Supporting students' self-determined motivation to learn languages

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  • There are many reasons, some of which are better than others for sustaining motivation over the long run. Research evidence suggests that a personally relevant, self-engaged, and inherently interested orientation to language study supports engagement in the learning process, and thereby a variety of positive learning outcomes. Moreover, feelings of pressure, whether from others or self- imposed, can undermine motivation. Teachers can effectively foster students’ self-determined motivation by supporting their sense of autonomy, competence, and connectedness with other people. Drawing from recent conceptualizations of language learning motivation as a complex, dynamic system, I point out how reasons, engagement, and feelings of autonomy, competence, and relatedness reciprocally influence each other across the duration of the language course. Likewise, I discuss how students’ motivational orientation and engagement and teachers’ motivational orientation and engagement mutually interact in a transactional relationship.

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    Article (Published)
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    © 2015 Noels, Kimberly A. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.