Motivation and the dictogloss task: a study with young EFL learners

Individual differences in second language learning and teaching II: The individual and the context
Konin (Poland)
In second language (L2) learning and teaching motivation has been shown to be one of the most influential variables (Doiz, Lasagabaster and Sierra, 2014). Not only general motivation towards L2 learning may exert an effect on L2 learners, their motivation might also vary on the basis of the task they engage in, because different tasks might affect the language learning experience of L2 learners (Dörnyei, 2003). However, research on motivation with young learners, and more specifically from a task-based perspective has not been carried out in depth (Muñoz 2017). Thus, the aim of the present study is to explore the motivational effects, beliefs and attitudes towards a dictogloss task of a group of 67 Spanish young English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) learners
(aged 11-12). The students worked first individually on the dictogloss, then a week after they worked on it in pairs, and the week after they worked on the dictogloss on their own again. The pupils completed a motivation questionnaire based on Doiz, Lasagabaster and Sierra (2014) and Schmidt and Watanabe (2001) before the first time they performed the first dictogloss, and then after the last dictogloss task. This questionnaire included 27 items (Likert-scale) with regard to students’ beliefs about L2 learning, attitudes towards English, the task they completed (dictogloss) or working individually or in pairs, among others. The answers of the questionnaire were analysed qualitatively and quantitatively. The analysis showed mixed findings for these learners’ attitudes towards the dictogloss task and working in pairs or on their own, but overall, they showed positive attitudes towards learning other languages, and more specifically English. The findings will be further explained and pedagogical implications will be suggested.