Language Learning Motivation: The Student, the Teacher, and the

Language Learning Motivation: The Student, the Teacher, and the

DOCUMENT RESUME FL 027 256 ED 464 495 AUTHOR TITLE INSTITUTION SPONS AGENCY PUB DATE NOTE Gardner, R. C. Language Learning Motivation: The Student...

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FL 027 256

ED 464 495


Gardner, R. C. Language Learning Motivation: The Student, the Teacher, and the Researcher. Texas Univ., Austin. Foreign Language Education Program. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Ottawa (Ontario). 2001-00-00 20p.; Basis of keynote address presented at the Texas Foreign Language Education Conference (Austin, TX, March 23-24, 2001) . For the complete journal issue, see FL 027 255



410-99-0147 Reports Descriptive (141) Journal Articles (080) Texas Papers in Foreign Language Education; v6 n1 p1-18 Fall 2001 MF01/PC01 Plus Postage. Educational Research; Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education; Language Research; Language Teachers; Second Language Learning; Social Influences; *Student Motivation; *Student Role; *Teacher Role *Researcher Role


This paper discusses the roles of the student, teacher, and language researcher in understanding motivation to learn another language. It highlights the socioeducational model of second language acquisition. Although this model considers motivation to learn another language from the student's point of view, other contributors include the teacher, the student's background, and the teacher's background. The language researcher's role is to code the process and investigate it in ways that will help to more fully understand it. One feature of the socioeducational model is the set of variables it has identified and the means of assessing these variables so that specific hypotheses about the nature and influence of motivation in second language learning can be evaluated. The paper makes general observations about research findings that have been obtained and focuses on one study that considers the stability of motivational variables. The issue of motivational stability is currently of interest in the literature and concerns the question of whether motivation is stable or fluid. Discussion of findings from this study focus on the distinction between motivation and motivating and on the implications this could have for the language teacher and the language researcher. (Contains 15 references.) (SM)

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Language Learning Motivation: The Student, the Teacher, and the Researcherl R. C. GARDNER, University of Western Ontario The intent of this address is to discuss the roles of the student, the teacher and the language researcher in understanding the motivation to learn another language.

In order to guide this discussion, attention is directed toward the socioeducational model of second language acquisition. Although this model considers the motivation to learn another language from the point of view of the student, it is clear that other contributors include the teacher as well as the student's and the teacher's backgrounds. The objective of the language researcher is to code the process and investigate it in ways that will help to more fully understand it.

One feature of the socio-educational model is the set of variables it has identified and the means of assessing them so that specific hypotheses about the nature and

influence of motivation in second language learning can be evaluated. Some general observations about research findings that have been obtained are made, and attention is directed toward one study that considers the stability of motivational variables. The issue of motivational stability is currently of interest in the literature, and concerns the question of whether motivation is stable or fluid. Discussion of some of the findings from this study focus on the distinction between motivation and motivating, and on the implications this could have for the language teacher and the language researcher. INTRODUCTION

There is considerable interest today in the notion of motivation to learn a second or foreign language, but it wasn't always this way. In 1956 when Wally Lambert and I began our research, it was generally agreed that learning another language involved intelligence and verbal ability. Concepts like attitudes, motivation and anxiety were not considered to be important at all. Today, much of this has changed, and one sometimes gets the impression that affective variables are considered to be the only important ones. It is clear, however, that learning a second language is a difficult time-consuming process, and I would not be at all surprised if it turned out that a number of variables, hitherto not considered important, are found to be implicated in learning a second language. To date, research has focussed on individual difference characteristics of the Preparation of this manuscript was facilitated by a grant (410-99-0147) from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. I would like to express my appreciation to Anne-Marie Masgoret for her assistance with its preparation. This manuscript was the basis of the key-note address by the author to the Texas Foreign Language Education Conference, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, March 23, 2001. E-mail address: [email protected] Web page: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

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Texas Papers in Foreign Language Education

student such as attitudes and motivation, language anxiety, self-confidence, field independence, personality variables (e.g.,, need achievement, risk-taking,

empathy and the like), intelligence, language aptitude, and language learning strategies, but other variables and other classes of variables might well be considered viable candidates. In my research, I tend to focus on motivation because I believe that many

of these other variables are dependent on motivation for their effects to be realized. Thus, for example, language learning strategies probably will not be used if the individual is not motivated to learn the language, and/ or there is little or no reason to take risks using the language if there is little intention to learn it, etc. Thus, to me, motivation is a central element along with language aptitude in determining success in learning another language in the classroom setting. When focussing attention on motivation in second language acquisition, I

find it useful to consider it from three perspectives, that of the student, the teacher, and the researcher, and I find that often these three perspectives do not coincide. That is, what is motivational or motivating to the teacher may not be to the student, and what the researcher (or at least some researchers) consider as motivational may not be seen as such by either students or teachers.

