The motivational impact of Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS): A Self-Determination Theory perspective.

  • Liam Printer

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Education (EdD)


This research enquiry longitudinally explores the motivational influence of the Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS) approach on both students and their teacher using a Self-Determination Theory (SDT) lens. The study analyses the extent to which students and their teacher perceive that TPRS satisfies SDT’s three basic psychological needs of autonomy, competence and relatedness. It employs a mixed-methods, case study approach, using data obtained from motivational questionnaires, reflective journals, classroom observations and interviews at four stages throughout the school year. The findings conclude that TPRS can be a highly effective tool to motivate both students and teachers when the appropriate supports are in place. The three needs of SDT were found to be highly interrelated with satisfaction of one impacting positively on the others. The autonomous nature of TPRS, where students co-create the stories with their teacher, result in a heightened sense of language ability, whilst also fostering strong connections within the class. Both students’ and teachers self-reported levels of intrinsic motivation increased as a result of the storytelling approach and these positive motivational trajectories were maintained at the end of the year. The enquiry reveals that the teacher is a vital element for both the success of TPRS and its ability to meet the needs of SDT. Teachers’ deeply held beliefs relating to how languages are acquired as well as restraints imposed on them by the curriculum are potential obstacles to TPRS, both of which are areas requiring further investigation. The findings have implications for both pre-service and in-service language teachers. Replication studies applying SDT to TPRS in other contexts and with a larger sample size are warranted.
Date of Award26 May 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorSam Carr (Supervisor) & Santiago Sanchez (Supervisor)


  • motivation
  • languages
  • teaching
  • TPRS
  • SDT
  • storytelling
  • Self-determination theory

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