Towards understanding the relations between temporal orientations and L2 motivation

Ines Begic (University of Graz, Austria)

Every individual has a unique perception of time known as temporal orientation (e.g., Zimbardo & Boyd, 1999; Mello & Worrell, 2015). Recent research suggests that some people are more oriented towards the past, while others are more focused on the present moment or future goals and expectations. A person’s perspective and attitude towards time can have a profound effect on their behaviour and motivation (Pavleková & Havlí269;ková, 2013). This is most likely also true in the case of SLA considering the complexity of L2 learner motivation (e.g. Dörnyei, 2011). Based on Dörnyei’s (2005) L2 Motivational Self System model of motivation, there are three main sources of motivation to learn a foreign language: ideal and ought-to L2 selves and L2 learning experience. Given the strongly future-oriented nature of the model which emphasises the role of future visions of the self, questions arise as to the potential role of temporal orientations in relation to learners’ ability to envisage language-related selves. However, to the best of my knowledge, there has not been any research to date examining explicitly the temporal orientations of foreign language learners. Given the effect the temporal orientations may have on how learners respond to present and interpret past learning experiences, set language learning goals and are motivated, it is crucially important to bring this concept into understanding of language learner psychology, especially in regard to discussions of language learner motivation. This paper aims at outlining preliminary results of a PhD study intended to explore the motivation model’s applicability in a Croatian context and examining the potential role played by learners’ personal temporal orientations. Employing mixed-method research design informed by complexity perspectives, it is hoped to be able to provide an integrated understanding of the potentially dynamic interrelations between aspects of the motivation model and adolescent language learners’ temporal orientations.


From L2 learner to employment as an English teacher: A longitudinal study of an English education major in Japan

Gaby Benthien (Shumei University, Japan)

This longitudinal case study explored the L2 journey of a Japanese learner of English. Drawing on interviews and a wide range of supporting data using a dynamic systems approach, the study offers insights into the L2 experiences of an individual in various learning environments including study abroad, and further documents the transition from L2 learner and pre-service teacher to L2 teacher. While the study utilized a retrospective approach to explore earliest recollections about formal English study prior to university, the remaining data collection was carried out in real time over six years, from the first year of university to the second year of employment. The study provides a holistic view of the intricate interplay between educational, geographical, professional and social factors influencing L2 motivation and language learning beliefs as experienced from the perspective of a learner, pre-service teacher and in-service teacher. The results of the study reveal the complexity of the interaction between individual differences including learner style, beliefs and goals, learner contribution, motivation and career choices. Furthermore, the impact of the L2 experience on individual differences brought about by the transition of study at home to study abroad and back again, and the transition from learner to teacher is also highlighted.


L2 motivation in urban and rural areas: A quantitative study

Marta del Pozo Beamud (Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Spain)

L2 motivation is considered to be a relatively new topic, as it started to gather momentum in the 1950s thanks to Krashen and his ”Affective Filter Theory”. At present there very many different theories and approaches which try to explain this complex concept. ”The Self-Determination Theory” (Deci and Ryan, 1985) or ”L2 Motivational Self System” (Dörnyei, 2005), to name but two, are among the most influential theories regarding L2 motivation. The main aim of this study is to test whether living in a city or in a rural area affects the levels of intrinsic/extrinsic motivation (Self-Determination Theory) of primary students learning English as a second language, along with their perceptions of their Ideal Self/Ought-to-be Self (L2 Motivational Self System). The participants are a total of 550 Primary school pupils from different schools in the Spanish region of Castilla-La Mancha, who have completed a 5 point likert scale questionnaire (including background questions and questions related to intrinsic and extrinsic motivation along with the Ideal Self and the Ought-to-be Self). The results of this study are tentative since data collection is still in progress. However, they show that both hypotheses are correct. Firstly, students from big cities are indeed more intrinsically and extrinsically motivated than those living in rural areas. Secondly, city students are more engaged with their Ideal Self that their peers from small villages. Finally, as for the Ought-to-be Self, very little difference was encountered between the two groups. Thus, these results have important pedagogical implications for teachers, practitioners and parents from rural areas.

References

Deci E.L. and Ryan R.M. (2004) Handbook of Self-Determination Research. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press.

Dörnyei Z .and Ushioda E. (2011) Teaching and Researching Motivation. Harlow: Pearson.

Krashen S.D. (1982) Principles and Practice in Second Language Acquisition. Oxford: Pergamon Press.