Consider the Student Probably the majority of students studying a foreign or second language in school are simply doing it because it is part of the curriculum. Some students may have dreams of becoming bilingual when they start introductory Spanish or French, etc., but they are likely to be the minority. Nonetheless, when students first enter the language class, they are often motivated by dreams of being able to speak the language in a few weeks. They are generally unaware of the demands that will be placed on them. Quite often, they are very excited about learning another language and begin the study with enthusiasm. This often doesn't last very long.


I was in Japan recently talking to a number of ESL teachers and researchers. There, English is introduced into the curriculum in grade 7, and many of the teachers made the observation that although the students are initially very enthusiastic about learning English, their enthusiasm wanes before the end of the first year. Some of the teachers felt that this could be due to an over-emphasis on grammar translation in the curriculum. Others felt that it could be due to the age of the children and opined that starting languages earlier and focussing on oral production would eliminate the problem. Others felt that it was

due to the quiet nature of Japanese children who often find it embarrassing to speak the language. Still others felt that there were too few model speakers of English, and too few opportunities outside of the classroom to use it. And of course, all of these plus many more are likely responsible, both in Japan and elsewhere. From the point of view of the socio-educational model of second

Language Learning Motivation


language acquisition that I will outline shortly, much of the difficulty arises because the language class is not like classes in many other school subjects, even if the students are not aware of this.

When students are learning a second language, they have a number of duties and responsibilities. First and foremost, they must pass the course. In addition, however, they must acquire language content (vocabulary, grammar and the like); they must acquire language skills (oral production, aural comprehension); they must develop some degree of automaticity and fluency with their handling of the language; and ultimately, they must develop some degree of willingness to use the language outside of the classroom. This is no small set of requirements.

Consider the Language Teacher The language teacher also has a number of duties and responsibilities in the language learning context. To achieve their goals, language teachers must have knowledge and skill in the language. On the one hand, this requires that

they be sufficiently proficient to have the knowledge and skill to teach the

language, and students can quickly determine if the teacher lacks proficiency. On the other hand, the teacher must have the training, personality characteristics, and ability to teach the fundamentals of the language to the student but also to encourage them to learn the material, and more importantly to use it. Often too, teachers want the students to not simply use the language, but to use it correctly. This requires a lot of work and dedication on the part of both the teacher and the student, and is one of the many factors that account for the learning of a second language to be a difficult and time-consuming task. Add to this the frequently

occurring phenomenon that there are few opportunities for the student to experience the language outside of the classroom, and the enormity of the problem for the teacher is put into perspective.

Consider the Researcher The duties and responsibilities of the researcher are to understand and code the process of second language acquisition in order to develop ways of testing verifiable hypotheses about language learning. One objective of this is simply the need to develop a model of language learning such that it has the

properties necessary to permit evaluation of the validity of the hypothesized process. A good model is one that is objective, is parsimonious, and is testable. That is, it must be possible to formulate hypotheses based on the model that can be investigated by the researcher concerned, as well as by others if they wish. The variables must be defined in such a way that studies can be replicated. It is only in this way that a scientific description of the process can be said to exist. This was the objective in developing and validating the socio-educational model of second language acquisition. The model was developed in part because

of observations made by students and teachers, but primarily from results of


Texas Papers in Foreign Language Education

empirical investigations. Associated with the model are a set of measures of its primary variables, and these can be used to evaluate hypotheses that derive from the model. Today, I would like to describe this model in some detail, to show how hypotheses can be derived from it, and then to discuss one set of findings from a recent study that I feel is very relevant to the theme of this conference.

