Motivation in Second Language Learning

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Keeley Alvarez LG227: Second Language Learning Assignment 2: Motivation and L2 Learning UP:16/03/2012-01:02:06 WM:16/03/2012-01:02:18 M:LG227-5-FY A:11a2 R:1003600 C:FCFD7C01F07C19DE4FCFB1F2C59A2C5B2D7C79E6

1. Introduction The first part of this essay will discuss the definition of ‘motivation,’ according to second language learning, delving into the issues in relation to the subject as well as highlighting motivational strategies and techniques. I will research into two studies based on motivation and L2 learning and discuss these in reference to their proposed theories, their research approach, methods and evidence. I will then analyse a set of Diary data, discussing the motivation of the L2 learner, before considering how my observations could be useful for the study of L2 motivation. 2. Motivation 2.1 What is motivation? A general observation of second language learners depicts that; although some L2 learners may be following identical developmental paths, their levels of success may vary significantly from one person to the next. These variations have led to be argued by social psychologists who have concluded, that the explanation for these diverse learning outcomes is due to ‘individual learner differences.’ These differences have been categorised into two groups according to Gardner and MacIntyre’s (1992,1993) interpretations of the most important learner traits; one group being ‘cognitive’ which highlights the learners’ natural characteristics such as intelligence, learner strategies and language ‘aptitude.’ Contrastingly, there is the ‘affective’ (emotional) group which includes more changeable factors such as attitudes, language anxiety and willingness to communicate, and in particular, ‘motivation.’ 2.2 The Socio-educational Model Motivation was described by Gardner and MacIntyre (1993 p.2) as defined by three main components: ‘the desire to achieve a goal, the effort extended in this direction and the satisfaction with the task.’ Gardner devised...
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