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English Teacher’s Motivation to Teach Academic Writing at University Level

3.0 Literature Review

The literature review entails an analysis of some of the main secondary information relevant to the study topic: English teacher’s motivation to teach academic writing at university level. Some of the main subtopic be captured in the analysis include motivation, types of motivation, writing at a university, role of teachers in teaching academic writing, and teachers motivation. In addition, the chapter will capture the research questions: teachers’ motivation level; factors influencing teachers; and teachers’ personality.

3.1 Motivation

According to Pinder (2008: 25), motivation is a number of energetic forces come from within and beyond an individual to start behaviour related to work and determine its duration, form, intensity and direction. In agreement, Lathan (2012: 123) argues that motivation is a theoretic construct that explains behaviours. It explains the reason to why people have certain needs, desires and engage in certain actions. Wiseman and Hunt (2008: 43) defines motivation to be an internal condition that makes students take particular action, initiate a certain behaviour, and help them maintain it in line with the learning environment. In other words, motivation is the reasons to which one behaves in a particular manner. In general, it is the willingness or desire for one to do something.

3.2 Motivation Types

3.2.1 Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

According to Lemos and Verissimo (2014: 930), motivation can be categorised into intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation means that the individual’s stimuli originate from within while extrinsic motivation means that the stimuli are from outside the individual. They argue that even though the two are contradicting, they can co-exist. However, the study indicates that better achievement is mainly associated with intrinsic motivation as opposed to extrinsic motivation. In agreement, Zhao (2012: 101) indicates that intrinsic motivation is caused by interest and pleasure on the activity in question while extrinsic motivation is linked to an external outcome that are not linked to interest. In explanation, Ryan and Deci (2000: 54) indicate that intrinsic motivation to be important since it explains the natural human tendency to take in information and learn. On the other hand, extrinsic motivation has unstable relative autonomy and can show true self-regulation or external control. In contrast to Lemos and Verissimo (2014: 930), Benabou and Tirole (2003) argue that punishments and rewards are counterproductive in most of the times since they affect the intrinsic motivation thus cannot co-exist sustainably.

3.2.2 Integrative and Instrumental Motivation

Ahmadi (2011: 8), motivation can mainly be divided into instrumental and integrative motivation. The former means learning as an instrument for achieving particular goals while the latter is an act of desire to identify with a given culture. The findings of the study indicate that female students have stronger integrative motivation compared to the instrumental motivation while the male students had stronger instrumental motivation compared to integrative motivation. According to Gardner (as cited in Samad, Etemadzadeh & Far, 2012, 433), integrative motivation is a positive attitude towards a group and the potential of integrating into it while instrumental motivation refers to learning a language with the intention of achieving something such as getting a job, passing exams, or getting a promotion. Zhao (2012: 101), integrative orientation is a better predictor of the eventual proficiency of learners as opposed to instrumental orientation. In addition, learners that are integratively motivated will demonstrate higher motivation levels in learning hence succeed in achievement since they are active learners as opposed to the instrumentally motivated learners.

3.2.3 Orientation and Motivation

According to Crookes and Schmidt (1991:470) motivation is defined with the orientation of the learner to understand academic writing. In explanation, Ryan and Deci (2000: 54) indicate that the orientation of motivation entails the underlying goals and attitudes that lead to rise in a particular action. According to Zhao (2012: 100), there is a close link between motivation and orientation since when talking of someone’s motivation in doing something; it is often understood as the reasons behind the action.

3.3 Teaching Academic Writing at a University

Academic English is the language used to asses and teach school subjects (Alameddine & Mirza, 2016: 210). Students are usually required to use academic language that needs advanced proficiency (Schleppegrell & O’Hallaron, 2011: 3). Writing is a complex activity that entails semantic instruction and grammar. Munoz-Luna (2015) argues that the educators consider writing difficult to score, analyse, assess, and measure. In agreement, Mazandarani (2010) indicates that learning is still considered a demanding task even in the 21st century since it needs a wide range of sub-skills and skills. He argues that it is hard for writers to be consciously aware of the writing strategies in English classes. It is, therefore, important for teachers to plan writing strategies that can enable students to improve their texts consciously through integrating multiple perspectives such as content compilation, genre specification, meta-discursive level, discursive level, lexical level, and grammatical level (Lillis & Curry, 2006: 4). According to Karimnia (2013: 910) interviews have significant impact in English teaching. It is, therefore, important for teachers to take into consideration the professional experience of their students. The junior researchers should be shown how to write scientific texts despite their limited writing skills. Lillis, Magyar, and Robinson‐Pant (2010: 781) emphases the challenges that the researchers from outside the Anglophone centre face when it comes to publication despite pressure being put on them to publish in English. The challenges are usually linked to the linguistic and material resources that are used to analyse the publications.