Demotivating sociocultural influences among English majors in China

Aaron Doyle (The University of Hong Kong, China)

In this paper, I share the results of a year-long panel study of undergraduate English majors (N = 30) at two universities in Mainland China that explored the motivational consequences of the dynamic relationship between the individual learner and context. Using Dörnyei’s L2 Motivational Self System as a theoretical framework, I collected data through three rounds of interviews, during which time students completed and extended reflective motivational timelines. I focus in this paper on the processes through which sociocultural influences became integrated into these English majors’ L2 self and eventually affected their motivation to learn English. A key finding I share is the impact that demotivating contextual factors can have on the learner. English ability in the workplace has long been the competitive advantage of English majors in China; however, because of rising English proficiency levels among the general population of Chinese undergraduates, English majors are increasingly looked upon as lacking in specialized vocational qualifications and career prospects compared with peers in more job-promising disciplines (e.g., economics or finance). Consequently, majoring in English has lost much of its former cachet. Many of my participants, most whom had not actively chosen the English major but were instead allocated it by the university, internalized this sentiment and developed a negative self-perception regarding their status as English majors. ”These days, English major equals no major” was a frequent lament. This disillusionment weakened their L2 self-concept, created dissonance in their L2 self, and negatively impacted their English learning motivation. Throughout East Asia and beyond, English majors and their departments are facing similar motivational and existential crises. I conclude with curricular reforms and pedagogical strategies that could help inoculate students’ L2 self-concept against the pervasive “English major equals no major” message


Achievement attributions and a multi-component attribution retraining protocol

Ismail Hakki Erten (Hacettepe University, Turkey)

Achievement attributions are subjective explanations given by language learners for their performance on a language learning task or test (e.g. an activity, a project, or a recent test). Insofar as they reflect a retrospective reasoning why they performed in a certain manner, how language learners explain their performance may also inform us how they are likely to behave in the future (Weiner, 2010). Related to causal attributions is the concepts fixed vs. growth mindsets (Dweck, 2006; Mercer, 2012). Studies into attributions of language learners (e.g. Erten & Burden, 2014) reveal that language learners more than often tend to resort to reasons beyond their control (e.g. teacher, ability, and luck) as main causes for doing well or less so doing. Many of these reasons are also stable in nature (e.g. ability and luck), reflecting more of a fixed mindset than a growth one. Such attributions can be classified as a maladaptive and can be counterproductive for future motivated language learning behaviours. It has been argued that undesired attributions (e.g. ability and luck) can be changed into more desired ones (e.g. effort and employing effective strategies). However, attempts into changing language learners maladaptive attributions are scarce with very little published materials although there have been some attempts to do so with college students (e.g. Haynes, Perry, Stupnisky, and Daniels, 2009). There is much we can learn from these early studies. This talk has been organized in two parts. The first section will highlight mainstream research into causal attributions and attribution retraining. Following this a multi-stage model for attribution retraining will be introduced for language learning/teaching purposes.


Influence of future school belonging on L2 motivation

Tetsuya Fukuda (International Christian University, Japan)

Belonging is considered to be necessary so that one can live comfortably in a society (Baumeister & Leary, 1995). Belonging to schools and classes has been related to the issue of motivation to study (i.e. Pittman & Richmond, 2008). The importance of such a feeling is easy to understand, because it is important that students feel positive about their studies, feel they have good friends, good teachers, and good staff that care about them. It seems, however, belongingness in school has been under researched. This paper is the first attempt to examine what Japanese high school students may think about the university they were accepted by and to what extent the feelings are related to their motivation to study English. For that purpose, two open-ended questions were asked to more than 100 university students in Japan. One is Language Learning History, in which students describe their past language learning. This method has been used quite extensively to elicit their perceptions on language learning (Murphey & Carpenter, 2008 ). The other one is an open-ended question, “How did you decide to get into your present university, and what did you think about English learning between that decision and your entry?” By coding the two types of data, some key themes emerged, including English-orientation”, “English-medium” and “international”.

References

Baumeister, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (1995). The need to belong: desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117(3), 497.

Murphey, T., & Carpenter, C. (2008). The seeds of agency in language learning histories. In P. Kalaja, V. Menezes, A. Barcelos (Eds.) Narratives of Learning and Teaching EFL. (pp. 17-34). NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Pittman, L. D., & Richmond, A. (2008). University belonging, friendship quality, and psychological adjustment during the transition to college. The Journal of Experimental Education, 76(4), 343-362.


