• In the classroom, I just want to learn the language; I don’t want to think about politics,
economics, etc. 


4. Multiple Intelligences

Sources: Gardner (1983, 1999)

Comment: 8 intelligences-- linguistic, musical, logical-mathematical, spatial-visual, bodily- kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalistic

Items suggested by this theory:

Linguistic Intelligence

‘Poetic Sensitivity’
• I enjoy reading and hearing beautiful/famous literature in the foreign language.
• Creative writing is a good way to learn the foreign language.
• I enjoy writing poems in the foreign language.
• I like trying to write short stories in the language.
• It’s fun to try to read and write cartoons in the foreign language.
*• I’m not particularly good at languages.
*• I don’t like activities which focus specifically on the language.


Four aspects of linguistic knowledge: rhetorical; mnemonic; explanatory; metalinguistic (Gardner, 1983, p.78).

1. Rhetorical

• I enjoy studying language through debate.
• It is important that students learn how to express their opinions and argue in the foreign language.
• I like to discuss controversial topics in the foreign language.
*• I feel uncomfortable arguing in the foreign language.

2. Mnemonic
• I like language practice which involves memorization.• Memorization techniques of vocabulary items and longer expressions should be one focus of this class.
• I enjoy memorizing and then practicing useful expressions and bits of dialogue.
*• I’m not good at memorizing foreign language vocabulary.
*• I don’t like exercises which rely on memory.
*• I think it’s a waste of time to try to memorize expressions in the foreign language.

3. Explanatory

• I like using the foreign language to explain what I know.
• Language class should give us the tools to explain what we know (our expertise).
• I like learning language which allows me to express my knowledge.
• I like language practice which allows me to talk about my personal experience.
• I like classroom activities which allow me to tell people about my culture.
*• I’m not particularly motivated to use the foreign language to explain things.
4. Metalinguistic explanations
• I find it useful for the teacher to explain grammar and how the language works.
• Explanations of how the foreign language works are useful to me.
*• I’m confused by explanations of the foreign language grammar.

5. Other possible items related to linguistic intelligence:

• I enjoy classroom activities which focus on the language per se (grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, etc.) as opposed to communication or some other purpose.
• I like being exposed to as much of the foreign language as possible-- in written and spoken forms.
• As much as possible, only the foreign language should be used in class.

Musical Intelligence

Three components: pitch; rhythm; tone and timbre (Gardner, 1983, pp.104-105)

• I enjoy listening practice.
• I enjoy hearing the language spoken out loud.
• I like learning pronunciation through music.
• I like having music playing in the background during some classroom activities.
• Rhythmic practice is an enjoyable way to learn the sounds of a language (such as snapping fingers or beating out stress patterns).
• Listening to/singing songs is a good, fun way to learn a language.
• I like learning language through music.
*• I don’t like listening practice.
*• I don’t enjoy speaking in the foreign language.
*• I don’t like lessons which use music.

Logical-Mathematical Intelligence

Problem-solving skills

• I like classroom activities which require solving problems or puzzles.
• I like discussions in the foreign language which require students to solve a challenging puzzle.
• I enjoy trying to figure out how the foreign language works.
*• I hate grammar exercises.
*• It’s too difficult to try to figure out the structure of the foreign language.

Spatial-Visual Intelligence

• I like materials with color and designs.
• Video materials should be an important part of language class.
• It is important for the teacher to use the board during a language lesson.
• It is important for the teacher to use props.
• I enjoy lessons with lots of visual aids.
• I enjoy practicing writing foreign scripts (in a different alphabet from my first language).
• I like language practice using visualization techniques.
• It is interesting when art is used in a language lesson.
• I prefer materials which have lots of pictures or photos.
• I like using language-learning computer software with great graphics.
*• I like materials with a plain and simple design.
*• I’m not inspired by visual materials

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence

Especially the performing role of ‘actor’ (Gardner, 1983, p.226).

• I enjoy participating in role-plays.
• A good way for me to learn a language is to imitate the teacher or native speakers of that
language.
• I enjoy activities which involve physical movement.
• Language learning should also include learning appropriate gestures.
• Giving presentations in the foreign language is a good way to learn.
• I like performing skits or other performance in front of the class.
• I would enjoy giving a speech in the foreign language.
*• I don’t like classroom activities which involve performance.
*• I’m very hesitant to do role-plays.