3.4 Teachers’ Role in Teaching Academic Writing

Copland (2014) defines academic writing as a communication tool used to convey acquired knowledge in a given field of study. It is, therefore, characterized with a serious tone and particular facts and theories in a given argument. Academic writing aims at enhancing learning development or assessing a comprehension of a course. It is a mode through which academic papers are presented. Nicosia and Stein (1996: 308) argue that teachers have a role of addressing all the needs if the students and should take the needs of the learners. In explanation, teachers need to acknowledge the expectation of students through considering their tutorial process and tailing to the expectations and concerns of the students. The flow charts, writing process and writing skills are important during the tutorials and should come with a sense of flexibility. The approaches of teachers when it comes to tutorials need to be evaluated and adjusted to ensure that students have more responsibility and should come with a “checklist” to help follow the preparation (p. 309). Teachers also need to be active readers and approach passages that are hard to understand in a number of ways before declaring it incomprehensive. In addition, they should prepare notes to enable a follow-up during class time. In specific, (Coffin, Curry, Goodman, Hewings, Lillis, & Swann 2005: 21)
indicate that the specific features that the teachers should focus on when teaching writing academic text should include: linguistic accuracy, register, rhetorical purpose, and text types. Even though some of the features might seem obvious, they are not to the students since they find it difficult to know what is expected of them. However, the authors fail to capture the particular roles that the teachers have in academic writing. Same to Coffin et al. (2005), Pérez and Pereira (2016: 258) focus on the importance of academic writing to both the teachers and the students but fail to distinguish the roles that the two parties play in the same. According to Ofoegbu (2004: 81), it is the role of the teacher to command and emit the image on the person in charge of knowledge improvement and physical conditions of the classroom through ensuring control, discipline, and orderliness.

3.5 Teachers Motivation

Dornyei and Ushioda (2011: 9) define motivation to be of two dimensions: magnitude and direction of human behaviour. Consequently, motivation specifies the reason why people decide to engage on particular activity, the length to which they are willing to sustain it, and their zeal in pursuing the activity. In agreement, Sinclair (2008: 79) defines teacher motivation as the level of attraction, concentration and retention that help to determine what attracts a person to teaching, how long they tend to remain in teaching profession and their extent of engaging in the teaching profession. Han and Yin (2016), therefore, summarizes the components of teachers motivation to entail prominent intrinsic motivation that is closely linked to inherent interest in teaching; social contextual influences that links to the impact of external constraints and conditions; temporal dimension with focus on lifelong commitment; and factors that are demotivating due to the negative influences. Extrinsic motivations can help one engage in pre-service teachings. Some of these extrinsic motivations include career status, job security, and salary (Yong, 1995: 275; Chivore, 1988: 60; Kyriacou & Kobori, 1998: 345). In some of the areas, intrinsic motivation seems to be of greater impact than the extrinsic one just as witnessed in China (Tang, 2011: 30). Teachers’ motivation, therefore, differs based on the socio-cultural contexts to which teaching takes place (Kyriacou &
Kobori, 1998: 346).

3.6 Teachers Motivation Level

According to Bentea and Anghelache (2012: 567), job motivation and satisfaction are not affected by gender differences. However, job satisfaction can be affected with the professional position held due to the level of continuous training that the person has gone through. Teachers’ motivation levels can be increased through creating additional opportunities for the teaching staff for them to assume their professional responsibility; recognizing the effort and contribution of each member of the organization; achieving self realization; supporting the teachers in career development and identity as teachers; and encouraging their work performance. The school managers should also enhance suitable social environment through encouraging positive interpersonal relations and encouraging teamwork. In contradiction, Farid & Alam (2011: 303) considers the factors that determine the motivation level of the teachers to include income status; importance in the society; self confidence; and rewards and incentives upon showing good results. In the same context, teachers would prefer a system that holds the students responsible for their failure and not them. According to Ofoegbu (2004: 81), teachers’ motivation level is important for the effectiveness of the classroom and improvement in school. The issue that affects the level of teachers’ motivation is majorly the climate of the classroom. Classroom setting should be in a way that enhances the teachers’ happiness, commitment, dedication, and satisfaction. Padhy, Emo, Djira, and Deokar (2015) give a number of factors that would make one take teaching as a career. The significant factors are expectancy environment, expectancy intrinsic, social media education, social prior experience, and social suggestions. The less significant factors include value-related factors and expectancy extrinsic factors. These factors can also make one quit the teaching profession. Teachers’ professional developments are influenced by a number of factors. These include learning climate, social support from the colleagues, social support from the supervisors, and learning value of the action (Evers, Van der Heijden, & Kreijns, 2016: 36). Emotional demands and work pressures can also be mitigated using the teachers’ professional developments forums.

