Critically evaluate Gardner and Lambert’s theory of instrumental and integrative motivation as a key influencing factor in Second Language Acquisition

Topics: Motivation, Second language acquisition, Language acquisition Pages: 3 (995 words) Published: December 5, 2013
Critically evaluate Gardner and Lambert’s theory of instrumental and integrative motivation as a key influencing factor in Second Language Acquisition

During the process of studying second language, Gardner and Lambert’s theory about instrumental and integrative motivation has a significant impact on different learners. As Falk (2000; cited in Norris-Holt, 2001) states that if learners aim to develop relationship with foreign friends or comprehend lyrics in popular song, which means that these learners are vastly encouraged by integrative motivation for learning second language. In addition, Hudson (2000; cited in Norris-Holt, 2001) argues that when learners intend to have more opportunities to apply for a decent job or avoid punishment from teacher. These actions and reactions are attributed to instrumental motivation. If intended to evaluate this theory, it is essential by forcing on the validity, theoretical scope and other evaluation criteria. It has some validity about explaining successful learning second language. However, this essay also will introduce some evidences to evaluate that their thought included in some of controversial aspects and disadvantages. An increasing number of critics begin to put forward creative views against Gardner and Lambert’s opinion, such as teacher role in studying, learners’ attitude and other influential motivation model also play a necessary role in second language acquisition.

It is generally acknowledged that their theory has a significant impact on second language acquisition and as today some of critics hold a positive view on their theory of motivation. Dornyei (2007) demonstrates that these learning motivations for Gardner and Lambert play a vital role in building the learners’ confidence in putting up with some of difficulties. It is can promote and provide clear explanation of learners’ second language studying. At the same time, Gardner and Lambert’s theory biased on a great deal of research and be proved...
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