Exploring young EFL learners’ motivation: Individual versus pair work on dictogloss tasks

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Marta Kopinska
Agurtzane Azkarai

Abstract

Motivation has been widely considered one of the most influential variables in the field of second language learning. Motivation may vary throughout the years, even within the duration of a single language class, and this might occur due to different factors, such as the choice of tasks or the activity type (i.e., collaborative or individual). These two factors have not been investigated in depth with young learners in foreign language settings, and from a task-based perspective. Thus, this paper addresses this gap, and explores the potential changes in motivation of 64 Spanish young learners of English as a foreign language who worked on a number of dictogloss tasks in pairs and individually over the span of a school year. Data was collected several times by means of different tools that measured students’ general and more specific task motivation, as well as their attitudes towards individual/pair work. The findings revealed that, overall, these children’s motivation was high and consolidated with time, while their level of anxiety decreased. Their attitudes towards the dictogloss were positive from the beginning to the end of the school year, and more so when they carried out the task in pairs. These findings support the benefits of collaborative work, and the dictogloss, as an appropriate task that engages children in their learning of a foreign language.

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How to Cite
Kopinska, M., & Azkarai, A. (2020). Exploring young EFL learners’ motivation: Individual versus pair work on dictogloss tasks. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 10(3), 607-630. https://doi.org/10.14746/ssllt.2020.10.3.10
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Articles
Author Biographies

Marta Kopinska, Universidad del País Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea (UPV/EHU)

Marta Kopinska, PhD, is Assistant Professor in the Department of English and German Philology and Translation and Interpreting Studies at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), and a member of the Language and Speech (Laslab) research group. She holds a BA in Ethnolinguistics from Adam Mickiewicz University of Poznan (AMU, Poland) and obtained her MA (2011) and PhD (2017) within the Language Acquisition in Multilingual Settings program under the supervision of Prof. David Lasagabaster (UPV/EHU). In 2008-2011 she taught Polish at the UPV/EHU and English in the primary education degree at Mondragon University (2016-2017). Her research interests include multilingual education, attitudes and motivation.

Contact details: Universidad del País Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea (UPV/EHU), Facultad de Letras, Dpto. de Filología Inglesa y Alemana y Traducción e Interpretación Paseo de la Universidad 5, 01006 Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain (marta.kopinska@ehu.eus)

Agurtzane Azkarai, Universidad del País Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea (UPV/EHU)

Agurtzane Azkarai, PhD, is Assistant Professor at the Department of English and German and Translation and Interpreting Studies at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), and a member of the Language and Speech (Laslab) research group at the UPV/EHU. Her research interests include collaborative work and task-based interaction in ESL and EFL settings, and also focuses on different factors such as age, gender, or motivation that might affect the learning opportunities of L2 learners. She has published her work in several well-known journals and presented her work at national and international conferences.

Contact details: Universidad del País Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea (UPV/EHU) Facultad de Letras, Dpto. de Filología Inglesa y Alemana y Traducción e Interpretación Paseo de la Universidad 5, 01006 Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain (agurtzane.azcaray@ehu.eus)

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