Interpersonal Intelligence

• I prefer working alone.
• I enjoy working in pairs or in groups.
• It is good for students to often work together.
• I can learn by listening to others.
*• I prefer working alone.
*• I can learn more from the teacher than from my classmates.

Intrapersonal Intelligence

• I like activities which allow me to reflect on my own learning.
• It’s useful to keep a journal of my learning progress.
• Self-evaluation can be a useful activity.
*• I think personal reflection on my learning is a waste of time.
*• Thinking about my own learning can’t help me learn the language.

Naturalistic Intelligence
(Gardner, 1999)

• Occasionally, I like having class conducted outside.
• I enjoy discussions about the environment.
*• I’m not interested in topics on the environment.

Gardner also proposes 3 instructional practices based on his theory (Gardner, 1999):
1) Provide powerful points of entry
2) Offer apt analogies
3) Provide multiple representations of the central or core ideas of the topic


5. Goal-setting

Sources: Kikuchi & Yi (1999); Locke, Shaw, Saari, & Latham (1981);

Locke & Latham (1990)

Comments: Goals should be realistic, but challenging. It doesn’t matter if the teacher or the learner sets goals as long as the individual accepts them. Goals should be specific. Feedback and support is needed.

Items suggested by this theory:

1.) Learner preferences:

• It’s important for me to have goals for this class.
• I like to have something to aim for in this class.
• Trying to reach personal goals makes my class more fun than not having goals.
*• It’s not important for me to have goals for this class.
*• I can learn fine without being forced to have a goal.
• The course objectives should be challenging for students.
*• I think the course objectives should be set at an easy level for students to achieve.
• Students should set their own targets to reach for.
• It is up to the teacher to establish the aims of the class.
• The teacher should clearly explain the class aims.
• I like to have clear, specific goals for learning a language.
• I need a specific deadline in order to complete assignments.
• It’s important to prioritize goals in this class.
• It’s important for me to know what to shoot for in this class.
*• It’s not particularly important for me to know the class objectives.
• I feel great when I accomplish what I set out to do in this class.
• I should be recognized if I successfully accomplish my goals.
• It’s important for me to know how I’m evaluated in this class.
• The teacher should recognize students who successfully accomplish their goals.
• Students should support each other in progressing in the language.
• The teacher should support students in reaching their personal learning goals.
*• I don’t need the teacher to evaluate my progress.
*• I can work towards my goal without support from my teacher or classmates.

2.) Learner evaluation of their specific, current language class:

• I feel I have a suitable action plan for reaching my goals in this class.
• My goals in this class are challenging, but reasonable.
*• The targets for this class are too easy.
*• The pressure to achieve goals in this class is too difficult.
*• Too much is expected of us in this class.

• The class objectives are very clear.
• I understand what I’m expected to do in this class.
• The teacher sets specific and clear goals for this class.
• I understand how my performance is measured in this class.
*• I’m not sure what we’re supposed to do for this class.
*• The goal for this class is similar to "Do your best in this class."
*• My teacher sets learning goals, but I don’t agree with them.
*• I don’t agree with the class objectives.
• I get recognized appropriately for achieving my goals.
• I get feedback from my teacher about reaching my goals.
• I can get credit and recognition when I attain my goals for this class.
• My classmates encourage me to achieve my goals.
• I feel supported by my teacher in trying to accomplish my goals.
*• Our teacher doesn’t evaluate our progress towards reaching our goals.
• I continuously work towards my goal.
• The fact that I have a goal for this class keeps me going.
*• It’s difficult to work towards a goal all the time.


6. TARGET Categories

Sources: Ames (1990, 1992); Brophy (1998). Original coinage of ‘TARGET’ is attributed to Epstein (1988). Extended to the school level in Maehr & Midgley (1991).

Comments: Based on goal theorists (according to Brophy, 1998). The TARGET model/framework consists of: Task, Authority, Recognition, Grouping, Evaluation, Time.

