The Importance Of Motivation In Learning A Foreign Language

Although scholars rarely agree on a number of aspects in SLA studies, nobody has neglected the role motivation plays in learning a language other than the primary one. Quoting the research done by Dörnyei & Csizér (1998), Wlodkowski (1999) and Cheng & Dörnyei (2007) among others, Moskovsky (2012) claims that it has been a common agreement that motivated learners would always perform significantly better than unmotivated ones. With motivation students end up influencing, to a considerable extent, their self-confidence, aptitude, learning strategies and learning anxiety – the aspects crucial for learning a foreign language. Motivation, when related to learning another language, is guided by a number of factors. Bernard (2010) suggests that in …show more content…
10 as quoted in Noels, 2001, p. 108), is not less important than aptitude in learning a foreign language. At the same time, it is motivation that, unlike aptitude of the students, draws the attention of the scholars because it can be enhanced. Going a bit further and analyzing the extensive research in this area, Broady (2005) speaks about building the second self – or the student’s identity in the second language – that is a possible or ideal self the learners would like to develop in their L2. It, again, means that the students need to associate with the native speakers and want to be similar to them in a certain aspect, so the teacher’s task herein would be to present the learners with appropriate role models. Finding these would lead to developing the students’ intrinsic motivation that, unlike the extrinsic one, is not related to receiving a good grade or passing a language course successfully, but is associated with the enjoyment of learning a language just for the learning sake (pp. 72 – …show more content…
6). There are three major forms of extrinsic motivation: external regulation, introjected regulation, and identified regulation (Noels, 2001). The first one means that the learner’s behavior is controlled by a tangible reward (or punishment respectively), which would not necessarily be bad unless it meant that the motivation ceases to exist when this punishment / reward (for instance, monetary one) discontinues. The second type, although it is internalized to some extent, is connected to the fear of disappointing a teacher, parents, or oneself. In this regard, a student learns a language to prove those around and him- or herself that he or she is better than the peers and that he or she can outdo everyone else. Finally, the identified regulation, which is self-determined, means that an individual learns a language because doing so appears as important and meaningful for achieving certain life goals (Noel, 2001, pp. 110 – 111). Motivation is indeed vital as it determines whether and to what extent students will pay attention to information to be learnt and whether this learning will be successful. Thus,

Related Documents

Related Topics