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An investigation of the effectiveness of theme based syllabus on the motivation of freshman students at Atılım University

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2009
Can, Seçkin
This research investigates whether students’ motivation improves when thematic syllabus is employed in the classroom. This is the first time a theme-based integrated skills syllabus is employed at Atılım University Departmental English Language Studies Unit. With the outcome of the questionnaires conducted by the administration, it was realized that content is an important motivating factor and employing a theme-based syllabus can have a positive effect on students’ motivation. For this research, firstly an interest survey was employed to identify the areas students would like to focus on. After the quantitative analysis of the interest survey, a five-week theme-based syllabus was designed and employed for five weeks in the classroom. At the end of the semester, interviews were carried out with twenty six students. From the point of view of the students, proposed syllabus was much more interesting and motivating than the common one employed in the first ten weeks of the semester. This study showed that if a theme-based syllabus reflecting students’ interests is employed in a classroom, student motivation improves. Thus, they can develop positive attitude towards the course and language learning.