Foreign Language Learning Motivation in the Japanese Context: Social and Political Influences on Self

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    Abstract

    The study focuses on the role of different theories when considered together in a foreign language other than English (LOTE) context. Specifically, the study examines (a) to what extent influential second language (L2) motivational theories, when integrated, explain motivation to learn LOTEs, and (b) how the powerful status of English in Japan affects learners’ self- and identity-related motivation to learn LOTEs. Survey responses of 250 Japanese learners, who simultaneously learned a foreign LOTE and English as a required language, were analyzed using a structural equation modeling (SEM) approach. The results offer insight into how various coexisting social factors are connected to learners’ multiple self- and identity-related orientations, which in turn predict several varied academic consequences (e.g., effort, attitude, and L2 ability). We also confirmed positive and negative interplay of English- and LOTE-related orientations such that the self- and identity-related orientations of the languages will play a competing role (e.g., Csizér & Lukács, 2010). This finding highlights the importance of taking sociopolitical perspectives into consideration in a context where learners learn two languages and one has a specific political presence.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)533-547
    Number of pages15
    JournalModern Language Journal
    Volume101
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017 Sep 1

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    Keywords

    • foreign language education
    • ideal L2 self
    • integrative orientation
    • intrinsic motivation
    • L2 motivation
    • political influences
    • social influences

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Language and Linguistics
    • Linguistics and Language

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