The Motivation of Learners of English as a Foreign Language Revisited

Hsuan-Yau Tony Lai


This study investigates Taiwanese university students' English learning orientation from the perspective of various important L2 motivation concepts (from Gardner's integrativeness/instrumentality to Dörnyei's L2 motivational self system) and the notion of English as an international language. The uniqueness also lies in its comparison and contrast of both day and night school students' motivation for studying English. A total of 267 undergraduate students from a science and technology university in New Taipei City, Taiwan, participated in this survey study. The results show that the majority of the participants studied English for travel, instrumental and integrative orientations, as well as intrinsic motivation and the ideal L2 self, but not for external pressure and the ought-to L2 self. No significant difference was found between day and night school students' motivation for studying English. The term "integrativeness/integrative orientation", which has been rooted in L2 motivation research for decades, is re-examined in this study, especially with the current important status of the English language in the world. This paper will consider possible implications for English language professionals to reconceptualise and re-approach EFL learners' motivation to study English.

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Copyright (c) 2013 Hsuan-Yau Tony Lai

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International Education Studies ISSN 1913-9020 (Print), ISSN 1913-9039 (Online)


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