Motivation in L2 and L3 learning: A comparative study of Finnish students learning English and Swedish as compulsory school subjects
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Motivation has long been recognised to function as a crucial part in language learning. Nonetheless, the linguistic complexity of simultaneous L2 learning as well as L3 learning has been largely overlooked in motivational studies and only a few researchers, such as Dörnyei and his associates (2005) as well as Henry (2011; 2012; 2014), have conducted studies concerning the issue and point to the need of more research in the field. The current study investigates motivation in simultaneous foreign language learning, focusing on Finnish high school students learning English and Swedish as compulsory subjects in school. The study compares the students’ motivation to learn the two target languages and attempts to find explanation to the appearing differences by analysing the collected data in terms of Dörnyei’s (2005) Motivational Self System, which includes the concepts of ideal L2 self, ought-to L2 self and L2 learning experience. Twelve 14-year-old high school students in Åbo area participated in completing a questionnaire and five of these students were asked to take part in a focus group interview. The questionnaire and interview results show generally a more positive attitude towards learning English in all the investigated motivational dimensions in comparison to Swedish. Ought-to L2 self and ideal L2 self were found to be important elements forming the students’ motivation to learn English, ideal L2 self being the stronger motivator of the possible selves. However, the students’ motivation to learn Swedish is merely dominated by ought-to self, and it appears the main factors causing the students’ demotivation to learn Swedish is the difficulty of the language, learning experience as well as lack of instrumentality and contact with the language. Unlike shown in previous research, the current study found the dominating ideal-self in English and ought-to self in Swedish to cause highly similar levels of learning success in the languages, despite the difference in strength of the possible selves in English and Swedish.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Motivation, L2 learning, L3 learning, L2 Motivational Self System, Ideal L2 self, Ought-to L2 self, learning experience.
General Language Studies and Linguistics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-118148OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-118148DiVA: diva2:820539
Negretti, Raffaella, Biträdande lektor
Shaw, Philip, Professor i engelska med språkvetenskaplig inriktning