Demotivating Factors Affecting Undergraduate Learners of Non-English Majors Studying General English: A Case of Iranian EFL Context


Research Paper

The literature on language teaching and learning has mostly accentuated motivation as one of the crucial factors influencing learners, but demotivating factors can be of crucial importance as well. In this vein, considering a grounded theory approach, this study has tried to investigate the demotivating factors influencing Iranian university students of non-English majors utilizing an interview and a questionnaire. For this purpose, thirty undergraduate students were interviewed from three different universities: State University, Islamic Azad University, and Payame Noor University. Based on the elicited responses from the interviews, a 35-item questionnaire was developed. Applying principal factor analysis, this research has brought forth the shared perception of demotivating factors in language learning among Iranian university students and documented them as a five-factor model in which the factors of “setbacks in system of education" and “lack of extrinsic motivation" were the most and the least influential ones, respectively. The other factors also included “methods and personality of teachers," “lack of self-esteem and intrinsic motivation," and “lack of given importance in society."