Exploring the Connection Between Learner Interest and Group Cohesion in a Taiwanese EFL Classroom

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Gardner, Rod

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Woolley, Gary

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2012
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Abstract

English language education in Taiwan is highly valued and supported by educators and government policy makers. In response to the need to promote English language knowledge and skills within Taiwanese schools, language teachers are always considering how to improve materials and teaching methods to motivate students’ positive engagement. Student motivation has been held to promote learning in ways that shape how individuals respond during learning activities. Over the past three decades, a number of motivational constructs have been well documented that guide researchers in understanding the conceptual and procedural knowledge of motivation. Among the many constructs, interest is of considerable importance for educators, because interest-based engagement provides a direct link between interest and school learning by motivating those that are normally academically unmotivated. The benefits of interest-based learning in educational settings have been investigated from different approaches. For example, individual interest is conceptualized to be internally activated, whereas situational interest is environmentally or externally activated. Researchers have also suggested that student interest in learning is not only related to individual dispositions but is also related to environmental factors. This is an indication that both individual and situational interest may result in the facilitation of enhanced cognitive functioning and improved learning.

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Thesis (Professional Doctorate)

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Doctor of Education (EdD)

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School of Education and Professional Studies

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The author owns the copyright in this thesis, unless stated otherwise.

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English language education in Taiwan

English language study and teaching in Taiwan

English as a second language

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