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Kanagawa Prefectural College of Foreign Studies

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Prefectural College of Foreign Studies

Metival[oninSLA/ALitcraturcSurvcy

Motivation in SLA: A Literature Survey

1l1

'

111

:'ltll

Peter A. Miliano

Motivation in Second Language Acquisition

'feachers

and researchers may agree

that

motivation

is

a

key

variable

in learning

a second or

fbreign language, but they

may widely

disagree

as

to

exactly what motivatien

is

and where

it

comes

from. How

motivation

is defined

effects one's opinion as

to

whether

it

comes

from

students alone or whether

it

might

be inspired

or

promoted by

a skilled

instructor, In

this

paper, it

will

be

shown

how

studies ofmotivation

predate SLA

as a

field

of study,

how

studies ofmotivation came to

be dominated by the

work of social

psychologists Gardner

and

Lambert,

and

how later

researchers

began to question their belief that there

are

two

orienta-

tions to

motivation,

integrative

and

instrumental,

and

that the integrative

orientation

is the dominant

orientation,

In

work, study, and even

in

many

fbrms

of recreation, motivation

is generally

assumed

necessary

to herp people

extend

the limits

of

their

natural abilities or aptitudes.

The

neces- sity ofmotivation

in

second

language

acquisition

(SLA)

should

be doubly

apparent

to

all

involved

with

learners. What is

motivation, and what

is its

role

in SLA? The

answers

depend

on whether we approach

the questions from

a

teacher's

or a researcher's

perspective, be-

cause, as

Crookes

and

Schmidt (199l)

suggest,

teacher have

more commonly viewed moti-

vation

in terms

of sustained actions rather

than

sustaining emotion;

to put it

another way,

/

teachers tend to look

at

the

effect ofmotivation while researchers

tend to look

at

the

affect of motivation.

This different

approach often

leads teachers te

measure motivation only

in

rela-

tion

to classroom

proficiency,

while

it leads

researchers to

look

at

it

more

globally.

This

report will

first briefiy describe how two

resedrchers

look

at motivation

globally;

although

in

asense they approach motivati6n

from different

ends ofthe

globe, they

arrive at

Similar

conclusions about

its

significance

in SLA. It

will

then

survey some of

the key

re-

search on motivation

from the

early

days

of

SLA

showing

that

many researchers

have been

studying motivation

largely

along

lines

set

by

social

psychologists Gardner

and

Lambert, It

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:

will

then

show

how

other researchers

have

responded

to Gardner

and

Lambert's hypotheses

and

how their original hypotheses evolved

as

the

evidence

fbr

and against amassed.

It

will conclude

by briefly discussing the

relevance ofresearch on motivation

fbr

second

language pedagogy.

Motivation

was a

key

element

in Schumann's Pidginization Hypothesis (1978). wnile

many

studies ofmotivation

have been

cross-sectional and usually

dealt

with a

fairly large

number of

leamers in

a secondary or

post-secondary

academic setting,

Schumann's

study was

longi-

tudinal

and

dealt

with only one

learner, Alberto, in

a naturalistic environment.

Nonetheless,

when

Alberto failed to

acquire more

than

simplified "pidgin

English," Schumann

attributed

this failure to the

subject's emotional

distance from the target language (TL)

community,

which

he felt

was

due in large part to Alberto's lack

ofmotivation.

Motivation

was also a

key

affbctive variable

in Krashen's Affective Filter Hypothesis, the fifth hypothesis in his Monitor Model (1985),

an'attefript at acomplete m'odel of

SLA based

on awide range ofstudies.

Krashen

saw

this filter

as a

block

which, when raised,

prevented

acquisition and when

lowered

allowed

it. He

wrote

that the filter is

raised " when

the

acquirer

is

unmotivated

... The filter is down

when

the

acquirer

is

not concerned with

the

possibility

of

failure in language

acquisition and when

he

considers

hirnself to be

a

potential

member ofthe

group

speaking

the target language.