Items suggested by this theory:

1. Task -- meaningful, challenging, relevant; has variety; encourages goal setting, learning strategies, autonomous learning

• I like classroom activities which have a clear purpose.
• The teacher should make it clear to students why we are doing an activity.
• I enjoy classroom activities which challenge my abilities.
• It is important for classroom activities to be relevant to my life.
• I prefer activities which are related to my background and experience.
• I like it when the teacher encourages me to set short-term goals.
• I think the teacher should instruct us in particular learning strategies.
• Students should have many choices in classroom decisions.
*• It’s not important for me to know the goals of this class.
*• The classroom is the classroom; it’s not important for me that there be a connection to my life.
*• I can learn a lot from classroom activities even if I can’t personally relate to the topic.

2. Authority -- cooperative learning; students have choices and are involved in decision making; students are responsible and independent; encouraged to have self-management and monitoring skills

• I enjoy working with others in class.
• Students should be given many choices about materials.
• Students should be given many curriculum choices.
• Students should be involved in the decision-making process of choosing the curriculum.
• Many classroom decisions should be left up to the students rather than the teacher.
• I don’t like the teacher to control the classroom activities; students should have some say.
• Many options should be available to the students.
*• The teacher’s role is to make decisions about the class.
*• It’s up to the teacher to decide what we do in the class.

3. Recognition-- for individual improvement-- not compared to other students; based on progress and effort; should be privately communicated; mistakes are part of learning. Teachers should provide opportunities for improvement

• I like being praised for my effort in this class.
• Students’ recognition should be based on their learning progress.
• Praise should not be based on how individual students compare to each other.
• All students should be recognized for their individual contribution to the class.
• Positive feedback/praise should be given privately-- not in front of everyone.
• The teacher should emphasize that mistakes are a natural part of learning.
• In order to learn the language students should be encouraged to make mistakes.
• It’s important that activities help students improve their language ability.
• Comparison to other students should be de-emphasized in the class.
*• Hard work is its own reward; I don't’ need to be rewarded in any other way.
*• The best students should be rewarded more than the ‘weaker’ students.

4. Grouping -- collaborative, pair/small group work, cooperation and not competition

• I prefer to work with my classmates instead of alone.
• I enjoy interacting often with my classmates.
• Students should work together on projects and assignments.
• I like to work with a variety of different students in my class.
• Students should be put in groups based on a variety of considerations (friendship, common
interests, etc.)
*• I prefer to work alone than in groups.
*• Group work is inefficient.
*• I can only make progress alone.

5. Evaluation -- based on a variety of instruments with many alternatives; the focus is on progress

• I like being evaluated on how I have progressed towards my goals.
• The teacher should give us many chances to revise our work.
• The teacher should give us many chances to take make-up tests.
• Students should be evaluated based on many different things.
• Self-evaluation should be considered as well as the teacher’s evaluation.
*• Outstanding students should be recognized by good grades.
*• It’s important to see where you stand compared to your fellow classmates.
*• I value the teacher’s evaluation above all others.

6. Time -- more flexible; managed by students (not just teacher)

• Students should be given responsibility for keeping track of the time for classroom activities.
• I prefer that the teacher not strictly control the time allotted for various activities.
• The teacher should be flexible in giving students extra time if needed for assignments.
• I don’t like a rigid/fixed time schedule for classroom activities.
• I like a flexible time schedule.
• Students should be allowed to progress at their own pace.
*• The teacher should control the class schedule.
*• I prefer a fixed schedule for our class.


7. Keller’s Model of Motivation

Sources: Brophy (1998); Keller (1983)

Comments: Key components are: interest, relevance, expectancy, outcomes

Items suggested by this theory:

Interest -- Curiosity is aroused and interest maintained. The teacher should make use of: novel, paradoxical events; anecdotes and personal, emotional accounts; and analogies. Teachers should also provide opportunities to learn and guide students in inquiry.

