An Intervention to Increase Students' Engagement and Achievement in College English Classes in China using the MUSIC Model of Motivation
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Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) is regarded as an effective approach to teaching foreign languages because it focuses on students' engagement and communicative competence. In the realm of educational psychology, researchers have identified many teaching strategies that can have positive effects on students' motivation and engagement. Jones (2009, 2015) synthesized these strategies and created the MUSIC® Model of Motivation. MUSIC is an acronym for the strategies related to eMpowerment, Usefulness, Success, Interest and Caring. The MUSIC model can be used to help instructors to redesign their instruction to motivate and engage their students in learning activities. The purpose of this research was to examine the effectiveness of incorporating the MUSIC model strategies into CLT classes at a university in China. I used a self-report survey comprised of seven subscales (representing five motivation-related variables and two engagement variables) to collect data on students' course perceptions and their engagement in a college English class. The participants were first year college students at a university in central China (n = 259). Independent samples t-tests, regression, and correlation were used to answer the following two research questions: 1. Is there a difference in students' motivation and achievement in traditional lecture classes versus CLT classes that incorporate MUSIC model strategies? 2. To what extent do students' MUSIC model perceptions relate to their engagement and achievement? The results indicated that there was a significant difference between the traditional lecture class and the CLT classes incorporating MUSIC model strategies. Students in CLT classes perceived more control in the class, found the course to be more useful, were more interested, and perceived more caring from their teacher. As a result, students in CLT classes put forth more effort and achieved higher scores on a standardized English test. In addition, the results revealed that students' MUSIC model perceptions predicted their engagement both in CLT classes and the traditional classes. However, the results showed that the MUSIC model components did not significantly predict student achievement. These findings suggest that the MUSIC model and the MUSIC Inventory are ideal tools for Chinese college English teachers to use when they design instruction.
- Doctoral Dissertations