"

tp.3-4)

The

shared

beliefthat Krashen took from

many studies and

tried to

apply

td individuals

and

'

that Schumann took from

one

individual

and

tried to

apply

to

everyone was

the belief that

' '

motivation

is present in

an

SLA

situation only when

the learner

wants

to be part

of

the TL group. Both

researchers

beliefs

were

greatly influenced by hypotheses originally develeped by Gardner

and

Lambert,

who

published

anumber of studies on motivation and

its

role

in SLA

well

befbre the

seventies,

the decade

when

Larsen-Freeman (l991)

and other suggest

that

SLA

really

became

a separate

field

ofresearch,

Gardner

and

Larnbert's (1959)

study of seventy-five

English

speaking

high

school students

learning French

as a second

language in Quebec has

come

to be

considered

by

many

to be

one of

the fbunding

studies ofthe role ofmotivation

in SLA. Their

subjects were surveyed

on

their

attitudes

toward the French language

and

French-Canadians

and

their

responses correlated with

their

classroom achievement as

judged by their

classroom

teachers'

evalua-

tion

oftheir oral skillsand aural comprehension.

It

was one ofthe

first

studies

to

suggest

that

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MotiyationinSLA/ALitcralurcSun,cy

motivation was a

factor distinct from

aptitude, and clearly

to them, though less

so

to later

researchers,

that it

was characterized

by

two

distinct

orientations,

Gardner

and

Lambert

categorized

these

as an

integrative

orientation, "

,,,

characterized

by

a willingness

to be like

a valued member of

the language

community,"

(p.27 1)

and an

instrumental

orientation,

the

drive to learn

a

language for its

utility

(c.g,

economic

gain). They

saw

instrurnental

orienta-

tion

as a

less

significant

factor in

acquisition

than integrative

orientation, and

they

went

so

far

as

to

speculate

that it

was this

integrative

orientation,

this desire to be

accepted,

that

caused motivation.

A great deal

of research was subsequently undertaken

by Gardner

and

Lambert, their

colleagues, and ethcrs

to

attempt

to

confirm

the

validity ofthese

two

orienta-

tions

and

to・proyide

¢vidence

for

an

integrative

orientation's causal role

in SLA,

One

of

Gardner

and

Lambert's

original

hypotheses

seems

to have been largely dismissed by

the mid-sixties,

however. They had

argued

that

achievement

in

a second

language is

.dependent

upon

essentially the

satne

type

ofmotivation

that they・ felt

was necessary

fbr

a child

to learn his

or

her first language. Gregg (1984)

suggests

that, With

a

few

exceptions,

the

beliefin

a role

fbr

motivation

in L1

acquisition was no

longer

widely

held

after nativists,

led by Chomsky,

argued

that

children

possess

an

innate

capacity

to

acquire

language (a Lan-

guage Acquisition Device

or

LAD),

which makes

leaming

an

L1 incvitable. Krashen

contin-

ued

to

claim

that first

and second

language

acquisition are virtually

identical in important

ways and

to imply that

motivation might even

be

a

factor in L1

acquisition,

but he

seems

to

have been in the

minority,

Some

nativists continued

to believe that it

could

be

a significant

factor in L2

acquisition,

however,

especially

ifthe LAD

was no

longer

accessible

to L2 learners.

One

early contemporary of

Chomsky

who recognized

that differences in levels

of

profi-

ciency suggest significant

differences betwcen L1

and

L2

acquisition, and who attempted

to

validate

Gardner

and

Lambert's integrative-instrumental dichotomy fbr

second

language

ac-

quires

was

Spolsky (1969). He

recognized a weakness with

how

most

previous

motivation

studies

in the preceding ten years had

collected

data, howeven Most had

simply

imitated Gardner

and

Lambert by

using open-ended or multiple-choice

questionnaires to gather data,

which

Spolsky

argued

laCked precision

as

they produced data that

were

difficult to interpret.

