Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Language, Education, Humanities and Innovation 2015
ISBN 978-967-13879-0-0

English Language Fun Activities to Motivate Low Proficiency Students

Norshima Zainal Shah, Christy Chiew Geiok Hong, Farah Farhana Awang, Hairul Nisma Wahab, Md Faizal Md Ramli

National Defence University of Malaysia


The present study evaluated the effects of fun English language activities conducted by the Language Centre at the National Defence University of Malaysia for low proficiency students. The annual Language Camp is planned carefully using student- centred activities outside the traditional classrooms with the hope to nurture students’ interest and motivate them to improve their English language proficiency. Students’ motivation was assessed through an adapted motivation scale where the questionnaire consists of motivational factors of Value, Language Requirement, Heritage, Expectancy, Competitiveness, Cooperativeness, and Motivational Strength. Students also expressed what motivate them in short answers. The two types of motivation identified from students’ responses are: intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Results showed that the activities conducted were found to be motivating; with “Treasure Hunt” as the most motivating and “Group Performance” as the least motivating activity. Thematic analysis done manually on short answers revealed that students were more extrinsically than intrinsically motivated. The goal of this study is not only to assess how successful the activities are but also to stress that such activities should be supported and continued as the benefits are tenfold. The activities conducted at the camp should be extended into the classroom and, the development and progress of students continuously monitored. Interesting and fun activities which heighten intrinsic motivation such as cross border communication e.g. Skype conference call with students from foreign universities should be experimented. At the same time demotivating root causes of learning English should be explored so that solutions to the causes can be proposed and executed.


Students’ Motivation, Fun Activities, English Language Proficiency, Language Camp

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