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Demotivating factors affecting Iranian high school students' English learning
Researching cultures of learning (2013)
  • Rahman Sahragard, Shiraz University
  • Zahra Alimorad, Shiraz University
This study has investigated demotivating factors in public schools of Iran where the dominant method of teaching English is a form of Grammar-Translation and the teacher is regarded as the authority in the classroom. In such a teacher-centered situation, there are few or no opportunities for learners to engage themselves with the activities in the classroom. It is the teacher who decides what to do, and how and when to do it (Moradi, 1996; Rahimi, 1996; Razmjoo & Riazi, 2006; Yarmohammadi, 2000). Affective factors are rarely taken into account in such situations since the most significant goal is to cover the syllabus in the limited amount of time allowed. To examine demotivation, a 48-item questionnaire was administered to 194 Iranian high school students. Through a principal axis factor analysis, seven demotivating factors were extracted: (a) Lack of Self-confidence, (b) Teachers’ Competence and Teaching Styles, (c) Lack of Interest in English, (d) Lack of School Facilities, (e) Learning Contents and Context, (f) Focus on English Usage, and (g) The Focus of Teaching. The results showed that Lack of Self-confidence was a demotivating factor for many Iranian high school students, especially for less motivated learners. In contrast to the results of previous research, Teachers’ Competence and Teaching Styles was not a very strong cause of demotivation in comparison to Learning Contents and Context, Lack of Interest in English, Focus on English Usage, and The Focus of Teaching for both more and less motivated groups. The study also showed that both more and less motivated learners did perceive Lack of School Facilities as highly demotivating. These findings can have some pedagogical and practical implications for those who are in the position of making decisions for public schools education. They need to take into account different factors which lead to students’ demotivation and lack of interest in English learning and to take steps to eliminate such factors. Overlooking affective factors has led to the students’ lack of self-confidence and lack of interest in English. These factors need be considered as important influences on language learning. Lack of school facilities, inappropriateness of books and other teaching materials and teachers’ method of teaching are other factors which lead to students’ demotivation. Therefore, responsible authorities need to be made aware of these factors in order to be able to bring about necessary changes in the public schools’ educational system.
  • Demotivation; Demotivating factors; Factor analysis; High school students.
Publication Date
Cortazzi & Jin
Citation Information
Rahman Sahragard and Zahra Alimorad. "Demotivating factors affecting Iranian high school students' English learning" Researching cultures of learning (2013)
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