CHAPTER TWOLITERATURE REVIEW2.0 IntroductionThis chapter describes theoretical background and conceptual framework to support the study which look into motivational perspective regarding disaffection and engagement. Past studies related to disaffection and engagement among students in learning English are reviewed in detail in order to further understand the contributing factors.2.1 Theoretical BackgroundThis study explores the factors contributing to disaffection and engagement among students during English lesson from the motivational perspective. In general, motivation can be defined as the initiation, direction, intensity, persistence of behaviour. Nevertheless, motivation should not be understood as a personality trait or an emotion. Motivation also can be perceived as having the infatuation and willingness to do something (Brown, 2007).
In relation to English language learning, the lack of motivation may lead to disaffection with behavioural, emotional, and cognitive factors. Therefore, motivation plays a critical role for ESL students to stay engaged during English lesson. This study has chosen Self-Determination Theory (Deci & Ryan, 2002) to support the analysis behind the factors contributing to disaffection among students during English lesson along with Motivational Conceptualization of Engagement and Disaffection (Skinner, 2016).2.
1.1 Self-Determination Theory Figure 1. Components of Self-Determination Theory (Deci & Ryan, 2002) Based on Self-Determination Theory (SDT), motivation is a psychological drive directed towards a particular goal. This theory aims to expound individuals’ goal-directed behaviour. Figure 1 shows three psychological needs which consists of competence, autonomy and relatedness. The need for competence is associated with seeking out ‘optimal challenges’ that can help a person to enhance their capabilities. Autonomy refers to the need to self-regulate one’s experience and actions.
In SDT, autonomy is considered as this sense of voluntariness, therefore not the same as independence (self-reliance). Relatedness refers to feeling connected to others and sense of belongingness with both other individuals. These needs are essential to be fulfilled for individuals’ natural growth towards positive motivation. Nevertheless, there will be negative consequences if the needs are thwarted. Disaffection occurs when students disengage from classroom-related learning activities due to the absence of motivation.
This study attempts to use SDT’s psychological needs within the ESL classroom context in order to explore factors contributing to students’ disaffection during English lesson. Competence refers to students’ need to comprehend their tasks and responsibilities during English lesson. Autonomy describes the student’ need to feel supported for being volition and experience willingness.
Relatedness involves students’ need for their social aspect of belongingness and connectedness with other individuals in the classroom such as their peers and teachers.2.1.
2 Motivational Conceptualizations of Engagement and DisaffectionDetail examination of disaffection in learning by Skinner (2015) showed that classroom engagement and disaffection is a multifaceted construct which consists of behavioural, affective, and cognitive. Table 1 presents the multiple indicators from various orientation which lead to disaffection such as passivity, giving up, boredom, distracted, disinterest, aimless, and etc. Concerning to ESL students, motivation plays a crucial role to avert disaffection during English lesson. Identifying the factors of disaffection and engagement can help teachers to develop engaging pedagogy that motivate students to learn English. ?Table 1. A Motivational Conceptualization of Engagement and DisaffectionFactors Engagement DisaffectionCognitive Purposeful Aimless Approach Helpless Goal strivings Resigned Strategy search Unwilling Willing participation Opposition Preference for challenge Avoidance Mastery Apathy Follow-through, care Hopeless Thoroughness PressuredAffective Enthusiasm Boredom Interest Disinterested Enjoyment Frustration/anger Interest Disinterest Satisfaction Sadness Pride Worry/Anxiety Vitality Shame Zest Self-blameBehaviour Action Initiation Passivity, Procrastination Effort, Exertion Giving up, Withdrawal Working hard Restlessness Attempts Half-hearted Persistence Unfocused, Inattentive Intensity Distracted Focus, Attention Mentally disengaged Concentration Burned out Absorption Unprepared Involvement AbsentNote. From “Engagement and Disaffection as Central Processes of Motivational Resilience and Development” by Ellen A.