3.7 Factors Influencing Teachers

Buabeng-Andoh (2012: 136) argues that there are a number of factors that influence teachers’ adoption and integration of technology. The barriers include lack of or inadequate technological skills; lack of confidence; inadequate pedagogical teacher training; lack of suitable software for education; restrictive curricula, and the inflexible structure of conventional education system among others. Similar factors can also influence the motivation of the teachers in achieving their goals. According to Tehseen and Hadi (2015: 233), the performance and retention of teachers can also be affected by intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. The intrinsic motivations include satisfaction derived from control over others; teaching as a passion and goal; competitive and challenging nature of teaching; career development; enjoying teaching; and recognition (Jovanovic & Matejevic, 2014: 456). On the other hand, the extrinsic motivations include awards such as wages or salaries increase; free accommodation; free medical assistance; paid leave; support in case of financial problems; meals; and educational progress in premium payments (Donovan, 2015: 5). The major factors that influence teachers are working conditions, student behavior, and administrative support (Fisher, 2011). They affect the performance and retention of teachers. Sharma (2013: 15) argues that the motivations factors for the expatriate teachers in Saudi Arabia include holy mosque or Muslim pilgrimage and personal gains such as job opportunities, tax exemption, perquisites, low living costs, infrastructure, healthcare facilities and peace among others (Keshwar Seebaluck & Devi Seegum, 2013: 446).

3.8 Teachers’ Personality

According to Ulug, Ozden, & Eryilmaz (2011: 738) the behaviours and attitudes of the teachers same as the teaching methods are helps students to gain a personality that is mentally healthy. It also enables them to have a clear world view since the traces are unforgettable in the students’ minds. Positive attitudes influence the personality of the students positively and enhance their performance. Lifespan education should, therefore, be considered beyond the simple impact of knowledge transformation. In a study to determine the function of personality traits on meta-cognitive awareness among the English teachers in Turkey, Öza (2016: 655) argue that extraversion and openness to experience determines the academic motivation of a student. Teachers should be trained on the meta-cognitive awareness to enable them pass to the students thus enhancing their performance. In contrary, Garrett (2009) argues that there is no significant link between the introverted and extroverted teachers and their efficiency. There was also no link between introverted and extroverted teachers with the academic performance of the students. According to Scheepers, Lombarts, Van Aken, Heineman, and Arah (2014), personality traits affect teaching performance in the medical field. In explanation, the attending physicians that are extroverts are evaluated as better supervisors while the surgical attending physicians who showed high level of openness were inadequate when it comes to giving feedbacks. These insights are of importance and can be tried in the field of English language. For example, a study by Burkett (2011: ii) on the relationship between personality of teachers, their efficacy in classroom management, and leadership style showed that there was a significant relationship between transformational leadership, the personality factors for conscientiousness and openness, and efficacy in management of the classroom. However, there was no statistical relationship between the efficacy of classroom management and neuroticism, agreeableness, and extraversion factors. Neither did the factors have a significant relationship with the certification and experience. The study, therefore, argued that classroom teachers should be provided with comprehensive leadership training so as to ensure a better learning environment.

3.9 Information Gap

The studies do not show how the English-speaking and non-English-speaking researchers apply the use of verbs, voice, and tense. There is need for further research that will help determine additional sources of motivation and develop mechanisms to which the interests of students and improve their attitude towards academic writing. Researchers should also play a critical role in the teaching of academic writing through highlighting and incorporating motivation into the process. It is important that spaces are developed to which the topic of academic writing can be discussed. It is also important that bases are developed so as to keep the discussion on academic writing more comprehensive and relevant. Some of the issues that need to be discussed include the distinction between the role of students and teachers when it comes on teaching academic writing. Even though there are several studies on teachers’ motivation, the matter of discipline or subject to which it is based have been overlooked. Discipline have unique characteristics hence can affect motivation of a teacher and learning outcomes. In addition, there are no case studies that show how personality traits are integrated in the training of teachers.


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