Attitudes and motivation of Malaysian secondary students towards learning english as a second language: A case study

Siew Ming Thang, Siew Ling Ting, Mohd Jaafar Nurjanah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The English Language has always played a significant role in Malaysia's quest of becoming a developed nation. Despite this, the English proficiency level of Malaysian students is far from satisfactory. What are the reasons for this? Motivational studies have shown that Malaysian students realise the importance of English for their future development and that students are extrinsically motivated by factors such as the desire to get good grades, opportunities to further their studies and career advancement to improve their English. However, in these cases extrinsic motivation does not necessarily translate to better performance in English. Most of these studies were undertaken in tertiary settings. Thus, there is a possibility that secondary school students may not be aware of the importance of English for their future. Conversely, it is also probable that these problems stem from a lack of motivation and poor attitude beginning from secondary school. This paper discusses the findings of a study undertaken to investigate these issues further by carrying out a questionnaire survey on attitudes and motivation of a group of secondary school students in East Malaysia towards learning English as a Second Language. The study reveals an overall positive attitude towards learning English by Art and Science students. Further Science students and higher proficiency students show more interest in improving their English. In addition, the findings reveal a positive relationship between higher proficiency level and positive attitudes and motivation to learn English.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-54
Number of pages15
Journal3L: Language, Linguistics, Literature
Volume17
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Fingerprint

language
learning
student
secondary school
Malaysia
career advancement
extrinsic motivation
Learning English
Secondary School
English as a Second Language
science
English language
Positive Attitudes
Proficiency
art
questionnaire
lack
performance
English Proficiency
Questionnaire

Keywords

  • Attitudes
  • Extrinsic motivation
  • Instrumental orientation
  • Integrative orientation
  • Intrinsic motivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Literature and Literary Theory
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

Attitudes and motivation of Malaysian secondary students towards learning english as a second language : A case study. / Thang, Siew Ming; Ting, Siew Ling; Nurjanah, Mohd Jaafar.

In: 3L: Language, Linguistics, Literature, Vol. 17, No. 1, 2011, p. 40-54.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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