Interview guides and a questionnaire were developed in order to find what f actors demotivated students in Japanese high school English classrooms. Five college students who were attending two private universities and one public university shared their views about demotivation in the interviews. Forty-two students at a public university responded to a questionnaire consisting of mainly open-ended response questions. Through qualitative analysis five factors were found: (1) individual teacher behavior in classroom; (2) the grammar—translation method used in instruction; (3) tests and university entrance examinations; (4) the memorization nature of vocabulary learning; and (5) textbook/reference book-related issues. It is hoped that these learners’ stories will help Japanese and other teachers to realize what pitfalls to avoid in their instruction.
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