Spolsky

added a

direct questionnaire in

an attempt

to develop

a more

precise instrument, Even Gardner

and

Lambert, in

a study of

high

school stud¢nts

in three different

communi-

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ties learning French ( 1 972)

were

beginning to

recognize

that

an

integrative

orientation might actually

be

weaker

than instrumental

orientation

in

some settings:

In

each setting,

however,

there

is

apparently a

different

social or attitudinal

foun-

dation fbr this

motivation.

In Louisiana, the

motivation appears

to derive from

a

strong

parental

encouragement and

personal

satisfaction

for the

student

himself in his

attempts

to learn the language. In Maine, the

motivation

is

apparently

fbstered by the

student's

identification

with

his French teacher, and depends in part

on

the

student

being

sensitive

to the feelings

of other

people. In Connecticut the

strong

motivation

to learn French

seems

to stem from the student's integrative

orienta-

tions toward the

study of

the language

as well as a realization of

the- potential

usefulness ofthe

language. (p, 56)

Only

students

in Connecticut

appeared

integratively

oriented,

despite the fact that the Maine

and

Louisiana

settings were,

to

somewhat

greater

and

lesser

extents,

French

as a

Second Language (FSL)

environments.

While

recognizing

that the

results

did

not entirely

fit their

hypotheses, Gardner

and

Lambert

argued

that

students who

had

more contact with

French

outside

the

classroom "tend

to

reject

the integrative

reasons

fbr

studying a

foreign language

at

the

same

time

as

they

show abeve average competence

in French

reading and

grammar

test

and

in free

speech"

(p. 52). They

also

dismissed,the likelihood that their

measures of

motivation might well

be the

result of achievement

in the

classroom rather

than the

cause.

A

study oflearners

in the Philippines

even showed

that in

some cultures or

linguistic

contexts

an

instrumental

orientation could

lead learners to become

motivated

to

acquire a second

language,

Because Gardner

and

Lambert's

evidence was

inconsistent

with

their hypotheses,

other researchers were

becoming less

willing

to

accept

that there might be two distinct

orienta-

tions to

motivation or, even

ifthere

were,

that

an

integrative

orientation was always stronger

than

an

instrumental

orientation.

By 1972

even

Gardner

and

Larnbert had

recognized

that

there

might

be

at

ieast

one other

type

of motivation,

first proposed by Christie

and

Geis in 1970, by

which

the learner

would

beeome

motivated

to

acquire a second

language

as a

means

to

manipulate or control members ofthe

target language (TL)

community,

Oller, Baca

and

Vigil (1977) demonstrated the

strength of

this Machi

avellian orientation

in

a study of

60

socio-economically

disadvantaggd young Mexican

women

learning English

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a vocational school

in the

southwestern

United States. While the two highest

ranked

direct questions

on

their questionnaire

seemed

to indicate

an

integrative

orientation, overall more responses seemed

instrumental, Oller,

who,

like Spolsky,

was at

the University

ofNew

Mexico,

was clearly

infiuenced by him,

as

he

and

his

colleagues also administered a similar

indirect questionnaire. Their findings

were the opposite of

Spolsky's, however, The few

subjects who rated

Americans favorably

on

the indirect questionnaire

were

less proficient

as mea-

sured on a cloze test

(rather than

a more

typical

measure ofproficiency)

than those

who rated

Americans

negatively,

The

subjects were anti-integrative, and

their

alltipathy

towards Americans

seemed

to grow

as

their proficiency in English grew.

It is

relevant

to

note

that Oller

and

his

colleagues

did

not use

the terms Machiavellianism

or

Machiavellian

motivation

in their

report.

They

wrote

instead

of an extreme

form

of

instru-

mentalism and, at

least

originally, continued to accept

Gardner

and

Lambert's

argument

that

integration

and

instrumentalism

were

the

orientations

that

cause

learners to become

moti- vated.

Oller

and others were,

however, beginning to question the

validity of

Gardner

and

Lambert's

evidence,

ifnot their

conclusions.

Two basically

concurrent studies continued

this trend

of

questioning the

evidence.

