Keywords: language teacher, cognition, teaching practice, motivation, strategies, agentive role, education programmes


While the field of language learning motivation has progressed significantly in recent decades, there is still a considerable gap in our understanding about teachers ’ motivational practice. Specifically, the focus has been on descriptive accounts of the strategies teachers employ and their perceived effectiveness, but how teachers think about student motivation and their own motivational practice and why teachers do what they do is vastly under-researched. Understanding teacher cognitions on this phenomenon is a crucial component of moving the field forward into real classroom impact. Drawing on stimulated recall interview data, this paper explores the cognitions of English language teachers in Hong Kong, in relation to learner motivation. Findings point to diverse approaches to motivational practice dependent largely on the extent to which teachers’ conceptualisations of motivation are static or dynamic and the degree to which they recognize the agentive role of the teacher in shaping and directing motivation. The paper argues the need for an explicit focus on motivational teaching practice in teacher education programmes, equipping language teachers with the tools for socioculturally classroom responsive pedagogical frameworks.


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