Dealing with students sleeping in class: An empirical study on motivation

Kei Mihara, Japan, ID LLCE2017-128;       Abstract: This study aims to raise student motivation to learn English at a private university in Japan. Sleeping in class is apparently a major problem in Japanese universities. There are several possible reasons for this. For example, university classes in Japan last for 90 minutes while secondary school classes last just 50 minutes. It is difficult for students, especially first-years, to focus their attention on the lecture for 90 minutes. Even some second- or third-year students report that it is easier for them to concentrate on their studies if the class lasts for 50 minutes. However, the most plausible reason might be that students lose motivation upon entering university. Secondary school students have to study English very hard in order to pass university entrance examinations: They are thus extrinsically motivated. Once they are admitted to a university, however, they are likely to lose motivation. The main purpose of this research is, therefore, to keep students from sleeping in class by motivating them. Based on the results of questionnaire surveys and focus group interviews, this study sought to improve the situation whereby students tend to sleep in class. As an experiment, vocabulary tests were given to them in a new manner. After four weeks, a questionnaire was administered to all participants and the results showed some improvement in the situation.

Keywords: demotivation, extrinsic motivation, sleeping in class