Oller, Hudson,

and

Liu (1977)

studied advanced

Chinese ESL learners

of

English

at

two U.S,

universities, and

Chiara

and

Oller (1978)・looked

at

less

advanced adult

Japanese EFL leam-

ers at a

language

school

in Osaka, The

subjects were

give

similar

questionnaires

and

profi-

ciency

tests,

albeit

in L2 English fbr the Chinese

subjects and

in the Ll for the Japanese

subjects,

but the data

collected were significantly

difTerent. In the Japanese

study,

there

were weak correlations

between

attitudes and

proficiency

and no clear

differences between data

obtained

from direct

as opposed

to indirect questions, In the

study of

Chinese learners of

English, there

were strong correlations and clear

differences between data

obtained

from direct

and

indirect questions, The latter

study

had

another surprise

fbr Oller

and・his associ- ates:

there

was a negative correlation

between

an

integrative

orientation and

proficiency,

which

they

suggested might

be due to the possibility that learners'

attitudes

toward TL

speakers might change

greatly

as

they.became proficient,

These

conflicting results

led Oller to question the

validity of much of

the data

on ,selfi

reported attitudes.

Oller

and

Perkins (1978)

surveyed

ten years'

worth of research

to

argue

that it

might

be invalid fbr

any ofthree reasons.

The first

was an "approval

motive" or

desire

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to please the

researcher.

The

second

they

called a "selfLfiattery

tendency,"

which might

dis- tort

scales

because

whether a

trait is

valued or not might

differ between

subject and re- searcher.

The

third, "response set," was

the

tendency to answer survey

questions in the

same

general

way, even

'if-this

way

did

not reflect・one's

true feelings.

Despite the

contrary evidence,

by 1979 Gardner had developed the first

of several versions

ofhis

Socio-educational Model. This

model was revised'several

times

asmore studies were conducted.

Ellis (1994)

argues

that there

were significantly

different

versions of

the

model

in 1979, 1983

and

1985,

while

Au (1988)

argues

that the

significantly

diffbrent

versions

were

published in 1979, 1981

and

1983. Because both Ellis

and

Au

agree

that there

was a new version of

the

model

in 1983,

and

because Au's

anicle

is

much more a critique of a contemporary

than Ellis's boek, this

report will

deal

with

Au's

characterization ofthe model.

While Ellis

sees only

four, Au

argues

that・ the Socio-educational Model

consisted of

five distinct hypotheses: 1) the integrative

rnotive

hypothesis, 2) the

cultural

beliefhypothesis; 3) the

active

leamer hypothesis, 4) the

causality

hypothesis,

and

5) the two-process hypothesis.

All

ofthese

hypotheses had their precursors in

earlier researcher, and

three

of the

hypotheses

seem

to go back

all

the

way

to Gardner

and

Lambert's fbunding

study:

the first, that

an

integrative

motive contributes

to SLA, the fourth, that the integrative

motive may even cause

SLA,

and

the fifth, that

aptitude and motivation were

independent factors in SLA,

The

second

hypothesis

stated

that cultural beliefs

may

positively

or negatively affect an

integrative

orientation, and

the third that integrative

motivation

leads tQ inc!eased

classroom activity,which results

in proficiency. Both hypotheses

were

based in

some

part

on

the

re- search referred

to

earlier

that Gardner

and・Lambert conducted

in the 1970s in the United States. Whereas OIIer

criticized

the

validity of some ofthe

data but

suggested

that Gardner

and

Lambert's hypothesis

might

be found to be

correct atsome

point, Au

was not so sympa-

thetic, He

argued

that

each ofthe

five hypotheses lacked

either validity or evidence.

He

was

particularly

criticalofthe related claims ofintegrativeness and causality,

He

cited

his

own study which

found little

evidence

for the

existence ofa

distinct integrative

motivation and no causal relationship

between English proficiency and anything that

might

even be called ,an..integrative

orientation.

He

also argued

that Gardner

and

Lambert

and

their fbllowers

could never

prove

causality, as

the

statistical

techniques they

commonly used stillshowed only correlations rather

than

causes.

