What is it like learning with an enthusiastic teacher? – A survey on university EFL students





teacher’s enthusiasm, learning motivation, teacher’s enthusiasm effects, student’s learning motivation, student’s perceptions


Students need effort and motivation to get outstanding scholastic achievements and to keep themselves motivated throughout their educational journey. Some students drop out of school owing to demotivation in class. Others struggle to find excitement or interest in their study. One of the most crucial things in keeping students inspired to learn while they are at school is the teacher. There is a lot of research that has studied the effects of teachers' enthusiasm on students' learning, especially learning motivation, but little has been done on EFL (English as a foreign language) students at university. This study aimed to investigate how EFL students feel in relation to their learning motivation when they learn with an enthusiastic teacher. The participants are 150 EFL students from a university in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. To collect and analyze the data needed for this investigation, the researchers used a quantitative method with a questionnaire employed as a measurement tool. The result has found that student’s positive perceptions exceptionally outweigh negative ones. The study concludes by making some recommendations for better motivating students and for future research.

Author Biographies

Tran Cam Tu, Faculty of Foreign Languages, Van Lang University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Tu Cam Tran is an undergraduate of Van Lang University's Faculty of Foreign Languages in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. She is majoring in English-Chinese business. She is interested in conducting research into the effects of teacher's attitudes and teacher’s enthusiasm on student's learning motivation.

Le Quang Thao, Faculty of Foreign Languages, Van Lang University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Thao Quang Le holds a master’s degree in Applied Linguistics from Curtin University. He has ten years of English-teaching experience. He is now a lecturer in the Faculty of Foreign Languages, Van Lang University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He has been giving classes on four English language skills and teaching courses in such English linguistic components as phonetics, phonology, morphology, and syntax. Conducting studies into L1 instructions in L2 classrooms and on language assessment is his particular interest.


Adkins-Coleman, T. A. (2010). “I'm not afraid to come into your world”: Case studies of teachers facilitating engagement in urban high school English classrooms. Journal of Negro Education, 79(1), 41-53.

Agee, T. N. (2016). The Use of Instruction and Teacher Enthusiasm: How Teachers Impact Student Motivation and Engagement in the Secondary English Classroom. Student Research Submissions, 185. Retrieved from https://scholar.umw.edu/student_research/185/

Burić, I. (2019). The role of emotional labor in explaining teachers' enthusiasm and students' outcomes: A multilevel mediational analysis. Learning and Individual Differences, 70, 12-20. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lindif.2019.01.002

Collins, M. L. (1978). Effects of enthusiasm training on preservice elementary teachers. Journal of Teacher Education, 29(1), 53-57.

Espinar Redondo, R., & Ortega Martín, J. L. (2015). Motivation: The road to successful learning. Profile Issues in Teachers' Professional Development, 17(2), 125-136. http://dx.doi.org/10.15446/profile.v17n2.50563

Filgona, J., Sakiyo, J., Gwany, D. M., & Okoronka, A. U. (2020). Motivation in learning. Asian Journal of Education and social studies, 10(4), 16-37.

Gopalan, V., Bakar, J. A. A., Zulkifli, A. N., Alwi, A. & Mat, R. C. (2017). A review of the motivation theories in learning. AIP Conference Proceedings.

Johnson, D. (2017). The Role of Teachers in Motivating Students to Learn. BU Journal of Graduate studies in education, 9(1), 46-49.

Keller, M., Neumann, K. & Fischer, H. E. (2013). Teacher Enthusiasm and Student Learning. International guide to student achievement, 247-249. Retrieved from http://kops.unikonstanz.de/bitstream/handle/123456789/25688/Keller_256884.pdf?sequence=2&isAlowed=y

Keller, M. M., Goetz, T., Becker, E. S., Morger, V. & Hensley, L. (2014). Feeling and showing: A new conceptualization of dispositional teacher enthusiasm and its relation to students' interest. Learning and Instruction, 33, 29-38.

Keller, M. M., Hoy, A. W., Goetz, T., & Frenzel, A. C. (2016). Teacher enthusiasm: Reviewing and redefining a complex construct. Educational Psychology Review, 28(4), 743-769. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-015-9354-y

Kunter, M. (2013). Motivation as an aspect of professional competence: Research findings on teacher enthusiasm. In Cognitive activation in the mathematics classroom and professional competence of teachers (pp. 273-289). Springer, Boston, MA.

Kunter, M., Klusmann, U., Baumert, J., Richter, D., Voss, T., & Hachfeld, A. (2013). Professional competence of teachers: Effects on instructional quality and student development. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105(3), 805-820. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/a0032583

Lo, V. P. (2022). The challenges of Rural Students in Vietnam towards higher education. International Journal of TESOL & Education, 2(1), 225-237. DOI: https://doi.org/10.54855/ijte.22211 4

Mojavezi, A., & Tamiz, M. P. (2012). The Impact of Teacher Self-efficacy on the Students’ Motivation and Achievement. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 2(3), 483-491. doi: https://doi.org/10.4304/tpls.2.3.483-491

Murray, H. G. (1983). Low-inference classroom teaching behaviors and student ratings of college teaching effectiveness. Journal of educational psychology, 75(1), 138.

Ngo, D. H. (2021). Perceptions of EFL tertiary students towards the correlation between e-learning and learning engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic. International Journal of TESOL & Education, 1(3), 235-259. EOI: http://eoi.citefactor.org/10.11250/ijte.01.03.013.

Pan, Y. H. (2014). Relationships among teachers’ self-efficacy and students’ motivation, atmosphere, and satisfaction in physical education. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 33(1), 68-92.

Patrick, B. C., Hisley, J., & Kempler, T. (2000). “What's everybody so excited about?”: The effects of teacher enthusiasm on student intrinsic motivation and vitality. The Journal of experimental education, 68(3), 217-236.

Singh, P., & Singh, M. P. (2021). The role of teachers in motivating students to learn. Techno Learn, 11(1), 29-32.

Svinicki, M. D. & Vogler, J. S. (2012). Motivation and Learning: Modern Theories. Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning.

Tanveer, M. A., Shabbir, M. F., Ammar, M., Dolla, S. I., & Aslam, H. D. (2012). Influence of teacher on student’s learning motivation in management sciences studies. American Journal of Scientific Research, 67(1), 76-87.

Thoonen, E. E., Sleegers, P. J., Peetsma, T. T., & Oort, F. J. (2010). Can teachers motivate students to learn?. Educational studies, 37(3), 345-360. https://doi.org/10.1080/03055698.2010.507008

Tohidi, H., & Jabbari, M. M. (2012). The effects of motivation in education. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 31, 820-824. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2011.12.148

Ulug, M., Ozden, M. S., & Eryilmaz, A. (2011). The effects of teachers’ attitudes on students’ personality and performance. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 30, 738-742. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2011.10.144

Wood, A. M. (1998). The effects of teacher enthusiasm on student motivation, selective attention, and text memory. London: Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Western Ontario.

Zhang, Q. (2014, February 1). Retrieved from Teaching with Enthusiasm: Engaging Students, Sparking curiosity, and Jumpstarting Motivation: https://www.natcom.org/communication-currents/instructors-corner-3-teaching-enthusiasm-engaging-students-sparking-curiosity




How to Cite

Tran, C. T., & Le, Q. T. (2022). What is it like learning with an enthusiastic teacher? – A survey on university EFL students. International Journal of TESOL & Education, 2(4), 134–148. https://doi.org/10.54855/ijte.22248