The dark side of motivation: Teachers' perspectives on 'unmotivation'

Keiko Sakui, Neil Cowie

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    Motivation is a well-researched construct; however, few studies have investigated how teachers perceive and make sense of situations in which learners are not motivated to learn. Thirty-two EFL teachers working in Japanese universities were surveyed and interviews with three of these teachers were conducted to reveal their perceptions of student 'unmotivation'. Three different factors were identified which explain why these teachers consider influencing learner motivation positively has its limits. These are the external factors of institutions and educational systems and the internal factors of student attitudes and personalities and teacher-student relationships. Pedagogical and research implications are suggested in response to teachers' perceptions of this unmotivation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)205-213
    Number of pages9
    JournalELT Journal
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2012

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Language and Linguistics
    • Education
    • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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