Motivational inclinations of L2 self: Promotion and prevention focus

Yeji Han (Concordia University, Canada)

Ideal and ought L2 selves function as ultimate goals of L2 learning (Dörnyei, 2009). In terms of the motivational process that drives the achievement of goals, the L2 selves may evoke different motivational tendencies: promotion and prevention focus (Higgins, 1998). Whereas promotion focus involves sensitivity to positive outcomes and approach inclination toward the goal, prevention focus involves sensitivity to negative outcomes and avoidance inclination away from negative outcomes. In L2 research, Taguchi et al. (2009) found that promotion- and prevention-instrumentality are related to ideal and ought L2 selves respectively. However, given that promotion and prevention focus represent general motivational movement, application of the concept could be broader. The objectives of this study are 1) to explore promotion and prevention dimensions in broader L2 context 2) to develop and validate the measures of L2 promotion and prevention constructs and 3) to investigate relationship between types of L2 self and motivation. Vietnamese university students studying Korean as a second language completed an open-ended questionnaire for L2 selves and a Likert-scale questionnaire for L2 promotion and prevention. PCA (n =276) and CFA (n =257) will be conducted for the L2 promotion and prevention measures. At more exploratory level, a correlation between thematic types of L2 selves and L2 promotion and prevention will be conducted.

References

Dörnyei, Z. (2009). The motivational self system. In Z. Dörnyei, & E. Ushioda, (Eds.), Motivation, language identity and the L2 self (pp.9-42). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

Higgins, E. T. (1998). Promotion and prevention: Regulatory focus as a motivational principle. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 30, 1-46.

Taguchi, T., Magid, M., & Papi, M. (2009). The L2 motivational self system among Japanese, Chinese and Iranian learners of English: A comparative study. In Z. Dornyei, & E. Ushioda, (Eds.), Motivation, language identity and the L2 self (pp. 66-96). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.


Becoming a highly proficient speaker appears rather too costly: examining the impact of study abroad in the UK on self-motivation to continue learning English

Gianna Hessel (University of Oxford, United Kingdom)

In this talk, I will examine the impact of an extended study abroad experience in the UK on self-motivation to continue learning English for German ERASMUS students whose English proficiency upon programme-entry was upper-intermediate to advanced. L2 self-motivation was conceptualized as L2 learning effort that students reported expending towards becoming highly proficient speakers of English. Changes in how the students related to this future self, including changes in its desirability, accessibility, plausibility and in the perceived present-future self-discrepancy were also examined. The data derive from a mixed methods study with 96 German ERASMUS students who were studying abroad in the UK for up to one academic year. All students completed C-tests of overall English language proficiency and questionnaires that inquired into their L2 learning background, L2 motivation and into aspects of the study abroad experience itself. Both instruments were administered at the onset of the study abroad period, one term into the programme and prior to the students’ return. A sub-sample of 15 students were interviewed repeatedly in order to illuminate the motivational dynamics during study abroad from an emic perspective. The findings highlight that although becoming a highly proficient speaker of English tended to remain a strongly desired, accessible and plausible future self, most students abandoned this goal prematurely and experienced a decline in self-motivation to further improve their English after the first term abroad. The qualitative analysis of the students’ accounts shows that this decline can be plausibly explained by developments in their English self-concept that occurred in response to the study abroad experience. It emerged further that changing perceptions of cost and benefit seemed to play a key role in the students’ willingness to invest further effort into the attainment of their highly proficient ideal. The implications of these findings for research and practice will be discussed.


“This language still motivates me” – advanced language students and their L2-motivation

Anne Huhtala, Anta Kursisa, Marjo Vesalainen (University of Helsinki, Finland)

In our paper, we present a pilot study belonging to our new research project MUMMI (multilingualism – usage – motivation – multiculturalism – identity) at the University of Helsinki. In an earlier project (TAITO) we have been interested in why language students start studying a foreign language at the university. In this project, we focus on students who have reached an advanced level in their studies of Swedish or German. Why are they still motivated? How do they see themselves as learners and users of these languages? As our data, we have written reflections of advanced Finnish-speaking university students, by now 6 students of Swedish and 7 students of German. Our data collection is still in progress. The students have been asked to write about themselves as (advanced) students of Swedish/German, and about themselves as language users. As our theoretical frame of reference we have the self-determination theory by Deci and Ryan (1985, 2000) as well as the L2 motivation research by Dörnyei (e.g., Dörnyei 2006, 2009; Dörnyei & Skehan 2003; Dörnyei & Ushioda 2011). We also plan to look at the phenomenon through a lens of narrative theory (Polkinghorne 1995; Clandinin & Connelly 2000). Our preliminary results indicate that students of both Swedish and German stress their long-term interest in languages as well as work-related factors as reasons for continuing their studies of the language; also the role of inspiring teachers is evident. In addition, especially students of German seem to emphasize the role of their family as well as their stays abroad as important motivators.


