What are the major influences on Saudi Arabian students’ motivation during pre-sessional English courses at the University of Roehampton?
Abstract Study abroad programs, such as the pre-sessional English program, are considered a chance for foreign language students to live and integrate in a society of the language they have been studying for some years. Thus, studying English through the pre-sessional English program is different to studying English in Saudi Arabia or in foreign language classrooms. When studying the pre-sessional English in the United Kingdom, students have the opportunity to learn the English language and culture as well as discoverthe United Kingdom and engage with the members of the English community. However, not all students have the same motivation levels while learning English. Some students have utilitarian aims to learn English, and others learn English in order to be able to live in an English-speaking society and communicate with English people. From my observation as a student of a pre-sessional English course in the United Kingdom, I noticed that Saudi students were enthusiastic and had high motives when they began studying the pre-sessional English course. After that, I noticed that their interest to learn English started to decline. Motivation is undoubtedly a major factor in second language learning. Motivation leads students to do their best and spare no effort to learn and achieve long-term goals. The aim of this study is to find out major influences on Saudi Arabian students’ motivation during pre-sessional English courses at the University of Roehampton. In order to fulfil this aim, the researcher used the questionnaire and semi-structured interview to collect data from the participants who have studied the pre-sessional English at the University of Roehampton. Based on the research findings, the majority of the participants stated that they do not face culture complications towards Western culture. The findings showed that the participants have a positive disposition and attitude towards the Western culture. The data collected also showed that participants were influenced by both integrative and instrumental motivations. However, the results showed that the integrative motivation situations are more present than the instrumental motivation. In addition, the majority of participants become less motivated and lose interest in learning English when English lessons become more advanced. Additionally, the majority of the participants become less motivated and not interested in learning when their teacher of English is not good. The results also showed other demotivation factors such as the participants feeling bored when they study grammar, and the effect of the learners’ past failures and setback on their motivation. Based on the outcomes of this research, the researcher suggested significant recommendations related to the motivation of Saudi Arabian students studying pre-sessional English courses at the University of Roehampton.