English Language Learner Motivation in the Digital Technology Classroom: A Case Study of a Vocational University in Indonesia

English Language Learner Motivation in the Digital Technology Classroom: A Case Study of a Vocational University in Indonesia

Baetty Baetty (Politeknik Negeri Padang, Indonesia) and Michael Thomas (University of Central Lancashire, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1282-1.ch009
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This chapter investigates learner motivation in an English as a foreign language writing classroom in an Indonesian university. Its originality arises from the fact that no substantive studies have explored learner motivation in the digital classroom in Indonesian higher education. A mixed methods data collection process was conducted involving 144 students from three-year groups who responded to an online questionnaire. Two classes from Year 1 (47 students) were taken as a sample to observe the learning process between an existing group that was introduced to the learning of English writing through Edmodo. The other group used traditional materials for their writing tasks. The findings are significant in that the high levels of motivation reported by the students were not reflected in the way they completed their writing tasks as the use of technology affected their motivation in complex ways. In conclusion, the study encourages future research in Indonesia that measures English students' motivation and technology-mediated writing task performance through longitudinal studies.
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Previous research has suggested that the Indonesian education curriculum is heavily dependent on teacher-centred and deductive approaches to learning English as a Foreign Language (EFL) and this has led to lower levels of learner motivation (Mattarima & Hamdan, 2011, 2016). Most reseach studies have focused on receptive skills (Araminta & Halimi, 2015; Pammu, Amir & Maasum, 2014) and this is because Indonesian students typically prioritise reading and listening over productive skills such as writing and speaking (Sukandi & Syafar, 2018). Although in the global context of EFL and computer-assisted language learning (CALL) there have been numerous studies of learner motivation (Hannibal Jensen, 2019; Ushioda, 2013), they have not explored the issue in Indonesian higher education in any substantive way. Nevertheless, several preliminary studies (Aulia, Yulastri & Sari, 2014; Aulia, Yulastri & Handayani, 2016; Yulastri, 2015a, 2015b; Yulastri, Aulia & Saptopramono, 2016) have indicated that combining the use of online platforms such as Edmondo alongside more learner-centred approaches may significantly improve students’ motivation in classroom contexts. This claim warrants further investigation in this paper.

In order to address these gaps in the research on learner motivation and learning technologies in Indonesia, this chapter investigates language learner motivation in two technology-mediated classes with students at a vocational higher education institution in western Indonesia in which task-based language teaching (TBLT) was used as the main instructional approach. Following a review of the research literature on learner motivation and TBLT usage in the Asian context, the methodology describes the research framework of the study. Findings are then discussed in relation to Gardner’s model of motivation. Finally, the limitations and implications of the study are explored, prior to identifying areas for future research in this area.

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