Profiling L2 motivation of Finnish comprehensive school students: The case of English vs. other languages

Teija Kangasvieri (University of Jyväskylä, Centre for Applied Language Studies, Finland)

The aim of this presentation is to explore the motivation of Finnish comprehensive school students’ towards learning foreign languages. Specifically, the interest is in whether their motivation is different for learning English compared with other foreign languages. English is the most studied foreign language in Finnish schools (NBE, 2014), as in most of the European countries (Eurydice, 2012). According to the results from the national assessment of learning outcomes in foreign languages (FEEC, 2014), Finnish ninth-graders consider English as the most useful foreign language. As Ushioda (2013) puts it, the status English now has might affect students’ motivation to learn other foreign languages negatively. The study reported in this presentation is based on a dataset gathered with a large-scale e-questionnaire which included 13 different motivational scales. The target languages were English (compulsory) and French, German, Russian, and Spanish (optional). The data consisted of 1206 answers from ninth-graders from 33 schools and it were analyzed statistically using latent profile analysis. The results show that Finnish students are far more motivated to study English than the other foreign languages. Five different motivational profiles can be found: the most motivated, the average motivated with low anxiety, the average motivated, the least motivated, and students with high anxiety. The learners of English were clearly overrepresented in the the most motivated group. The results of the analysis and their implications for language teaching will be discussed in the presentation.

References

Eurydice (2012) Key Data on Teaching Languages at School in Europe. Brussels: Eurydice.

FEEC (2014) Kielten oppimistulokset perusopetuksen päättövaiheessa 2013. Helsinki: Finnish Education Evaluation Centre.

NBE (2014) Koulutuksen tilastollinen vuosikirja 2014 – Årsbok för utbildningsstatistik 2014. Helsinki: National Board of Education.

Ushioda, E. (2013) Motivation and ELT: Global Issues and Local Concerns. In E. Ushioda (ed.), International Perspectives on Motivation (pp. 1-17). Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.


Examining the role of motivation in an interactive task

Katsuyuki Konno (Shizuoka Institute of Science and Technology, Japan)

Although learner motivation is believed to be a antecedent factor of successful language learning, little research has been done on how motivation affects language learners’ engagement with language learning tasks. It has been argued that motivation during an interactive task is a co-construct; that the interlocutors’ motivation levels play a significant role in successful communication. This study is an investigation of the influence of language learners’ motivation on their behavior during an interactive task. A total of 70 Japanese college students participated in this study. The students were randomly assigned a partner. Each pair of students engaged in a decision-making task via an online chatroom. The task required the learners to discuss and decide on a limited number of things that would be the most useful to have if stranded on a deserted island. Likert scale and open-ended questionnaires were administered to measure these learners’ motivational variables during the task. Learners’ on-task behavior was quantified both by counting the number of turns of each learner in the discussion and by measuring how much effort the learners spent on the task in the questionnaire. The result of a correlation analysis showed that intrinsic motivation and perceived competence during the task were relatively strongly associated with both turn-taking and effort expenditure. Following this, learners’ task engagement and their interlocutor’s motivational variables were examined, however no significant correlations were found. The detailed analysis using cluster analysis showed that regardless of whom learners are paired with, the interlocutor’s motivation does not have a significant, direct impact on a given student’s on-task behavior. Learner comments implied that as their interlocutors become motivated, students tended to feel pressured. This study concludes that for successful communication in an interactive task, interlocutors’ motivational disposition is less important than one’s own motivational disposition.


Lots of Selves, some rebellious: Developing the Self Discrepancy Model for Language Learners

Ursula Lanvers (University of York, UK)

