University of Oulu

What factors influence demotivation in Finnish language learners? : an exploratory study-related events and motivational factors

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Author: Ottens, Jennifer1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.7 MB)
Pages: 55
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Language: English
Published: Oulu : J. Ottens, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-05-18
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Järvenoja, Hanna
Reviewer: Jokikokko, Katri


An ever-globalizing world places further emphasis on the need for language skills that are essential for international communication. The complexity and motivation involved with language acquisition can be daunting, dissuading learners and threatening the engagement of language learning. Understanding the learner’s motivation is a crucial factor in creating an effective learning environment that caters to the student’s needs.

As there are plenty of studies focusing on learners of English as foreign language, but not about those who are attempting to learn Finnish, the aim of this qualitative study is to explore experiences deemed to be demotivating as reported by learners of Finnish. This was achieved by asking the following research questions: What are the demotivating elements described by Finnish Language learners during a five-week case study? How are the reported demotivating experiences influencing the overall motivation of students?

Dörnyei’s (2009) Active motivation theories and categories influenced by Sakai & Kikuchi (2009) as a cornerstone, this research delves into analyzing Finnish language learner’s motivational aspects in comparison to the already established research on English language learner’s motivation. Analyzing differences in demotivators based on implemented languages and speaker population size.

This study analyzed the overall motivation and self-reported demotivational events of eight Finnish language learners over a five-week study. Participants detailed their weekly levels of motivation for learning Finnish, as well as events they encountered that could be deemed to be demotivating. Students were all university-level and participating in Finnish language courses on their own volition. Descriptions were analyzed and classified into categories, identifying key factors of the reported events.

Results indicate that, while there are no unique phenomena in language learning demotivation related to Finnish language learners, they find themselves experiencing similar types of demotivation as English learners. Reported intensity of demotivational effects of events in different categories differs from that of English learners, however. Therefore, motivation doesn’t behave identically in every language and results suggest that such circumstances should be considered during the teaching and learning process.

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Copyright information: © Jennifer Ottens, 2020. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.