The impact of learner autonomy and interrelatedness on motivation and implications for the high school foreign language classroom

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2014-05

Authors

Pittman, Angela Tauscher

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Abstract

High school students often face foreign language requirements, either to graduate from their high school or to be accepted at a college or university of their choice (www.ncssfl.org). These requirements serve as external motivators and may decrease a student's intrinsic motivation to learn a language. Indeed, researchers have determined that extrinsic motivation greatly undermines self-motivation (Deci, et al., 2011). Without intrinsic motivation, students struggle to learn in meaningful ways and fail to implement strategies that lead to meaningful foreign language learning and proficiency. Educators must critically analyze their materials, instructional style, lesson plans and assessments and then remove from the curriculum any practice or task that does not foster learner autonomy that ultimately leads to intrinsic motivation. Further, to foster intrinsic motivation, language teaching and learning must focus on the relational aspect of language, as the use of any language is purposed to communicate needs and ideas with others This report explores how learner autonomy and interrelatedness aid the development of intrinsic motivation and provides pedagogical implications for the classroom.

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