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Theorizing Motivation for EFL Writing Classrooms at Tertiary Level: A Postcolonial Intervention



It has long been observed by the teachers of writing in Bangladesh that students are reluctant to think and perform actively in EFL writing classrooms. This behavior is generally explained with reference to the notions of integrative vs. instrumental and intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation. In this article, we argue that cognitive behavior of students in EFL writing classrooms cannot be understood by solely employing the intrinsic/extrinsic or instrumental/integrative models for at least two specific reasons: First, these models for analyzing motivation deal with immediate psychological responses of learners; second, the learners of post-colonial countries experienced extreme socio-political-economic-historical violence that shapes their cognitive and psychological landscape. Recognition of politico-historical context in EFL writing classrooms can add a new dimension to understanding learners’ behavior and motivation. In this paper, we will try to explore an implication of colonial intervention for the motivation of students in EFL writing classrooms by engaging some ideas of postcolonial theories. Drawing on Freire’s (1970) notion of ‘conscientization’ and Hirano’s (2009) idea of ‘identity reconstruction’, we would also make an attempt to reconfigure learners’ motivation in post-colonial context.
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