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Supporters

of

the Socio-educational Model did

not agree, and

the

numerous versions of

the

model suggest

that Gardner

was willing

to

adapt and

incorporate

new

findings. Willingness

to

revise a model as contrary evidence comes

in is,

of course,

desirable; in the

case of

this

model,

it is

anecessity, as

later

studies conducted

in difft

rent

linguistic,

cultural and educa-

tional

contexts continued

te find

conflicting evidence,

Strong's

study ofa

group

ofSpanish-speaking children

in

an

American kindergarten (1984)

was

different from

much of the

previous

research

both in how it

was conducted and

in

the

data it produced. Because the

subjects were

pre-literate,

and

because, like Spolsky, Strong

considered

indirectly

collected

data

more revealing,

he gathered data by

asking

the

children about

their friends in the

class and observed

how

much and

in

what

language friends inter-

acted, Proficiency

was

judged by

analyzing real speech samples

in terms

of

grammar,

vo-

cabulary, and

pronunciation. Strong fbund

that

proficiency led

to

integrativeness,

rather than

the

other way around, similar

to Hermann's (1980)

re,sultative

hypothesis, that

as

leamers

acquire a

TL, they develop

more

positive

attitudes

towards the people

who speak

the L1, If

true, this

would

invalidate Gardner's Socio-educational Model, particularly the integrative

motive,

the

cultural

beliefand

causality

hypotheses. Hermann

and

Strong both

studied chil-

dren, however,

and

Streng

recognized

the possibility that the

model might remain valid

fbr

adults,

Svanes's (1987)

study ofuniversity students of various nationalities studying

Norwegian

as

a

SL provided

some support

fbr Gardner's

model,

There

was a slight correlation

between integrative

motivation and

proficiency for the

subjects as a

group, but this

correlation

disap- peared

when

the data

were

grouped by

nationality,

Svanes

suggested

that possible

causes of

the

weakness might

have been the

use of a smaller number oftests

than Gardner

and of older,more

intrinsically

motivated students,

but that the

most

important factor

was cultural

distance, This he defined

as

the interaction

ofthe subjects'

knowledge

of

the target

culture and

their L1

or any

previously

acquired second

language(s), OiBrien (1996) dismissed Svanes's

results asunreliable,

however,

claiming

that Svanes

used a slightly revised version of

Oller, Baca,

and

Vigil's questionnaire

without reevaluating

its

validity

in

anew context.

She

claimed

that this is

a common

problem

with studies

that

use

questionnaires to

examine motivation.

This problem

will

have to be

addressed

in the future, however,

as

questiormaires

remain

the

most comnion

tool fbr

collecting

data

on motivation,

Ehrman

and

Oxfbrd (l995)

continued

l'

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MotivHtieninSLA/ALiteratureSun・ey

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to

use

tools designed by Gardner

and colleagues

in the 1970s

as one ofthe

key・data

collec-

tion instruments in their

study

ofthe

relationships

and relative importance

of various

indi-

vidual

difference

variables among very advanced

leamers in

a variety ofU.S'.

State Depart-

ment

language

courses.

Somewhat like Gardner

and

Lambert's

original study,

the

research- ers

found that

aptitude was

the

strongest

predictor

of

leamer

success,

but that

motivation was one of

the

next

highest

correlates with

proficiency. There

were several major

differ-

ences

in their

study, which show

how

much motivational research

has

evolved,

however.

They did

not

describe

motivation

in terms

of

integrative

or

instrumental types but

rather as

intrinsic

or extrinsic.