The model I am going to present today is one that evolved in part in reaction to criticisms that had been directed toward earlier versions of the model (Crookes & Schmidt, 1991), and in part as a result of my recent visit to Japan. It is

a minor revision of earlier models, but I believe these revisions can help to overcome some of the problems that have been said to exist. The criticisms were

that my model and my research focussed on relatively stable motivational attributes that were derived from social psychology, that they were not the same as those understood by educators, and that in fact I had ignored the teacher in my research and theorizing. My recent visit emphasized to me that teachers were very much concerned with the issue of motivation, and that they were looking for ideas that they could put to use. In one of my sessions, one woman asked me why I did the research I did, and when I hesitated to answer quickly, someone (in good natured fashion, I was assured later) commented that it was so I could obtain research funding. In fact, I hesitated because I was startled by the question because the answer was so obvious to me! The research area is a fascinating one, that is plagued with conceptual and logistical difficulties, and is thus a challenge. I always felt that our research had implications for both students and teachers, but she was looking for specific remedies to very real problems, and she apparently had bought into the criticism that our research was not practical. This version of the model is an attempt to make my interest in these very practical problems explicit, and hopefully outline research avenues that can be explored profitably. THE SOCIO-EDUCATIONAL MODEL OF SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION

Figure 1 presents a schematic representation of this model. It is comprisedof four sections, External Influences, Individual Differences, Language Acquisition Contexts, and Outcomes. The category of External Influences replaces that of the Social Milieu in earlier versions, and is more general in its nature. By External Influences I mean any factors that might influence language learning. There are two classes of such influences indicated, History and Motivators. By history, I mean that complex of social and personal variables that the individual brings with him or her that can

influence second language acquisition. Examples include the socio-cultural milieu in which the individual lives as well as the personal family background. School children learning English in Japan have a different cultural background than English speaking students learning Spanish in Texas, or French in Canada. There are different beliefs about the value and need for learning the language, what constitutes learning the language, expectations about possible success, and

External Influences




Language Acquisition Contexts

Figurel: Revised Socio-Educational Model



6 Texas Papers in Foreign Language Education

even the ease or difficulty with which it can be done. Furthermore, within any given socio-cultural milieu, there will be differences in individuals' personal

backgrounds and histories that could also play a role. The student from a bilingual home has a different history associated with language learning than that of the student from a mono-lingual English speaking home. Children from homes who value language learning have a different history than those from homes where it is not valued, etc.

This aspect of External Influences is generally not considered by other models of second language acquisition, with the exception of Clement's (1980)

social context model, or by models of academic motivation. In the socioeducational model, these past experiences and family and cultural background are considered important to learning a second language, because it is assumed that learning another language is different from much other learning that takes

place in school. In learning another language, the student is required to incorporate speech sounds, grammatical structures, behaviour patterns, and the like that are characteristic of another culture, and this is not true of most other school subjects. Other subjects like arithmetic, history, geography, music, etc., are generally all part of the student's culture, or cultural perspective at least, so that acquiring this material does not involve any personal conflict. But learning another language involves making something foreign a part of one's self. As such, one's conception of the "self" and their willingness to open it up to change, as well as their attitudes toward the other community, or out-groups in general, will influence how well they can make this material part of their behavioural repertoires.

Those models that emphasize an approach to motivation that focuses on the academic aspects of the language course, or that consider motivation simply

in terms of rational decisions, fail to take this into account. We propose that learning a second language involves taking on the behavioural characteristics of

another cultural group of people, and that this has implications for the individual. We have evidence, I believe, to suggest that this early history plQysis.

primary role through the concept of Integrativeness (INT), which will be discussed shortly.

The other External Influence that we propose is that of Motivators. Currently, there is the belief that one can distinguish between motivation and motivating (cf., DOrnyei, 1994; 2001) . Thus, it is proposed that teachers can help

the language learning process by motivating their students. There is some evidence to indicate that this concept applies to other school subjects (see, for example Dweck, 1986), but it is not clear that it has yet been demonstrated with respect to language learning. Darnyei (2001, p. 119) presents a set of four principles that he considers important in this conception of motivation. They are: 1. Creating the basic motivational conditions. 2. Generating student motivation 3. Maintaining and protecting motivation

Language Learning Motivation


4. Encouraging positive self-evaluation. constructs ... But, as he himself states "none of the four pedagogically motivated has considerable empirical support within L2 contexts" (p. 107).

In the model, these motivators are shown to have a direct effect on

Attitudes toward the Learning Situation (ALS), which will be discussed below. effect on We have some evidence to suggest that teacher variables can have an these reflect Attitudes toward the Learning Situation, and it is proposed that differences in techniques used by teachers to motivate their students. As indicated above, these two classes of background variables are seen as having an effect on Integrativeness (INT) and Attitudes toward the Learning Situation (ALS) respectively. These are just two of six classes of individual difference variables that are hypothesized to play a role in second -language learning. Under the category of Individual Differences, the two variables, Integrativeness, and Attitudes toward the learning Situation are shown as having a direct effect on another variable, Motivation (MOT). the The variable, Integrativeness, reflects a genuine interest in learning second language in order to come closer psychologically to the other language community. A low level of integrativeness would indicate no interest in learning the language in order to identify with the group, while a high level would had the indicate considerable interest. Often before an individual has opportunity to learn anything about the language, or when the student is young, this reflects merely an interest or a willingness. In the extreme, however, it can days before I left indicate complete identification with the other group. A few Japan (February 26), there was a letter to the editor printed in the Japanese Times. The letter had nothing to do with language learning, but it is a clear example of the highest level of integrativeness that can be expressed by an individual. In the letter, the author wrote: I am Japanese. This is not a reference to my nationality, for I hold a