• I like it when something unexpected happens in the class.
• Variety is the spice of life. The same pattern of activities in every lesson is dull.
• Specific, real-life examples hold my interest.
• It’s interesting when the teacher uses stories to illustrate a lesson point.
• Solving puzzles and problems is an interesting way to learn a language.
• Materials should include many stories and examples.
• I really like exotic, different materials.
• I find a class interesting if there is a balance between topics I can relate to as well as exotic and
new information.
• The teacher should encourage us to think for ourselves.
• It’s interesting to discover things about the language on my own.
*• I like it when the lesson follows a predictable pattern.
*• I like knowing what to expect in the class.
*• I prefer to always use the textbook.

Relevance
- Instruction is related to personal needs or goals. Teacher should provide: moderate risk to achieve; opportunities for choice and responsibility; cooperative interaction; and establish trust.

• I want a class which is clearly related to my personal goals.
• Classroom activities should be directly applicable to my current or future language needs.
• Students should be given many choices of alternative activities to choose from.
• I like working with my classmates.
• I can learn a lot from the other students.
• I like working with a partner or in small groups.
• I want my class to be challenging but not too intimidating.
• The teacher should create a warm, comfortable atmosphere.
• It’s important to me that my teacher is approachable.
*• Classroom activities don’t necessarily have to do with my personal life.
*• I can learn more from the teacher than I can from my classmates.
*• It’s up to the teacher to plan and design the class for the students.

Expectancy
-- Learners achieve success by themselves. Teacher should: praise sparingly for meaningful tasks; clarify requirements; give learners opportunity for personal success; give meaningful feedback.

• I like receiving feedback on the progress I’m making in the language.
• I should be assessed on my individual progress rather than compared to others in the class.
• It’s better if classroom exercises are somewhat challenging.
*• I like to know how my rank compares to other students.
*• Classroom tasks should be easy.

Outcomes
-- Satisfaction of goal accomplishment. Praise and informative feedback is more effective than threats, surveillance, etc.

• Feedback in the middle of an activity or task is better than feedback at the end.
• Suggestions for improvement are best before starting a new task.
*• I think teachers should judge my work only at the end of the activity.
• I like to be able to take risks and follow my own path without being penalized by a bad grade.
• Grades should not be emphasized.
• Teachers should reward students for completing tasks that they design themselves instead of for
meaningless exercises.
• Praise and criticism should focus on ways to improve.
• If a teacher constantly praises everyone I assume it’s insincere.
• I don’t like the feeling that the teacher is constantly evaluating me.
*• I want my teacher to point out all my mistakes.
*• Students should be penalized for not doing the assigned work.


8. Dornyei’s Model of Motivating Practices

Sources: Dornyei (1994, 1996)

Comments: Based on multiple theories and input from experienced teachers.

Items suggested by these theories and Dornyei’s ‘commandments’:

• I like classes with a variety of activities.
• I enjoy using different kinds of materials rather than just one (eg. only a textbook).
*• Our syllabus should be decided and followed.
• I like it when there are a lot of fun and games during class time.
• I like using puzzles and games in language class.
*• The classroom is no place for joking.
• I like it when the teacher is spontaneous.
*I like knowing in advance what to expect during each language class.
• I think students should have a lot of freedom in the classroom.
• I prefer a language class where students are given choice in selecting classroom activities.
• I think students should be involved in planning the course curriculum.
• Students should be involved in choosing materials for the class.
• If there are classroom rules, students should be involved in deciding what they are.
*• The teacher should decide the direction of the course.
• I like it when the course is clearly relevant to me.
• The purpose of the classroom activities should be made clear to the students.
• I prefer a teacher who is clearly motivated and dedicated.
• I think it’s important that the teacher be approachable.
• Students should feel comfortable talking with the teacher.
• I think the teacher should develop a good relationship with the students.
*• It’s doesn’t matter if I’m close to the teacher or not.
• The teacher should give constructive feedback to students.
• The teacher should give feedback on mistakes.
• I find it useful to get frequent feedback on my language.
*• I’m well aware of my strengths and weakness in the language so I don’t really need the
teacher’s feedback.
*• Most feedback from teachers doesn’t help me.
• I like it when students are given the chance to have contact with native speakers of the language.
(through penpals, guests to the class, field trips, etc.)
*• We can learn fine enough in our classroom even without meeting native speakers of the foreign
language.
• It’s important to know the benefits of studying the foreign language.
• If students do well on assignments, their work should be displayed.
• I think the teacher should make his/her grading policies very clear to students.
• Classmates’ evaluation of my work is very useful.
• Other students’ comments on my language use is valuable.
*• Only the teacher can effectively evaluate my work. My classmates’ comments are not very
useful.
*• I find my teacher’s comments the most useful.