This article extends the currently dominant model for motivation in second language learning (L2 motivation), namely Dörnyei’s (2005, 2009) L2 Motivational Self System (L2MSS). It does so in a three-phase analysis, first returning to the origin of the L2MSS, namely Higgins’ (1987) Self Discrepancy Theory (SDT), secondly reviewing evidence from L2 empirical studies focusing on Anglophones learning a L2. Thirdly, novel data is applied to the proposed extended model. Analyses of L2 motivational studies suggest that some learner groups such as Anglophone L2 learners – a learner group operating under considerable challenges in the context of Global English (Di Bianco 2014, Lanvers 2014) – do not offer good fit to the L2MSS, prompting researchers to seek alternatives to the L2MSS. A return to Higgins’ (1987) original SDT reveals more complexity than adopted in the L2MSS, the re-introduction of which might accommodate apparently incompatible learner profiles. Therefore, evidence of ’non-fit’ is incorporated into a new model named Self Discrepancy Model for Language Learners, and then applied to new data (focus groups and interviews) from two different Anglophone learner groups: mature university and adolescent school students. The Self Discrepancy Model for Language Learners contributes to solutions of several problems raised in current discussion of L2 motivation: it provides a better fit of data seemingly incompatible with the L2MSS, accommodates a learner type labelled ’rebellious’, offers a better account of wider contextual influences on motivation, and promises developmental insights on L2 motivation. The empirical data delivers on the first three goals, and offers provisional insights regarding the last.


The motivational background of learning Swedish in Finland in high Swedish vitality and low Swedish vitality contexts

Enikö Marton (University of Helsinki, Finland)

This paper combines the L2 motivational self-system (Dörnyei, 2009) with ideas from the socio-contextual model of L2 learning (see Noels & Clément, 1996) and the socio-educational model of L2 learning (Gardner, 2010) to address the background of L2 learning efforts among young learners of Swedish in Finland. Questionnaire data were collected among two samples of Finnish-speaking high school students: in a low Swedish vitality and a high Swedish vitality context. Mediational analyses were conducted in SPSS using the PROCESS macro. Instrumentality – promotion was used as independent variable, L2 ideal-self as mediator, and L2 learning efforts as dependent variable, while integrativeness was specified as a control variable of L2 learning efforts. L2 ideal-self predicted L2 learning efforts in both low Swedish vitality and high Swedish vitality contexts, the two samples differed considerably regarding the effects of instrumentality – promotion and integrativeness on L2 learning efforts. Particularly, in the low Swedish vitality context, where L2 learners have limited contact with Swedish in their social milieu, L2 learning efforts were predicted by instrumentality – promotion but not by integrativeness. Whereas, in the high Swedish vitality context, where L2 learners have frequent contact with Swedish in their social milieu, L2 learning efforts was predicted by integrativeness but not by instrumentality – promotion. The findings will be discussed in the light of the differences in L2 learning in monolingual and bilingual learning milieus.

References

Dörnyei, Z. (2009). The L2 motivational self-system. In Dörnyei, Z. & Ushioda, E. (eds.) Motivation, Language Identity and the L2 Self (pp. 9–42). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

Gardner, R. C. (2010). Motivation and second language acquisition: The socio-educational model. Berlin: Peter Lang.

Noels, K. A., & Clément, R. (1996). Communicating across cultures: Social determinants and acculturative consequences. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 28(3), 214–228.


Profiling motivational trajectories – a mixed-methods study

Neil McClelland (University of Kitakyushu, Japan)

This paper presents a longitudinal investigation of second language learning motivation in undergraduate students taking English courses at one University in Japan. The main objectives of the study were threefold: first to investigate individual motivational orientations and trajectories over time; second to identify ’critical incidents’ in students’ past experiences with English that may help explain differences in motivational trajectories; and third to attempt to relate those descriptions to eventual L2 learning outcomes. In a mixed-methods design the study adopted a two-stage procedure: Stage 1 employed a self-report survey to measure motivational orientations in an entire cohort of students at two time points: once on entry to the University and again after completion of the compulsory English program two years later. This was subsequently used to produce individual motivational profiles that tracked four dimensions of motivational orientation: Internationalism; Grade-Orientation; Attitudes to Native Speakers; and Interest in English media; along with TOEIC scores submitted over two years. Stage 2 then used narrative elicitation with selected students to highlight critical incidents in their experiences with English, both before and during their time at the University. To facilitate fullest possible participation, interviews were conducted in the students’ first language (Japanese) by a peer research assistant using narrative elicitation methods. The outcome of Study 1 was a set of longitudinal profiles that showed remarkable consistency over time (i.e. reliability) and are thus useful for drawing comparisons between individuals. Stage 2 then facilitated in-depth interpretation of the profiles with relation to themes that emerged from narrative accounts provided by the students themselves. Overall, the study is thought to provide strong insights into the formative processes underlying motivation in Japanese EFL learners.