passport issued by authorities in a country other than Japan. Rather, what I mean is that I am Japanese at the "sub-conscious level.

I have lived in Japan for nearly six years. I use the Japanese

language in my job, I pay Japanese taxes and I read Japanese

newspapers and watch Japanese TV to get the latest information. I also have a Japanese car, which I legally drive with my Japanese driver's license when travelling to various places in Japan. When I bump into something I unconsciously say "itai!' So for all intensive (sic, intents and) purposes, I am Japanese.

This would be an example of an extreme form of integrativeness, and

obviously it is not proposed that this is required for successful second language acquisition. The willingness to open up to other cultural influences is the


Texas Papers in Foreign Language Education

operative component. That is, integrativeness involves emotional identification with another cultural group. In developing measures associated with the socioeducational model, we proposed that integrativeness would be reflected in an integrative orientation toward learning the second language, a favourable attitude toward the language community, and an openness to other groups in general (i.e., an absence of ethnocentrism). In short, the variable of Integrativeness is a complex of attitudes involving more than just the other language community. The variable, Attitudes toward the Learning Situation, involves attitudes toward any aspect of the situation in which the language is learned. In the school context, these attitudes could be directed toward the teacher, the course in general, one's classmates, the course materials, extra-curricular activities associated with the course, etc... This is not meant to imply that the individual necessarily thinks everything about the class is ideal. If the language teacher is ineffective or non-responsive, or, if the course is particularly dull or confused, etc., these factors will undoubtedly be reflected in the individual's attitudes toward the learning situation. In the model it is recognized that, in any situation, some individuals will express more positive attitudes than others, and it is these differences in attitudes toward the learning situation that are the focus of the model. Clearly, however, there might well be differences between classes in such attitudes, and these could have an overall average effect on all students. To now, much of the research deriving from the socio-educational model of second language acquisition has not considered these types of effects. We have recently, however, taken steps to change this. The variable, Motivation, refers to the driving force in any situation. In the socio-educational model, motivation to learn the second language is viewed as requiring three elements. First, the motivated individual expends effort to learn the language. That is, there is a persistent and consistent attempt to learn the material by doing homework, by seeking out opportunities to learn more, by doing extra work, etc. Second, the motivated individual Wants to achieve-Megoal. Such an individual will express the desire to succeed, and will strive to achieve success. Third, the motivated individual will enjoy the task of learning

the language. Such an individual will say that it is fun, a challenge, and enjoyable, even though at times enthusiasm may be less than at other times.

In the socio-educational model, all three elements, effort, desire, and positive affect, are seen as necessary to distinguish between individuals who are more motivated and those who are less motivated. Each element, by itself, is seen as insufficient to reflect motivation. Some students may display effort, even though they have no strong desire to succeed, and may not find the experience particularly enjoyable. Others may want to learn the language, but may have other things that detract from their effort, etc. The point is the truly motivated individual displays effort, desire, and affect. Motivation is a complex concept, and the motivated individual exhibits


Language Learning Motivation


many other qualities in addition to effort, desire, and affect. Motivated individuals have goals, both proximate and distal. They experience satisfaction

when they are successful and dissatisfaction when they are not. They make attributions about their successes and failures, etc. That is, the motivated individual displays many characteristics, but we have found that by operationally defining motivation in terms of effort, desire, and attitude, we can adequately distinguish differing levels of motivation. The figure also shows that the three classes of variables, Integrativeness,

Attitudes toward the Learning Situation, and Motivation form "Integrative Motivation". Integrative motivation is hypothesized to be a complex of attitudinal, goal-directed, and motivational attributes. That is, the integratively motivated individual is one who is motivated to learn the second language, has a desire or willingness to identify with the other language community, and tends to evaluate the learning situation positively. In the model, Integrativeness and Attitudes toward the Learning Situation are seen as two correlated supports for motivation, but it is motivation that is responsible for achievement in the second language. Someone may demonstrate high levels of Integrativeness and/or very positive Attitudes toward the Learning Situation, but if these are not linked with motivation to learn the language, they will not be particularly highly related to achievement. Similarly, someone who exhibits high levels of motivation that are not supported by high levels of Integrativeness and/ or favourable Attitudes toward the Learning Situation may not exhibit these high levels of motivation consistently.

