LD SIG: Viewing low motivation and competence through a learner-development framework

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Stephen M. Paton, Independent Researcher

Having taught highly-motivated, highly proficient English language students for several years in Australia, suddenly teaching low-motivation, low-proficiency students in compulsory English classes in Japanese universities was surprising, frustrating, and challenging. After several years of confusion, the lights began to come on when I became familiar with a few themes within the learner development literature.

Reading about, and experimenting within, self-efficacy theory and language learning strategies-based instruction have helped make it possible to not only understand students better, but also provide the kind of teaching and support most likely to be meaningful and beneficial.