A teacher’s moral role in mobilizing students’ motivation beyond L2 vision

Harumi Ogawa (Iwate Prefectural University, Japan)

Language teachers are expected to play multiple roles: giving advice on language learning, facilitating intercultural awareness, understanding the aspirations of learners to provide better guidance, being linguistic and educational role models etc. In order to do so, it is important to understand a student as a whole person: that is, to “take a holistic view of the learner, in order to gain an insight into a learner’s self-beliefs in other domains which the learner perceives as connected” (Mercer, 2011, p. 168). This paper concerns an intervention English course which was designed as part of a study with the aim to understand the impact of incorporating cultural elements in English language teaching for enhancing Japanese college students’ L2 vision as intercultural communicators. Data was collected during and after the course and it included: 1) written narratives (some with photos), 2) Semi-structured interviews, 3) Field notes & audio- and video-recordings of the classes, and 4) course evaluation by the students. The results show that this course was effective for the above mentioned study aim, and instigated some students’ desire to find a larger vision than that of L2. The purpose of this paper is to shed further light on these results by focusing on one female student participant Aya. I will explain how her past language learning experience affected her engagement in my course, how she gradually came to aspire for a larger vision beyond her L2 self, and how the teacher facilitated her coming to terms with her visions. This project has yielded powerful empirical evidence attesting to the need to view the role of language teacher as a “moral agent” (Kubanyiova & Crookes, 2016), which, in turn, confirms as well as extends a well-established notion of L2 self as a motivating force in supporting language learners’ engagement in L2 use.


Effects of learning context on motivation of university students: Investigating the role of collaborative learning

Hiromi Tsuda (Meiji University, Japan)

Collaborative learning (CL) is supposed to be more effective to raise learners’ meta-cognition than individual or competitive learning (Johnson & Johnson, 1989). This presentation aims at showing the changes of the university students after having learned in CL style classes for a year. Participants are 21 freshmen in a compulsory listening class at a low-intermediate level. CL method was mainly introduced into the pre- and the post-listening stages. Students were encouraged to do outside the classroom learning, such as watching DVD of the lecture, joining discussion with English-speaking teachers, and watching TED story on the internet. Participants answered two kinds of questionnaires about CL and motivation at the end of each semester. They wrote their reflection after each class and recorded their outside the classroom learning on the listening log. This study employed a mixed method: A quantitative analysis of the questionnaires showed the changes of the students’ learning attitudes. The reasons for the changes of their learning attitudes were confirmed by a qualitative analysis of the students’ writings. It was found that CL made the biggest effect on building a close relationship among classmates in the spring semester, while CL made more effects on getting students interested in listening class, and deepening their thinking in the fall semester. In addition, students contributed to CL more largely in the fall semester. Students’ comments showed that setting clear goals would help learners get motivated. CL would also make an effect on learners’ motivation when a close relationship is established in the learning context, where learners would find near peer role models who sometimes stimulate learners to greater efforts. Finally, CL style classes are considered to be able to create an effective learning context where learners work together to promote their motivation to study, and moreover, to cultivate autonomous learning attitudes.


Role of learning context in the L2 motivational orientation: A comparative study of Chinese learners of English in EFL and ESL contexts

Hui Sun (Birkbeck, University of London, United Kingdom)

Whereas L2 motivation has become one of the most extensively researched topics in the field of SLA over the past decade (Boo, Dörnyei & Ryan, 2015), the L2 Motivational Self System has been proposed and applied to many English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) contexts (Dörnyei, 2005). However, few researchers have examined the L2 Motivational Self System in an English-as-a-second-language (ESL) context. The crucial question is to what degree and how it differentially affects L2 learners’ motivational orientation in EFL and ESL learning environments. The present quantitative study compared the L2 motivation profiles of Chinese learners of English at universities in China (n = 82 EFL learners) and in the United Kingdom (n = 64 ESL learners). Their motivation was measured by a questionnaire based on Dörnyei’s L2 Motivational Self System. Significant differences were found in L2 motivational orientation between EFL and ESL learners. The intended learning efforts of EFL learners were mainly determined by the image of their idealized selves as competent users of English (the Ideal L2 Self), although they could not imagine it as clearly as ESL learners did. This was probably due to the bigger gap between EFL learners’ actual and idealized selves. In contrast, ESL learners’ intended learning efforts were mainly determined by the enjoyment and success of their L2 learning (L2 Learning Experience) (Dewaele & MacIntyre, 2014). Taken together, the findings suggest that learning context (EFL vs. ESL) plays a significant role in determining L2 motivational orientation. This has strong pedagogical implications, namely that different motivational techniques should be applied to EFL and ESL learners.