Motivation (MOT) and Language Aptitude (APT) are shown as two variables that can have effects in both formal and informal contexts. Formal learning contexts refer to any situation in which language instruction takes place, as for example the typical language classroom, the language laboratory, language computer laboratories, etc. Both Motivation and Language Aptitude are shown to have direct effects in this type of &ntext as indicated by the solid arrows. That

is, language aptitude and motivation will each influence how successful the individual is in learning the language in formal contexts. Informal learning contexts refer to any other setting where the individual

might learn language material. Examples of these would include written material, radio and television broadcasts, movies, language clubs, etc., where the individual can experience the language in a context other than one focussing on instruction. Motivation is shown as having a direct influence on this context (as indicated by the solid arrow) because it is expected that differences in motivation would play a major role in influencing whether or not an individual would even

enter the situation. Once there, language aptitude would play a role in how much the individual would profit from the experience, but it is shown as having an indirect effect (as indicated by the broken arrow), because it would not come into play until the individual had actually entered the situation. Both formal and informal language learning contexts are shown as having


10 Texas Papers in Foreign Language Education

both linguistic and non-linguistic outcomes. Linguistic outcomes refer to various

aspects of proficiency in the language


vocabulary, grammar, aural

comprehension, oral production and the like). Non-linguistic outcomes refer to those other consequences of language learning such as language anxiety, various attitudes, motivation, willingness to make use of the language, etc. Thus, as can

be seen, differences in motivation and language aptitude interact with the language learning contexts to produce many consequences.

The model also shows two other variables that are hypothesized not to relate directly to the Learning Contexts. One is identified as Other Motivational Factors, and is shown as having a possible effect (through the broken arrow) on Motivation. Thus, there may be instrumental factors contributing to motivation (cf., Dornyei, 1994; 2001), and we could label this combination of instrumental

factors and motivation as Instrumental Motivation. Or, there may be other

individual difference factors that could promote motivation. There is no reason to argue that motivation is driven only by integrativeness and attitudes toward the learning situation. The second other variable is identified as Other Non-Motivational Factors. These would include variables such as Language Learning Strategies. The use of such strategies can influence achievement by providing schema and techniques

to help learn the material, etc. To the extent that they play a role in language learning, it would be expected that they would be used by the motivated individual, hence the possible link between Motivation and the Other NonMotivating Factors. They are not shown as being linked to Learning Contexts (though obviously they would be invoked by the user in such contexts), because whether or not the individual uses the strategies depends on the motivation, hence it is the motivation that links them to the Learning Contexts.

Any model is useful to the extent that it can be operationalized. That is, the variables must be defined by operations outside of the model. The socioeducational model of second language acquisition has an associated set of measures of these individual difference variables, the Attitude/Motivation:Lest Battery (AMTB), and these are described in Table 1. Table 1 Attributes Measured by the Attitude/Motivation Test Battery

Integrativeness. an open interest in the other language group, and/or outgroups in general, a willingness to identify with the group. AMTB measures: Attitudes toward French Canadians (10) Integrative Orientation (4) Interest in Foreign Languages (10)

Attitudes toward the Learning Situation. - evaluative reactions to the language learning context. AMTB measures: Evaluation of the French Teacher (10) Evaluation of the French Course (10)


Language Learning Motivation 11

Motivation. - effort expended, desire to learn, and favourable attitudes toward learning the language. AMTB measures: Motivational Intensity (10) Desire to Learn French (10) Attitudes toward Learning French (10)

Language Anxiety. - feelings of anxiety and concern in using the language in the classroom and other contexts. French Class Anxiety (10) French Use Anxiety (10)

Instrumental Orientation. - an interest in learning the second language for pragmatic reasons. Instrumental Orientation (4)

Table 1 presents a summary of the scales making up the AMTB, the number of items typically making up each scale, and the categories to which the scales belong. The variable names in the table apply to situations where English speaking Canadians are studying French as a second language, but generalization to other settings is relatively straightforward. This is not meant to suggest that the tests can just be used in any context. When developing items for

paper-and-pencil tests, it is important that the items be meaningful to the respondents. It is quite likely that anyone using this battery of tests in some other

context would have to adapt the items to take many factors into account. Examples are the cultural context, the language setting, the relationship between the home language group and the target language group, and the nature of the curriculum and the program, etc.

