Sociocultural factors affecting learner motivation in language learning

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2013-05

Authors

Peker, Hilal

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Abstract

The concept of motivation and its contributing factors have been a vital interest in language studies since the works of Gardner and Lambert (1972) on attitudes and motivation in language learning. Initial studies emphasized the individual contributors to learner motivation whereas the second wave of studies underscored the contextual contributors. Within the social contexts in which individuals live in, the issue of identity has gained a significant importance in recent years. Therefore, the purpose of this report is to identify sociocultural factors in relation to motivation in language learning and to examine what implications can be drawn to be able to ensure a cross-culturally motivating environment for learners. This report provides a comprehensive examination of second language acquisition theories and points to new trends in the field, reviews important perspectives on emotion and explains the difference between emotion and motivation, reconciling different perspectives on emotion. It also reviews important theories of motivation in language learning as well as the conceptual and operational similarities and differences between intrinsic motivation, interest, and flow. It examines the socio-cultural bases of learning languages by focusing on models of acculturation and social identity, and reiterates the new turn that has taken place in language learning models with the sociocultural perspective, and proposes a synthesis of the role of culture in language learning. It provides a vital discussion on the sociocultural factors that have crucial effects on motivation for language learning, focusing on the importance of cultural identities of individuals. And finally, it provides conclusions and implications from both theoretical and pedagogical standpoints.

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