The

strongest

fbrm they

observed was

intrinsic, but they

observed

that

one tool suggested a stronger correlation

between intrinsic

motivation and speaking, while another suggested a stronger correlation

between intrinsic

motivation and reading,

How do

all

the

studies, with

their

widely

different

subjects, contexts and results,

help

an- swer

the question

of

the

role of motivation

in SLA? Motivation has been

shown

to be differ-

ent

things to different people,

at

different

ages and stages eflearner

development. As Schmidt tpersonal

communication,

1997)

suggests,

the

research shows

that

motivation may

be better

seen as a combination of

factors

rather

than

a single

factor. [[leachers

will

have te keep this

combination

in

mind as we select,adapt and

design

materials

fbr

use

in

our

lessons. Future

researchers should

begin to

approach motivation

from-a

slightly more social,

less psycho- logical perspective,

and

questionnaires

should

be de-emphasized

as

data

collection

tools.

More data

should

be gathered by long-term

observations of subjects.and・changes

in

motiva-

tion

and

proficiency. In the

end, researchers and classroem・teachers are

probably both

right:

rnotivation

is both

affect and effect.

References

Au, S. Yl (1988). A

critical appraisal of

Gardner's

social-psychological

theory

of second-

language (L2) learning. Language Learning, 38, 75-100.

Chihara, T,, & Oller, J. W,, Jr. (1978). Attitudes

and attained

proficiency in EFL: A

sociolinguistic study ofadult

Japanese

speakers.

Langttage Learning, 28, 55-68.

Crookes, G & Schnidt, R,W. (l991). Motivation: Reopening the

research agenda.

LanguageLearning,41,469-512. ' , - ,

Ehrman, M. E. & Oxfbrd, R. L. (1995). Cognition plus: Correlates

oflanguage

learning

il:/,

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-22-

NII-ElectronicMbrary

/

Service

(9)

Kanagawa Prefectural College of Foreign Studies

IKanagawa

tlll!j

1'

11111illlllliltlll/

111

'

11if

t!

PrefecturalCollege of Foreign Studies

MetiyationinSLA/ALitcraL"rcSurycy

success,

Modern Language Jburnal 1, 67-89.

Ellis, R. (1994). 11he

study

ofsecond language

acguisition.

Oxford: Oxfbrd University

Press.

Gardner, R., & Lambert, W. E. (1959). Motivational

variable

in

second

language

acquisi-

tion. CZinadian

.lournal

ofRsychology, 13, 266-272.

Gardner, R., & Lambert, W. E, (1972) Attitudes-andmotivation in

second-language

learn- ing. Rowlep7, MA: Newbury House Publishers.

Gregg, K. (1984). Krashen's

monitor and

Occam's

razor.

AppliedLinguistics, 5, 79 100.

Krashen, S, (1985). 711ie Ihput Ilypothesis. New Ybtk: Longman.

Larsen-Freeman, D. (1991), Second language acquisition

research:

Staking

out

the territory.

7;ESC)L euarterly, 25, 315-350.

O'Bryen, P. (1996), Using questionnaires

to assess motivation

is

second

language

class-

rooms.

Uhiver;sity ofHdwaii Pforking Papers in ESL, 14, 73-125.

Oller, J. Baca, L., & Vigil, E (1977). Attitudes

and attained

proficiency in ESL

: a

sociolinguistic

study

ofMexican

Americans in the Southwest. 7IESOL euarterly,

11, 173-183

Oller, J., Hudson, A., & Liu, P. (1977). Attitudes

and attained

proficiency in ESL:

a

sociolinguistic study ofnative speakers ofChinese

in the United States. Language

Learning, 27, 1-27.

Oller, J. W., Jr., & Perkins, K. (1978). Intelligence

and

language proficiency

as sources

ofvariance

in

seltr-reported affective variables.

Language Learning, 28, 85- 97.

Schumann, J. (1978), Second language

acquisition:

The pidginization hypothesis. In E.

Hatch (Ed,), Second language

acquisition.

Rowley, MA: Newbury House.

Spolsky, B. (1969), Attitudinal

aspects of second

language learning. Language Learning,

19, 271-283.

Strong, M, (1984). Integrative

motivation:

Cause

or result of successfu1 second

language

acquisition?

Language Learning 34, 1-14.

Svanes, B, (1987). Motivation

and cultural

distance in

second-language acquisition.

Lan- guage learning 37, 341-359,

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References

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