Skinner, 2016, Handbook of Motivation at School, Routlege.2.2 Conceptual FrameworkRavitch & Riggan (2016) defined conceptual framework as both a mechanism and a product which assist researchers while working through prevalent research challenges. To construct a conceptual framework, researchers are required to be scrupulous, organize in prioritizing variables, and able to distinguish relationships that exist within the study. Diagram X portrays the conceptual framework for this study. Diagram 2. Conceptual Framework consisting SDT component of motivation and factors contributing to disaffection and engagement among ESL students during English lesson.
The conceptual framework of this study is illustrated in Diagram 2. It uses SDT components of psychological needs to support analysis of contributing factors towards engagement and disaffection among students during English lesson. Within this conceptual framework, motivation plays a critical role in influencing students’ cognitive, affective and behaviour, language activities, and student-teacher relationship. As suggested by Deci & Ryan (2002), SDT psychological needs are vital to be fulfilled in order to develop individual’s motivation. Thus, this conceptual framework propose that motivation derived from fulfilment of SDT psychological needs influence the factors contributing to disaffection and engagement. The specific insights for the conceptual framework will be further elaborated in the following sections.
2.3 Engagement and Disaffection In language learning, the term ‘disaffection and engagement’ has increased in popularity partly due to the development of understanding of the role motivation towards students’ cognitive, affective and behaviour engagements, attitude towards language activities, and the quality of student-teacher relationship during English lesson. Solís (2008) suggests that student engagement is a pre-requisite of students’ learning. The concept of students’ disaffection and engagement seems to be unequivocal, however, it can involve complex motivational processes in various forms. The following sections will demonstrate five main factors contributing to disaffection and engagement which consists of students’ cognitive, affective, and behaviour constructs, along with language activities conducted during English lesson and the quality of student-teacher relationship. ?2.4 Cognitive, Affective and Behaviour FactorsCognitive.
This study refers cognitive as individual intellectual traits that affect learning which may lead to disaffection or engagement among ESL students during English lesson. Cognitive includes brain processes such as attention, memory and reasoning (as cited in Roy, 2013). Solís (2008) argues that in students have to be cognitively engaged in order to introduce knowledge that has value to the students. Moreover, cognitively engaged students do not solely follow classroom instructions given by their teachers but also relate with the content of the lesson in a deep and thoughtful manner to their own experiences. Hence, it is important for students be cognitively engaged so that they will have a clear purpose, willing participation, and seek for language mastery. Nevertheless, when there is an incongruence between students and teachers during the lesson, it will result to cognitive disaffection due to either the task given is too demanding or under challenged (Hoffman, 2015). Thus, if students are cognitively disaffected, they will become aimless, refusal, and apathy during English lesson. Therefore, it is crucial for students to be cognitively engaged in order to have a better learning experience during English lesson.
Affective. This study refers to affective as individual emotional traits that influence learning which may lead to disaffection or engagement among students during English lesson. In psychology, affect is a concept used to describe a broad range of feelings that people experience. Barber, Buehl, & Beck (2017) replicated Skinner & Pitzer’s (2012) study on Developmental Dynamics of Student Engagement, Coping and Everyday Resilience.
The results of the study revealed that affective engagement predict changes in behaviour engagement and disaffection. Hence, the finding suggests that affective engagement may influence in behaviour changes during English lesson such as making efforts, concentration, paying attention and involvement in classroom discussion. Nonetheless, one study by Graesser & D’Mello (2012) reports that persistence feeling of frustration may lead to boredom, which signify the critical point when students become disaffected from the learning process.
Thus, if students are affectively disaffected, they will experience anxiety, disinterested, boredom, frustration and detachment during English lesson. Therefore, affective engagement can be a motivation enhancer and also reinforce positive emotions in language learning. Behaviour. This study refers to behaviour as observable action traits taken by individuals that influence learning that may lead to disaffection or engagement during English lesson. Skinner (2016) defines behavioural engagement as student’s participation in observable behaviours during the learning process.