Earlier versions of this model have been used to generate hypotheses about the role of variables in second language acquisition, and many of them have been supported. Table 2 presents a brief summary of some findings that have been obtained relatively consistently, and in each case reference is made to a study obtaining such results. Table 2 Some Findings Concerning Role of Motivation in Second Language Acquisition Reference


Gardner & Smythe (1981)

Integrativeness, Attitudes toward the Learning Situation, and Motivation are separate but correlated constructs, and Motivation has a direct effect on second language achievement.

Clement, Smythe & Gardner (1978)

Differences in integrative motivation help to explain who will drop out and who will continue with language study in future years.


12 Texas Papers in Foreign Language Education

Gliksman, Gardner,

Differences in integrative motivation account for differences in activity in the language classroom.

& Smythe (1982)

Desrochers & Gardner (1981)

Differences in motivation are related to whether or not children will participate in school-planned excursions to the other language community.

Gardner & Lysynchuk (1990)

Motivation promotes the retention of second language skills after study ends, largely because motivated individuals will tend to use the language during the subsequent period.

Tremblay, Goldberg & Gardner (1985)

Levels of trait (i.e., long lasting) motivation to learn second languages influence levels of state (i.e., at the moment) motivation which in turn influence the rate of learning second-language vocabulary.

Gardner & MacIntyre (1991)

Both integrative and instrumental motivation influence the rate of learning second language vocabulary.

Time does not permit any discussion of these findings, but the table is provided as a reference to some research findings with respect to the role of attitudes and motivation in second language acquisition as viewed from the perspective of the socio-educational model. As can be seen in the table, the published findings indicate the nature of the correlations between the various attributes as well as many variables involved in second language learning. Studies have demonstrated the relation of motivation to language achievement, persistence in language study, activity in the classroom, participation in__ bicultural excursions, language retention, and the rate of vOcabulary acquisirOii in controlled situations. Studies have also investigated the relation of integrative

motivation to state motivation, and the relative effects of integrative vs. instrumental motivation.

One issue that earlier criticisms have raised is the nature of the attitudinal/motivational variables that underlie the model. It has been suggested that they are all rather stable, but to my knowledge very little, if any, research has evaluated this proposition. Based on social psychological theory, it may be expected that Attitudes toward French Canadians and by inference Interest in

Foreign Languages and Integrative Orientation would be relatively stable because attitudes toward ethnic groups are fairly well fixed by the age of 10 to 12. But what of the measures of Attitudes toward the Learning Situation (i.e., Evaluation of the Teacher and the Course). Surely, they should be amenable to change since they involve affective reactions to environmental elements, which


Language Learning Motivation 13

themselves can change. The measures of Motivation (Motivational Intensity, Desire to Learn French, and Attitudes toward Learning French), likewise could be expected to be malleable, if not completely free because of their link with Integrativeness. Similarly, Language Anxiety could be expected to be fairly free to change, particularly if it is influenced by the situation in which it is thought to occur rather than any predisposition to be anxious. Finally, Instrumental orientation might well be open to modification if external factors can be mounted to influence it. In short, except for Integrativeness which is assumed to be firmly

linked to one's History, many of the elements of the socio-educational model might well be considered amenable to change under the right circumstances.

We recently completed a study to evaluate this hypothesis (Gardner, Masgoret, Tennant & Mihic, under review) by assessing the stability of these measures over the duration of a one year university course in introductory French. There was no attempt to change these attributes. Instead, the research question asked, "Are measures from the AMTB stable over time, and if so which are the most, and which are the least, stable?". In this investigation, we tested the students twice, once in September, just after classes began, and again in March, a few weeks before classes ended.

Based on the research literature, we assessed stability in terms of four different measures. The first two defined stability in terms of the relative consistency in individual differences in the two testings. One of these was simply

the test/retest reliability for each measure, and the other was a stability index that involved this correlation adjusted for the internal consistency reliabilities of the tests at each testing. The other two indices measured amount of change. One of these was the average amount of absolute change (i.e., the RMS), while the other was the magnitude of the t-test comparing pre-test with post-test (i.e., a measure of change in a common direction). Table 3 presents a rank order of the scales in terms of these four Stability indices. The scales are listed in decreasing order of overall stability, defined simply as the sum of the ranks on the four indices. Table 3 Rank Order of the Eleven AMTB Scales in Terms of Four Stability Indices For a Sample of University Students in Introductory French (1 = most stable, 11 = least stable)

