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Volume 18 Number 4, Winter 2021, Pages 1071-1525   

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Learner Perceptions of Demotivators in the EFL Classroom: Conceptual Framework and Scale Development

    Jianling Xie, Tianlan Wei, Yan Zhan, Yan Zeng, Xiang Huang, Xia Liu & Katarzyna Gallo

Grounded in social cognitive theory and expectancy-value theory, the current study aimed to present a demotivation scale — Learner Perceptions of Demotivators Scale (LPDS) — designed specifically for use in L2 research and tested empirically to provide evidence of its construct, validity, and reliability. Study 1 sample consisted of 295 Chinese college English learners. An exploratory factor analysis offered preliminary support for a factor structure comprising three dimensions: negative teacher behavior, loss of task value, and low expectancy for success. Study 2 sample consisted of another 320 Chinese college English learners. The proposed factor structure was further corroborated through confirmatory factor analysis, and support for its validity was provided by means of correlating the three dimensions with academic performance and self-efficacy measures. Specifically, all the correlations were negative except for the positive association between academic performance and negative teacher behavior. Further, whereas the model fit confirmed a well-fitting second-order model, one low first-order loading (negative teacher behavior) does not seem to support a second-order factor model. Therefore, the three dimensions should be regarded as separate to best capture the nuances of different demotivators. By establishing a nomological network (demotivation, academic performance, and self-efficacy), the current study illuminates selected aspects of ESL pedagogy.

Keywords: demotivation, second language acquisition, scale development, social cognitive theory, expectancy-value theory

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