The effective use of different strategies to motivate primary students to learn English language

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


Motivation plays a particularly critical role in English as a foreign language (EFL) position where learners are separated logistically and psychologically from the target culture of English language. Consequently, when the teacher uses different activities and strategies to motivate the students, s/he can influence the students' level of motivation; so that it will eventually affect the extent to which the students can learn a language (Gardner, 1997). In this study -a small scale action research- the teacher researcher aimed to improve her own capabilities and skills by using different strategies to motivate students to learn English language in better way. Within a framework of action research, the study was conducted within two cycles in a private primary school in Karachi, Pakistan. The main research participants were the teacher researcher and five selected students, along with the class teacher acting as a critical friend. The process of action research started with the teacher researcher studying her own, the students' and class teacher's views and practices of using different motivational strategies. The whole school context was also studied in order to gain an understanding of what was going on. The researcher followed the steps of planning, implementation, observation, and reflections. Therefore, data were collected through using observation, pre- and post- semi-structured interviews, reflective journals and document analysis. The ongoing analysis was maintained side by side with data collection. The data reveal that using interesting and challenging activities in the class serve as purposeful tools to motivate the students in order to find learning English interesting and meaningful. The findings show that some students became intrinsically motivated to learn, whereas some others need external motives to learn better. Findings and key learning include the researcher's learning as a teacher and as an action researcher. The study also reports some possible strategies for the teachers which may enable them to motivate their students to learn English language. Based on the findings, some implications have also been put forward, along with the general conclusion of the study.

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