Attitudes toward French Canadians Interest in Foreign Languages Instrumental Orientation French Use Anxiety Integrative Orientation


Stability Index

Scale 1









2 1





4.5 4.5

4 7



2 6



8 11 11

11.5 22.5

14 Texas Papers in Foreign Language Education

Desire to Learn French French Class Anxiety Attitudes toward Learning French French Course Evaluation Motivational Intensity French Teacher Evaluation

8 4 7 9 10 11





8 6

10 9


8 11

7 10 9 11

9 11


28 28 29 37 39 39

It will be observed that there is a clear break in the sum of the ranks of the four Stability indices after French Use Anxiety. That is, the most stable measures

were Attitudes toward French Canadians, Interest in Foreign Languages, Instrumental Orientation and French Use Anxiety. The measure of Integrative Orientation is the next most stable, and somewhat more so than all the remaining measures, so it is interesting that both Integrative and Instrumental Orientations tend to be relatively stable. It may well be that the major distinction between the two orientations is an interest in learning the language for reasons involving identification with the other group (Integrative) or not (Instrumental), and these basic orientations are established relatively early in one's development, being largely dependent on historical factors. The findings with respect to the measures of Integrativeness (Attitudes toward French Canadians, Interest in Foreign Languages, and Integrative Orientation) were expected, but the finding that French Use Anxiety is also relatively stable opens the possibility that it too will be relatively resistant to change. The finding that the measures of Attitudes toward the Learning Situation and Motivation are relatively flexible was expected but it is heartening to see that this was the case. This means that it is possible that interventions could influence both attitudes toward the learning situation and motivation levels, which could have implications for subsequent language achievement. It is also instructive that French Class Anxiety is relatively changeable, so that it could be possible to develop approaches to modify it as well. These results indicating that some affective variables are capable_Qf change does not, of course, demonstrate that they can be changed in predictable ways, but it is a first step. Other results obtained in this study do indicate that meaningful changes do take place over the course of the year, even when there is no concerted attempt to modify affective variables. In preparing this talk, I conducted a re-analysis of some of the data from that study. This involved a profile analysis (see, for example, Tabachnick & Fide 11, 2001, Chapter 10) of the measures assessed by the AMTB at the beginning and end of the course. Profile analysis is a procedure to determine if the pattern of means of different groups varies over a set of variables measured on the same scale. As used here, the technique examines the patterns of three groups across five variables and two time periods to see if the patterns change from the beginning to the end of the year.


Language Learning Motivation 15

Before performing the profile analysis, I standardized the data for each variable so that over the entire sample, each variable had a mean of 0, and a standard deviation of 1.0 for each testing. I felt that this was necessary to eliminate any effects due to regression toward the mean that often results when research participants are tested on the same variables twice. Next, I formed scores for each of the major attributes assessed by the AMTB (Integrativeness, Attitudes Toward the Learning Situation, Motivation, Language Anxiety, and Instrumental Orientation) by computing the mean standard score for the scales comprising each attribute. Next, I classified the students in terms of their final grades in the course, and formed three groups of students - - those with A grades, those with B grades, and those with less than B grades. I then performed a three factor profile analysis with the factors being Groups (3), Attributes (5) and Time of Testing (2).

The analysis revealed a significant three way interaction indicating that the pattern of means for the three groups on the five attributes differed in the two testing times. For the first testing (in the fall) there was not too much variation among the three groups of students on the five attributes, but the variation that was observed was very meaningful. In general, those students with less than B grades tended to have lower scores on motivation, attitudes toward the learning situation, and instrumental orientation, and higher scores on language anxiety, while the students with A and B grades showed the opposite pattern. Moreover, there were very slight differences between these two groups of students in the first testing. Moreover, the three groups had very similar mean scores on integrativeness.

For the second testing (in the spring), the profiles for the three groups were much more separated. The students who obtained less than B grades in the course had appreciably lower mean scores on the measures or motivation and attitudes toward the learning situation, and appreciably higher mean scores on language anxiety than they did in the first testing. Moreover, their scores were very different from the other two groups in the second testing. The A students, on the other hand, had higher scores on motivation and attitudes toward the learning situation, and lower scores on language anxiety, as well as slightly higher scores on integrativeness than they did in the first testing. Furthermore, their scores tended to be more extreme than those for the B students in the second testing than they were in the first one. Interestingly, the mean scores for the B students on the second testing were very similar to what they were on the first testing. They showed a slight decrease in integrativeness, but otherwise their

means were very close to the mean (i.e., 0) on the other measures. The three groups were very similar and close to the mean on the measure of instrumental orientation.

