Relationship between students’ motivation and their socio-demographic characteristics
This article presents the results of research on the relationship between indicators of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in students attending higher education institutions, and their socio-demographic characteristics: the type of upper secondary education completed, secondary education grade point average, year of study, gender, and parents’ education.
The research was conducted in March 2012, through a survey questionnaire administered to a sample of 604 respondents. The questionnaire examined, among other things, students’ motivation for learning, self-assessment of motivation for learning English and further professional development, and self-assessment of overall satisfaction with the study programme.
According to the self-determination theory developed by Deci and Ryan (2000), intrinsic and extrinsic motivation are essential for undertaking any activity, including learning. As a social agent, each individual interacts with different social groups in an action-oriented set of circumstances, and develops his/her personality (CEFR). Social contexts that catalyse intrapersonal and interpersonal differences also have a significant influence on motivation. Gardner’s theory of motivation emphasizes the importance of social components and the extrinsic nature of instrumental and integrative orientation. Instrumental-integrative dichotomy was further developed by Dörnyei (1994: 279), who introduced a motivational framework consisting of three levels: the language level, the learner level and the learning situation level.
Survey results show that the respondents are generally highly-motivated to learn, and that intrinsic motivation is predominant. Statistically significant differences were found between gender, secondary education grade point average, and year of study and the type and intensity of motivation, whereas the type of upper secondary education completed, and parents’ education, were not found to be statistically significantly correlated with the examined concepts.
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