Motivational Strategies among English Language Teachers: An Examination in Higher Education Institutions in the Malaysian Context


Keywords: English Language Teachers, Malaysian Higher Education, Motivational Strategies


Little attention was given to explore and understand motivational strategies among English language (EL) teachers, particularly at higher education institutions (HEIs), despite the on-going interest on this matter. Identifying which strategies are adaptive and maladaptive could help them to promote student motivation in return. This study aims to identify the degree of importance and implementation of motivational strategies among EL teachers and explore to what extent they implement the strategies that they perceived as important. The online questionnaires were distributed to 49 teachers at 11 public universities in Malaysia, and ten of them were interviewed. The findings of this study suggested the implementation of motivational strategies heavily depended on teachers’ perceived motivation in teaching. The highest-rated strategy was Proper Teacher Behavior, and   least preferred was Promote Learner Autonomy, indicating that teacher behavior as an important element in ensuring effective language learning. Next, despite the findings that most students are not ready for learner autonomy, the teachers appeared to have a more positive outlook on the inclusion of learner autonomy, and this contradicts findings of previous studies in the Asian contexts. It also indicates that motivational strategies are neither cultural nor context-specific. However, some strategies are still regarded as very practical, while some are less practical in different learning situations. Future research may include private universities to contribute to the knowledge gap on the lack of information on this topic and eventually enable academics to engage in motivational strategies research across all HEIs in Malaysia.