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Motivation for Learning Foreign Language - Research Paper Example

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Motivation for Learning Foreign Language and How to Keep Students Motivated Motivation for Learning Foreign Language Winke (2005) defines motivation as being encouraged to do something. Language is described as the medium through which thoughts are expressed…
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Download file to see previous pages Motivation to learn a foreign can also be defined as “complex of constructs, involving both effort and desire, as well as a favorable attitude toward learning the language at hand” (Winke, 2005, p3). In other words, the learner is encouraged to learn a foreign language because of the underlying factors such as integration into the society using the language. Motivation in learning a foreign language happens when the learners find importance in learning the language of the society they live in. The learners use the language to exchange opinions, and express their thoughts with each other and thus, increasing their urge to learn the language autonomously and continuously. Types of Motivation Motivation can be categorized into integrative motivation and instrumental motivation. Integrative motivation is defined as the learner’s orientation towards learning second language (L2). Successful students in learning a foreign language tend to be those who admire people that speak the target language, like their culture and have the urge of integrating or becoming familiar with the society using the language. When an individual becomes a resident of a certain community that makes use of the target language in its daily interactions, integrative motivation becomes the key element in developing the level of language proficiency. It becomes mandatory for the individual to function socially within the community and becoming one of its members (Norris-Holt, 2001). On the other hand, instrumental motivation is characterized by the need to gain something concrete or practical from the learning of a second language. The goal of acquiring second language in instrumental motivation is utilitarian, for instance, meeting the necessities for university or school graduation, application for a job, reading technical material, attaining higher social status, translation work, or request for high pay based on the language ability. Instrumental motivation is common in instances where the acquisition of a second language is not important for the learner’s social integration into the society (Norris-Holt, 2001). Both instrumental and integrative motivations are important elements for success but it has been found that integrative motivation sustains long-term success in the learning of a second language. Research shows that integrative motivation is important in the formal learning setting or environment. It is important to note that both instrumental and integrative motivations are not necessarily mutually limited. Learners rarely choose one type of motivation when studying a second language. Instead, the learners combine both orientations. For instance, international students living in the United States learn English for academic reasons and at the same time, they desire to become incorporated with the culture and the people of the country. Motivation is an essential factor in second language achievement. Thus, it is crucial to determine the combination and form of motivation that helps in the effective acquisition of a foreign language (Norris-Holt, 2001). Gardner’s Socio-Educational Model The model identifies factors that are interrelated in learning a second language. It is important to note that motivation to learn a second language is one variable and when combined with other factors, it influences the learner’s success. The work of Gardner focuses on foreign language acquisition in a language classroom. The model tries to interconnect four characteristics of second language ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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