Motivational Intervention through Literature Activities (MILA): an intervention to measure motivation in secondary school students based on the Motivational Self System

Authors Jessica van Bragt, Kristina Goodnight
Publication date 25 May 2018
Type Other


Abstract The main purpose of this intervention was to measure student’s motivation in English Literature before and after an intervention based Zoltán Dörnyei’s Motivational Self System (2009) and Michael Magid’s (2011) application of the same theory in schools in Singapore. The present intervention was adapted to the students of the Dutch secondary school CLV (Christian Lyceum Veenendaal) in Veenendaal using fragments of English Literature (books, films, poems and songs). The intervention was carried out during eight lessons of fifty minutes where students had to participate in a variety of activities, all registered in a workbook assigned to each student at the beginning of the research project. Prior to and after the intervention, students filled in a questionnaire on motivation and English Literature. The results of these questionnaires were analysed with SPSS running descriptive statistical analysis. Along with these analyses, the timelines and life trees made by the students during the lessons and students’ answers given to the exercises on the workbooks were evaluated and compared. One of the most important conclusions of the intervention was that female students were more motivated, could make action plans and set goals easier and more detailed than male students. Another important result was that students in general had no interest in English Literature, although they realised it can be influential in their future life. The affective attitude of students to- wards the teacher and materials increased after the intervention, as well as students’ confidence in their own effort during class. However, the construct validity between the quantitative and qualitative data could not be established due to the fact that gender was not included as variable in the questionnaire. Gender relevancy became visible after the analyses of the workbooks. Therefore, future research will have to focus on including gender as a variable in the questionnaire in order to establish solid relations between quantitative and qualitative data. Another interesting research question for future interventions could be how to adapt English Literature and the materials that are being used in a way that both female and male students can tap into their own intrinsic motivational current.

On this publication contributed

Language English
Key words Motivation English Literature

Kristina Goodnight

Kristina Goodnight | Researcher | Research group Foreign Language Education

Kristina Goodnight

  • PhD candidate
  • Research group: Multilingualism and Education