The Motivation Conundrum: What motivates university students in an EAP program?

Keren Goldfrad, Simone Sandler, Julia Borenstein, Elisheva Ben-Artzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of the research project described in this paper is to examine the salient features of motivation driving tertiary level learners of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) in the Israeli student population at Bar Ilan University. The quantitative study included 228 undergraduate university EAP students studying in various disciplines. Dornyei’s L2 Motivational Self-System Questionnaire was translated to Hebrew and modified for cultural appropriateness and language clarity. Exploratory factor analysis of the students' answers revealed seven salient features, ranked from highest to lowest, underlying motivation in second language learning with varying degrees of perceived importance. The results present an Israeli perspective which differs from other studies conducted on English Foreign Language (EFL) populations. This leads to the conclusion that a broad perspective toward motivation in the language classroom is important in order to understand motivation among EAP students. Implications for pedagogy and suggestions for future research are explored and discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-28
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Language Teaching
Issue number7
StateE-pub ahead of print - 28 Jul 2023


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