Motivation Types among EFL College Students: Insights from the Palestinian Context
The issue of motivation continues to play a major role in the area of EFL/ESL learning due to the fact that the types of motivation language learners develop may actually be a function of their context. The current study aims at exploring the motivation patterns of EFL college learners in the city of Hebron/ Southern Palestine. Sample of the study consisted of (127) students majoring in English and Engineering at Hebron University and Palestine Polytechnic University respectively. The study has aimed at investigating the influence of various variables such as the students' major field, level of education, desired level of proficiency, and gender on their motivation patterns. The researchers have utilized a questionnaire followed by an interview of selected learners. Results show that Palestinian students demonstrate types of motivation that are not cited in the classical motivation studies conducted on immigrants in the core English speaking countries. The motivation patterns dominant among Palestinian students are extrinsic in nature, e.g., learning the language because it is a compulsory requirement or learning the language to protect one's culture from the influence of the target culture. None of the participants has displayed an integrative or intrinsic motivation to learn the language. Thus, the researchers recommend investing serious effort in enhancing integrative motivation among Palestinian EFL students since previous research has clearly shown that learners who attain the highest levels of proficiency in the target language are those who possess this type of intrinsic motivation.