Behavioural engagement incudes making efforts, concentration, paying attention and involvement in classroom discussion. A study conducted by Conner (2016) attempts to find any significant variances within the three constructs of students’ engagement: cognitive, affective and behaviour among students from three levels of education: primary, secondary and primary. The results showed that secondary school teachers emphasised on behavioural engagement as the most important over cognitive engagement and emotional engagement as least important in learning. Nevertheless, a study conducted by Lloyd (2014) showed that there were two types of behavioural disaffection: active and passive. Students who actively disaffected may cause interruption during on-going lesson due difficulties in adapting to classroom structures, complying with social rules or they were just bored.
Passively disaffected students had problems with academic competence, maintaining focus and boredom. A behaviourally disaffected student may also comprise both active and passive disaffected traits. Therefore, behavioural engagement in learning promotes motivation to learn and experience a worthy classroom participation.2.5 Attitude Towards Language ActivitiesAttitude.
In psychology, attitude refers to evaluation of ideas, events, objects or people. According to Mohan (2016), academicians deem attitude is an important subject area to be studied because the findings help to predict the future course individuals’ behaviours. This study refers attitude towards language activities such as reading, writing, speaking, grammar, and literature during English lesson is purely based from the affective domain (i.e.
, likes and dislikes). Student’s attitudes towards language activities should be taken into considerations because students are all different. Every student has distinctive needs, interest, learning styles and multiple intelligences.
Therefore, by understanding students’ attitudes towards language activities, negative attitudes will lead to affective disaffection while positive attitudes contribute to affective engagement during English lesson. A study conducted by Awang & Adi Kasuma (2010) investigated students’ perceptions of their motivation and attitudes towards learning literature during English lesson. One key finding from the study revealed that students showed enthusiasm towards learning literature, however, their involvement during the lesson was low. The result suggests that students may be affectively engaged but behaviourally disaffected during literature activities conducted during English lesson.
Khairuddin (2013) investigated secondary school students’ interest in reading towards English materials and found that level of interest was low. Tan & Miller (2007) in their study reveal students’ disaffection towards writing skills was mainly due to the constraint on acceptable writing for school examinations and lack of encouragement to develop their writing skills. In short, students’ attitudes towards language activities conducted during English lesson can contribute to disaffection and engagement.
2.6 Student-Teacher RelationshipStudent-teacher relationship is one of the factors that can contribute to students’ disaffection or engagement during English lesson. As stated by Furrer, Skinner, & Pitzer (2014), the idea disaffection impacting both students and teachers negatively due to the poor quality of student-teacher relationship which eventually can expedite students’ disengagement in language learning. In contrast, students are more attracted to prompt teachers as they develop sense of liking as opposed to animosity (Mazer, 2012). Insterestingly, one study by Kavenagh, Freeman, & Ainley (2012) revealed that male students felt that they were most likely being neglected by their teachers during the lesson. Thus, students’ gender may influence their disaffection and engagement depending on their sense of connectedness towards the lessons and their teachers.2.
7 Gender Differences in Language LearningThere is a relatively small body of literature that is concerned with the factors contributing to engagement and disaffection which focusing on gender differences in ESL learning. Rostami, Hejazi, & Lavasani (2011) notes that there’s no significant difference in proficiency goal, mastery goals between male and female students that highlight the cognitive factor in engagement or disaffection in language learning. However, Varol & Yilmaz, (2010) points out that female students outperformed the male students in making attempts to discover new things during classroom activities. One study showed that low level of academic motivation among students promote negative classroom behaviour that contribute to disaffection especially among male students, however, unmotivated female students were still able to regulate their classroom behaviour (Bugler, McGeown, & Clair-Thompson, 2012).
Another study on gender diference in language learning showed that female students were quicker reader and more interested in reading activities than male students (Xiong, 2010). Students’ genders should be taken into consideration in which can influence their engagement and disaffection during English lesson.2.8 ConclusionThis chapter has looked into theoretical background, conceptual framework, and reviews of the past studies related to engagement and disaffection among students during English lesson. The next chapter describes the procedures and methods used to conduct this study.