The Motivation of English Language Teachers to Teach at University


In the field of L2 motivation, there is very little research into teacher motivation due to its sensitive and controversial nature. The study aims to fill the gap by exploring English language teachers’ motivation to teach at tertiary level in Taiwan through the use of a survey. It also aims to compare and contrast these teachers’ perceptions (motivation) with their thoughts on their current job. A standardised online questionnaire with closed- and open-ended questions was sent out to all English language full-time and part-time teachers working in higher education in Taiwan. In total, 109 questionnaires were collected. The findings show that the participating teachers put a sense of achievement or challenge, career prospects, and work autonomy as their primary motives. The most unsatisfactory factors of their current job are salary and relations with colleagues. The open-ended question which probes the teachers’ greatest challenges and concerns generates rich, interesting data. The participating teachers are concerned about school-related issues, students’ low motivation, and students’ attitude towards learning, etc. Hopefully, the results of the study can shed light on the under-researched area of L2 motivation and provide some implications for government and school authorities.


L2, Teacher, Extrinsic, Intrinsic, Motivation, Challenges


Learning in Higher Education


Virtual Lightning Talk


  • Dr. Hsuan-Yau Tony Lai
    • Associate Professor, Applied Foreign Languages , National Taipei University of Business, Taiwan Taiwan
    • Hsuan-Yau Tony Lai received an EdD (Doctor of Education) in English Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics from the University of Warwick, UK. His research interests include language learning motivation, English as an international language, language teaching methodology and cultural issues. He is currently an associate professor in the Department of Applied Foreign Languages of National Taipei University of Business.