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Video conferencing effects on identity and motivation in EFL classrooms
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, classes in Japan at the university level had moved online and, in some cases, continue to be online in prefectures that are still struggling to lower the levels of the virus in the local populations. The inception of online classes was quick and did not take certain aspects of university life into consideration, such as how important it is to student motivation to have an identity congruent with their own concepts of what a student is. The purpose of this presentation is to review problems of student motivation and identity in video conferencing language courses due to individualization and loss of community. In the presentation, the presenter will first review and explain the problems found in video-conferenced classes such as lack of continual presence in breakout rooms, multimodality and signifying practice in the EAP courses at Akita Prefectural University in the Agri-Business, Agricultural Sciences, and Bio-Technologies department’s first- and second-year students. Second, the presenter will explain the data of 70 of the EAP students from a seven-question, low context, Likert Scale survey on Hofstede’s Collectivism (1980), motivation, and identity. The presenter will then show how the survey data can be applied to the Identity-Based Motivation Theory to explain why a lack of motivation was found in the Akita Prefectural University students during video-conferenced courses. To conclude, the presenter will explain that while motivation in the EAP courses may have declined because student behavior and identity became incongruent during video-conferenced courses, the problem could simply resolve itself through the Hebbian Principle if video conferenced language courses become the “new normal”.