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Motivation As A Contributing Factor In Second Language Acquisition - Essay Example

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Summary
Researchers continue to provide new insights into what motivates individuals to embrace, acquire, and retain a second language. Literature on the subject continues to reinforce that inherent and externally-driven motivations absolutely contribute to the success levels of acquiring a second language. …
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Motivation As A Contributing Factor In Second Language Acquisition

Download file to see previous pages... However, the issue is that there is no singular, fundamental model of motivation as it pertains to second language acquisition (SLA) that can guide instructors of a secondary language or provide further guidance to students in this domain. Therefore, it is necessary to compile the findings of several notable researchers on the subject and determine if there is a best fit model to understanding the motivational variables that contribute to SLA and long-term success after the learning has completed.
It is hypothesized that it is externally-driven motivations that contribute the most influence on whether or not an individual remains motivated in this particular task, rather than inherent or intrinsic motivators related to personality, culture, or needs. However, in order to justify this hypothesis, it is necessary to view a cross-section of research findings and expert analyses on the subject to gain perspective on what drives success in SLA as it pertains to motivational stimulus. This literature review provides research data on the educational environment, personality traits in the individual learner, social constructs, and personal attitude components related to cultural values and beliefs.

3. Definitions
Before discussing motivational stimulus, it is necessary to define key terms and concepts on the subject:
• Motives – A specific need or desire that will prompts goal-directed behaviour”
...
These operational definitions will guide the premise of the literature review on each subject pertaining to motivational constructs. 4. External motivators VanTassel-Baska, Feng, McFarlane & Heng (2008) offered results of a research study involving 100 teachers from Singapore and the United States to determine their level of instructional effectiveness as it relates to second language acquisition. The study measured variables on educator competency such as differentiation strategies, critical thinking and metacognition, a form of self-awareness and knowledge of one’s own cognitive processes. In relation to second language acquisition, it was determined that all three factors related to instructional effectiveness impacted motivation in SLA (VanTassel-Baska, et al.). Teacher competency was measured by the ability to create unique classroom curriculum and assist students in understanding their own legitimate limitations as well as talents related to the task. Why is this data important? The methodologies employed by teachers related to their creativity and support (humanistically) in helping students identify with their weaknesses and strengths directly impacted whether or not students in SLA were successful at completing the programme. Achievement levels increased based on the differentiation strategies employed, suggesting a positive correlation with the external environment as a predictor of higher motivation. Gardner (2006) supports this assessment, offering that it is the educational context that determines whether or not students are motivated to learn a second language. The educational context involves the system where the student registered, the classroom environment, quality of the programmes offered, classroom ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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