The most informative picture, therefore, comes from comparing the pattern of the means in the fall testing with those in the spring testing. As noted, the profiles for the B students were very similar in both sessions indicating that


16 Texas Papers in Foreign Language Education

relatively speaking they showed little change in any of these attributes over the

course of the year. The profiles for the A and less than B students showed different patterns, however. The A students had relatively higher standard scores

on measures of motivation, integrativeness, and attitudes toward the learning situation, and lower standard scores on language anxiety in the spring than they did in the fall, while the less than B students showed the opposite pattern. In short, the students who eventually did quite well in the class changed their attitudes and motivation in the positive direction, and their language anxiety in the negative direction, while those who did relatively poorly in the class changed in the opposite direction. What could these results mean? Recall that the groups were formed based on their final grades. These grades were based on two midterm examinations, a final examination, written compositions, class quizzes, performance in both the language lab and a computer assisted language lab, as well as class attendance, so that throughout the year students gained information about their performance in the course. These students then who ultimately differed in their performance

in the course demonstrated slight differences in predictable directions in motivation, attitudes toward the learning situation, language anxiety and

instTumental orientation in the fall testing when the course had barely gotten underway. The differences between the A and the B students were minor, but those who ultimately obtained less than a B grade were clearly lower than the other groups in motivation, attitudes toward the learning situation, and instrumental orientation, and higher in language anxiety. Such characteristics would be expected to influence the students' performance early in the course, and in turn, their performance could be expected to influence these attributes. By the spring, the pattern is even more pronounced, and as we have seen, the A students developed relatively more positive attributes, while the less than B students developed less positive (in fact, relatively speaking negative) attributes, while the B students remained fairly neutral, showing very little change. To me, these results can have very practical implications for the lanvage teacher. First, as we found earlier, some of these attributes are more capable of change than others. That is, they are not "etched in stone". Changes can occur, but such changes generally will be within reasonable limits. The student who is highly motivated will not suddenly become amotivated, and the one who exhibits very little motivation will not suddenly become highly motivated. It is true that such "conversions" are possible, but they are highly unlikely. Situational factors can raise or lower motivation, but only within certain bounds. Most importantly, teachers can contribute to these changes. Second, even something as simple as relative success or failure in the course is associated with changes in attitudes toward the learning situation, motivation, and language anxiety. One can argue about the causal links here, as

to whether the different levels of attitudes, motivation and anxiety are responsible for the different grades, or whether the different grades are


Language Learning Motivation 17

responsible for the differences in the affective attributes, or both. From a very practical point of view, however, is the observation that it is the A students and

the less than B students who are changing predictably, and thus it is those

students who could profit more from some attention to modifying or strengthening these affective attributes. It is instructive too, I believe, that the characteristics of Integrativeness are by far the most resistant to change at all levels of achievement, though even here there is a slight improvement for the most successful students.. But consider these results in terms of the distinction between motivation

and motivating. Each teacher in our study was presumably doing the best he/she could to teach the students, and to motivate them to learn and use the language. But, as we can see, changes took place that were not at all consistent for all students. The successful students did, in fact, change in the positive direction on most attributes, while the relatively unsuccessful ones changed in a negative direction, and the "average" students remained relatively unchanged. That is, regardless of the strategies used, changes were not all uniformly in the desired direction. The title of this talk was "Language Learning Motivation: the Student, the Teacher, and the Researcher". In my presentation, I spent some time on the socioeducational model of second language acquisition because I believe it helps to organize the major concepts that appear to be involved in the motivation to learn

a second language. It stresses that the major contributors to language learning

motivation is first and foremost the student, and secondarily the student's background and other external factors such as the teacher. Since learning a second language involves making part of another cultural group part of one's self, it is unlike other school subjects. When attempting to motivate the student,

therefore, teachers should consider this and look beyond techniques that are used with other subject matter. Such procedures might well be effective, but research is needed to evaluate their usefulness. And this is where the third partner comes into the picture. The researcher does not contribute to the success of the individual language learner, but he/she can hypothesize and investigate

relationships among variables that might help the student and the teacher to achieve higher levels of success. REFERENCES

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18 Texas Papers in Foreign Language Education

Crookes, G., & Schmidt, R. W. (1991). Motivation: Reopening the research agenda. Language Learning, 41, 469-512.

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