9: Diverse Theories of Psychology

Source: Oxford & Shearin (1996) in Oxford (Ed.) (1996)

Comments: Multiple theories of motivation cited in Oxford & Shearin (1996): need theories; instrumentality theories; equity theories; reinforcement theories.

Items suggested by these theories:

Need theories

• Music and humor help me feel relaxed in the classroom.
• I like a variety of classroom activities.
• It’s important to practice different language skills.
• It’s important for classroom activities to be relevant to my life.
• The teacher should set clear language tasks for us.
• Students should be given independence in their studies.
• Students should be given many choices about class curriculum.
• I expect the teacher to give me clear feedback.
• I like a teacher who gives constructive feedback.
• It’s important for classroom activities to be based on my needs.
• A good teacher should be approachable.
• The classroom atmosphere should be comfortable.

Instrumentality / expectancy - value theories

• I prefer working in groups.
• I can learn a lot from my classmates.
• I prefer to work alone.
• I prefer classroom activities which will be useful in my future.
• It’s important for me to have goals for this class.
• I like to have something to aim for in this class.
• I like to have clear, specific goals for learning a language.
• I need a specific deadline in order to complete assignments.
• Students should set their own targets to reach for.
• It is up to the teacher to establish the aims of the class.
• I feel great when I accomplish what I set out to do in this class.
• I should be recognized if I successfully accomplish my goals.
• It’s important for me to know how I’m evaluated in this class.
• The teacher should recognize students who successfully accomplish their goals.

Equity theories

• It’s important that classroom activities have real-world value.
• I like activities that are very practical.
• There’s no point in doing language activities that don’t help you to communicate.
• Language study should be focused on communication.

Reinforcement theories

• Grades should be de-emphasized.
• Grades should be based on a combination of effort and how well students do compared to
others.
• Learners should be recognized for their effort and individual progress.
• I like a teacher who recognizes my hard work in the language.
• If a teacher praises everyone all the time I assume she’s insincere.
• Teachers should reward students for completing tasks that they design themselves instead of for
meaningless exercises.
• Praise and criticism should focus on ways to improve.


1O. Learning Strategies

Comments: Learner is active. Learning strategies should lead to awareness of language as a system, language for communication, self-monitoring, and skills in how to learn. Categorized as social-affective; cognitive; metacognitive

Items suggested by this theory:

• I want my teacher to give me good tips on how to improve in the foreign language.
• In order to improve, learners should try various strategies both in and outside class.
• Practicing language learning tips in the classroom and then in the ‘real’ world is very useful.
• Materials should provide students with many learning tips and strategies.
• It’s important to try out a lot of different ways to learn.
*• I don’t feel comfortable trying out so many pointers on improving my language; it’s too hard.
*• The best way to learn a language is mainly in the classroom from the teacher and the textbook.
*• Practicing language learning tips in the classroom doesn’t really work.

Social-Affective

• After learning a new language-learning tip, I like to try it out with my friends.
• I pick up the best tips on how to improve my language skills from other successful learners.
• I like to learn how to participate in conversations so that I can improve my speaking ability.

Cognitive

• I like lessons which involve comparing my language to the foreign language.
• I like listening to music in order to improve my listening skills.
• I appreciate it when students are taught how to use the dictionary effectively.
• I enjoy memorizing and singing songs out loud in order to learn vocabulary in the foreign
language.
• It’s useful for the teacher to show students how to watch films/TV in order to improve our
vocabulary.
• I like materials which give learners tips on how to read, such as how to read quickly for overall
meaning.

Metacognitive

• A good language class will provide students with ideas on how to effectively manage our study time.
• I appreciate advice on how to improve my study skills.
• Students should be taught how to preview/review language lessons.

Note
: Of course there are hundreds of specific language learning strategies one could incorporate into the curriculum. So, items would vary depending on the learners and the particular class.

