The effects of authentic materials on motivation and reading achievement of EFL (English as aforeign language) learners in Taiwan
Ya-Fen Lin, La Sierra University, United States
La Sierra University . Awarded
Authentic and web-based authentic foreign language materials, not specifically designed with pedagogical goals have been recognized to be effective and interesting materials in many studies. The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to compare the effects of the use of authentic, web-based authentic, and non-authentic materials on motivation and reading achievement of EFL learners in Taiwan. Furthermore, it intended to investigate the relationship between motivation levels and reading achievement.
The target population involved in this study was Chinese-speaking EFL learners in two classes at a college in Taiwan. Each class contained fifty-one students (N = 102) with an average age of eighteen. The subjects in each class were randomly assigned to experimental group one (utilizing authentic materials), experimental group two (utilizing web-based authentic materials) and one control group (utilizing non-authentic materials). Student's motivation level was measured against self-reported learner motivation questionnaires as a repeated-measure design. The reading comprehension test was a pretest-posttest design. This study was conducted over a period of six weeks, at four hours per week.
The results indicated that motivation levels did not change much across time (six weeks). The control group showed significantly higher motivation than experimental group two that utilized web-based authentic materials although the difference was small. All three groups improved reading comprehension test scores significantly. The participants in experimental group one who utilized authentic materials from newspapers, magazines, and brochures had significantly higher reading comprehension tests scores than those in the control group and experimental group two. In addition, there was no significant relationship between motivation levels and reading achievement test scores.
The findings implied that authentic and web-based authentic materials did not have a more positive effect on learners' motivation. Learner's motivation levels in the classroom did not directly affect their reading achievement test scores. Learners in this study were in favor of authentic materials, although participants who utilized three different materials all increased their reading achievement test scores. It is recommended that EFL teachers carefully select authentic and web-based authentic materials for supplementary reading materials encouraging students to read real-life texts and understand more cultural differences. It is hoped that this research will invite further contributions to the study of the effects of authentic and web-based authentic materials on EFL learners.
Lin, Y.F. The effects of authentic materials on motivation and reading achievement of EFL (English as aforeign language) learners in Taiwan. Ph.D. thesis, La Sierra University.
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