Engagement and Motivation in EFL Classroom: Humanizing the Coursebook or Autonomy-supportive Teaching Climate?

Document Type: Original Article


Faculty of Persian Literature and Foreign Languages, Islamic Azad University, South Tehran Branch, Tehran, Iran


Humanizing language learning materials helps language teachers to design activities that are linked to learn- ers’ lives and experiences. This can result in higher motivation and engagement in the process of foreign language learning. Self-determination theory-based instruction enhances learners’ engagement and motiva- tion through supporting the basic psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Howev- er, teachers’ ability to apply coursebook or even teaching style that fosters engagement and motivation among learners has received little attention in EFL context. Therefore, the main purpose of this study was to compare the impacts of the two intervention programs of humanizing the coursebook and self-determination theory-based instruction on developing engagement and motivation among EFL learners. To this aim, 60 homogeneous participants were selected among the foreign language learners and randomly assigned into two experimental groups. Behavioral Regulation Questionnaire and Classroom Engagement Questionnaire were used to measure the determined variables in the study. Whereas both self-determination theory-focused intervention program and coursebook humanization indicated to significantly effect on enhancing motiva- tional subscales, the results of the study provided evidence on substantial effect of humanizing the course- book on promoting behavioral, emotional, cognitive, and agentic engagement subscales among English as foreign language (EFL) learners. The findings validated language teachers’ skills in fostering learners’ en- gagement and motivation through employing the principles of both more humanistic course books and au- tonomy-supportive teaching style within self-determination theory.


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