References

Ames, C. (1990). Motivation: What teachers need to know. Teachers College Record, 91, 409-421.

Ames, C. (1992). Classrooms: Goals, structures, and student motivation. Journal of Educational Psychology, 84 (3), 261-271.

Benson, P. & Voller, P. (Eds.). (1997). Autonomy & independence in language learning London: Longman.

Brophy, J. (1998) Motivating students to learn. New York: McGraw Hill.

Crabbe, D. (1993).Fostering Autonomy from within the classroom: The teacher’s responsibility. System, 21(4), 443-452.

Deci, E., Vallerand, R., Pelletier, L., & Ryan, R. (1991). Motivation and education: The self-determination perspective. Educational Psychologist, 26 (3&4), 325-346.

Dickinson, L. (1995). Autonomy and motivation: A literature review. System, 23 (2), 165-174.

Dornyei, Z. (1994). Motivation and motivating in the foreign language classroom. The Modern Language Journal, 78 (3), 273-284.

Dornyei, Z. (1996, March) Ten commandments for motivating language learners. Paper presented at TESOL 1996, Chicago.

Ehrman, M. (1998). The Modern Language Aptitude Test for predicting learning success and advising students. Applied Language Learning, 9 (1&2), 31-70.

Epstein, J. (1988). Family structures and student motivation: A developmental perspective. In C. Ames and R. Ames (Eds.), Research on motivation in education, Vol. 3: Goals and cognitions (pp.259-295). San Diego: Academic Press.

Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of mind: The theory of multiple intelligences. New York: Basic Books.

Gardner, H. (1999). The disciplined mind: What all students should understand. New York: Simon and Schuster.

Ho, J. and Crookall, D. (1995). Breaking with Chinese cultural traditions: Learner autonomy in English language teaching. System, 23, (2), 235-243.

Keller, J. (1983). Motivational design of instruction. In C.M. Reigeluth (Ed.), Instructional design theories and models. (383-434). Hillsdale, N.J.: Erlbaum.

Kikuchi, K. & Yi, K.M. (1999). Goal setting theories: How does it really work in the Korean university classroom? Unpublished manuscript, University of Hawai’i at Manoa.

Ladson-Billings, G. (1994). The Dreamkeepers. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Littlewood, W. (1997). Self-access: why do we want it and what can it do? In P. Benson & P.Voller (Eds.), Autonomy & independence in language learning (pp.79-91). London: Longman.

Littlewood, W. (1999). Defining and developing autonomy in East Asian countries. Applied Linguistics, 20, 71-94.

Locke, E., Shaw, K., Saari, L., & Latham, G.(1981). Goal setting and task performance: 1969-1980. Psychological Bulletin, 90, (1), 125-152.

Locke, E. & Latham, G. (1990). A theory of goal setting & task performance. Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice Hall.

Maehr, M. and Midgley, C. (1991). Enhancing student motivation: A schoolwide approach. Educational Psychologist, 26, (3&4), 399-427.

Nunan, D. (1997). Designing and adapting materials to encourage learner autonomy. In P. Benson & P.Voller (Eds.), Autonomy & independence in language learning (pp.192-203). London: Longman.

Pennycook, A. (1997). Cultural alternatives and autonomy. In P. Benson & P.Voller (Eds.), Autonomy & independence in language learning (pp.35-53). London: Longman.

Ryan, S. (1997). Preparing learners for independence: resources beyond the classroom. In P. Benson & P.Voller (Eds.), Autonomy & independence in language learning (pp.215-224). London: Longman.

Sheerin, S. (1997). An exploration of the relationship between self-access and independent learning. In P. Benson & P.Voller (Eds.), Autonomy & independence in language learning (pp.54-65). London: Longman.

Skehan, P. (1998). A cognitive approach to language learning. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Sturtridge, G.(1997). Teaching and language learning in self-access centers: changing roles? In P. Benson & P.Voller (Eds.), Autonomy & independence in language learning (pp.66-91). London: Longman.

Voller, P. (1997). Does the teacher have a role in autonomous language learning? In P. Benson & P.Voller (Eds.), Autonomy & independence in language learning (pp.98-113). London: Longman