Learners of English as a second language in Australia: Their perceptions of learning environment and factors having affected their motivation

Masanori Matsumoto

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It is a case study for students from a university in Japan learning English as a second language (L2) to investigate the factors affecting their motivation. They participated in a four-week language course in a language institute attached to a university in Australia. Three students volunteered to report their motivational changes through the course and to be interviewed twice at the beginning and the end of the course. The results show that the class atmosphere that encourages the participation of speech activity should be the factor most strongly motivated all the participants to learn, though their motivational intensity does not show a significant change through the course. The study further shows that the teachers’ attitudes towards the class and competitive nature among the peers as well as supportive classmates seem to influence their motivation positively.
These findings seem to indicate that the participants’ actual experience of the primary difference in the contents of the English class between Japan and Australia, the focus on the provision of grammatical information in Japan while encouraging the development of verbal communication skills by actively participating in the communicative tasks in Australia worked positively to their learning. That is, experiencing different learning environment including supportive staff and peer learners, and communication-oriented lesson need to be positively perceived by the participants, which proves the learners’ perception of environmental factors could be a factor affecting motivation. However, learners’ self-report of the level of motivation does not seem to be affected immediately by their positive perception of the learning environment. It seems to signify that there is a gap between learners’ general perception of motivational factors and its influence on their actual motivation to learn.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017
Event6th University of Malaya Discourse and Society International Conference: Discourse, Culture & Identity - University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Duration: 5 Dec 20176 Dec 2017
Conference number: 6th


Conference6th University of Malaya Discourse and Society International Conference
Abbreviated titleUMDS 2017
CityKuala Lumpur
OtherThe conference aims to provide all researchers the opportunity to share their research in the areas of discourse, culture and identity to the international community.


1. To promote exchange of research ideas and knowledge among local and international researchers on discourse, culture and identity.

2. To provide a platform for research collaborations in discourse studies among local and international researchers, and institutions of higher learning.


We welcome submissions related to the conference theme - Discourse, Culture and Identity in the following areas (but not limited to):

- Literacies and education policies
- Language, religion and civilization
- Digital media and popular cultures
- Peace, security and identities in transition
- Discourses of heritage and cultural tourism
- Disability, cultural diversity and interactions
- Linguistic landscapes and visual communication
- Gender representation and cultural interpretation
- Professional discourse and language for specific purposes
- Language varieties, multilingualism and cross-cultural communication
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