Authenticity and motivation : a writing for publication experience

Banegas, Dario Luis and Roberts, Grisel and Colucci, Romina and Sarsa, Betina Ana (2020) Authenticity and motivation : a writing for publication experience. ELT Journal, 74 (1). pp. 29-39. ISSN 1477-4526 (

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Framed in exploratory action research, this article reports on an experience carried out at an initial English teacher education (IELTE) programme in Argentina. A group of four tutors noticed their student-teachers’ demotivation to complete written coursework. On exploring this issue, it was found that lack of authenticity of audience in writing tasks acted as a demotivation factor. The tutors adapted their teaching practices to engage the student-teachers in a writing for publication project organized by an Argentinian teacher association in 2018. To understand the effects of this experience on the student-teachers’ motivation, data were collected through individual interviews, in-class group discussions, pair-work tasks with the student-teachers, and through notes taken during tutors’ meetings. Findings show that while authenticity of audience acted as a motivating factor with more advanced student-teachers, most student-teachers and tutors engaged in motivational synergy triggered by a change in tutors’ teaching practices given the possibility of publishing.