Language attitudes and motivation of Georgian students towards learning English as a foreign language

2016

Abstract  There has been a long-lived (and inaccurate) understanding in the L2 profession that language learning motivation can be divided into two main dimensions: integrative motivation and instrumental motivation, which were first introduced by social psychologist Robert Gardner (1985, 2001). Integrative motivation refers to the desire to learn an L2 of a valued community so that one can communicate with members of the community and sometimes even to become like them. Instrumental motivation, on the other hand, is related to the concrete benefits that language proficiency might bring about (e.g. career opportunities, increased salary). In 2005, Dornyei proposed a new motivation construct (Dornyei, 2005) - the “L2 Motivational Self System” – that builds upon the foundations laid by Gardner (1985) but which at the same time broadens the scope of the theory to make it applicable in diverse language learning environments in our globalized world. This study reports on the online survey, that studied language attitudes and motivation of Georgian university students (N = 267) towards learning English as a second language. This is one of a few studies to offer a broad overview of the opinions and attitudes of Georgian students towards English as a foreign language, their language awareness, ideal L2-self, integrativeness, instrumentality, attitudes towards English as an L2, cultural interest (i.e. the appreciation of cultural products associated with English and conveyed by the media; e.g. films, TV programs, magazines and pop music), linguistic self-confidence (i.e. a confident, anxiety-free belief that the mastery of an L2 is well within the learner's means), milieu (i.e. the general perception of the importance of foreign languages in the learners' school context and in friends' and parents' views), etc. Besides surveying the abovementioned variables in the Georgian university students, the study also compared and analyzed correlations of various motivation variables with male and female students, monolingual (Georgian speakers) and bilingual (Georgian-Russian speakers), and undergraduate and postgraduate students.


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