CHAPTER 3 LITERATURE REVIEW: Affect In Language Learning
Extrinsic motivation is like borrowed money, an investment which may eventually pay off, whereas intrinsic motivation is like money you own. Being very highly motivated is like having a lot of money, and like money, motivation can be wasted or well-spent. ... In education, motivation is organismic energy-capital to be spent in the learning market. Some of it we bring with us as a genetic endowment, but we may need to learn how to invest it. Some of it we borrow from adults and peers in the form of extrinsic stimuli and coercion. (Van Lier 1996:101-2)
Csiksdzentmihalyi & Rathunde (1993) claim that most motivational theories have focused on past and future sources of (extrinsic) motivation, ignoring the intrinsic motivation which emerges when language skills and challenges are balanced, and the learner experiences funktionslust, or "pleasure in the activity itself¡± (Csikszentmihalyi 1990:250) (cf. table XX, below). Ford (1992: chapter 6), however, lists 32 different theories of motivation which focus on present, rather than past or future influences on motivation.
Van Lier (1996) defines intrinsic motivation in terms of drive theories ("certain basic psychological needs which are innate in the human being¡± [1996:108]) (table XX, above), and Deci & Ryan (1985; 1991) propose three such innate needs (competence, relatedness, and autonomy), which are transformed by the individual, via social interaction and cultural patterns, into goals. However, they also see intrinsic motivation as voluntary and spontaneous, independent of reinforcement or biological drives, and needing no external reward: "... a non-derivational motivational force¡± (Deci & Ryan 1991). Van Lier proposes two layers of intrinsic motivation: i) a basic, organismic motivation consisting of intentionality, affect and effort; and ii) a specifically human motivation, grafted onto this organismic one, consisting of consciousness and choice (hence, deliberation) (1996:100).
Some authors (cf. Gardner 1985:169) see the motivational source as unimportant, while others propose that different sources of motivation lead to different kinds of motivation (notably extrinsic and intrinsic). Deci & Ryan (1991) suggest that the closest we can get at present is the notion of intention: "Thus, ... motivated behavior is intentional behavior¡± (Van Lier 1996:102; cf. "choice' in Crookes & Schmidt 1991). Allwright & Bailey's (1991) key term for motivational factors is receptivity (cf. Stevick 1976), which they link to engagement and investment, as a means of understanding successful intake.
Research into motivation was dominated for some time by the distinction between integrative and instrumental motivation (Gardner & Lambert 1972; Gardner 1985), a view which Crookes & Schmidt (1991) point out is social-psychological (rather than educational), and which tends to lack clarity by associating other affective factors with motivation. Van Lier also mentions that its emphasis on long-term goals does not allow for the short-term factors operating in the immediate learning context. However, Gardner and MacIntyre warn against "simplistic¡± (Gardner 1988:112) interpretations of their studies:
The important point is that motivation itself is dynamic. The old characterisation of motivation in terms of integrative vs. instrumental orientations is too static and restricted. (Gardner & MacIntyre 1993a:4; cf. Tremblay & Gardner 1995:507)
Clément & Kruidenier (1985) performed a large-scale survey in Canada and found four motivational orientations (travel, friendships, knowledge and instrumental purposes), which supported the idea of a general, "affective-identifying¡± integrative tendency. Dörnyei (1990) also identified factors contributing to motivation (interest in foreign languages, cultures and people; desire to broaden one's view and avoid provincialism; desire for new stimuli and challenges), which were expanded by Schmidt et al. (1996) in a comparative factor analysis of Dörnyei (1990) and Julkunen (1989) (table XXI, below):
Dörnyei (1994) proposes a three-level categorisation of motivation ( Language level, Learner level, Situation levelitalic">) and Williams & Burden (1997:121) present a three-stage model of interdependent factors acting within the social context (figure 11, below):
In this model (above), "decision to act¡± is central, interacting in a dynamic manner with internal factors (significant others, the nature of the interaction with significant others, the learning environment, the broader context) and external factors (intrinsic interest of activity, perceived value of activity, sense of agency, mastery, self-concept, attitudes, other affective states, developmental age and stage, gender):
... making decisions to act is a central component of motivation. These decisions will be influenced by a number of different causes. If people attach a high value to the outcome of an activity, they will be more likely to be motivated to perform it. People also need to be aroused, often by curiosity or interest, and to sustain their arousal. (Williams & Burden, 1997:136)
Central to this idea of "choice' and "intention', and affecting future striving for achievement, is the individual's perception of what he/she can/cannot do. Thus Williams & Burden (1997) describe the important roles of self-perception, agency (whether learners see themselves as in control of their actions), belief in their ability to carry out an action (effectiveness motivation), goal-setting, and appropriate feedback (cf. Dörnyei 1994:277). Weiner (1992b) lists three major cognitive conceptual systems which concern this self-appraisal aspect: attribution theory, learned helplessness, and self-efficacy theory (which Locke and Latham (1990) divide into goal-setting theory and expectancy-value theory):
- Attribution theory: According to this theory people's causal ascriptions of past failures and successes determine future goal expectancy and therefore motivational achievement (Schuster et al. 1989; Weiner 1986). Bandura (1989) suggests that ability attributions are associated with high self-efficacy, and the literature on causal attributions suggests that they have motivational properties based on their influence on expectancy (Weiner 1986a; 1992). Attribution theory states that higher satisfaction occurs when success is self-attributed (e.g. ability, effort) than when success is attributed to external factors (e.g. luck).
- Learned helplessness: This refers to a passive, often resigned and pessimistic state that results when success is perceived as being beyond the learner, or when decision-making and control is entirely in the hands of the teacher.
- Self-efficacy: This refers to an individual's judgement of his/her ability to perform a specific action, and is an important dimension of self-concept, affecting task selection, level of effort, degree of persistence, and quality of performance (Bandura 1982). Based on expectancies, it includes the idea that performance will lead to rewards, and focuses on ability, creativity, adaptability, and capacity to perform in a situation. People with high self-efficacy outperform those with low self-efficacy, and expend greater effort toward a goal, even in response to negative feedback (Bandura 1982; Bandura & Cervone 1986). Bandura (1982) identifies four ways in which individuals assess their self-efficacy: i) past experiences of success or failure; ii) experiences of watching other students succeed or fail; iii) verbal persuasion or self-talk; and iv) physiological states such as exhaustion.
- Goal-setting theory: Studies have shown that realistic goals function as immediate regulators of behaviour (Lee et al. 1989), and that individuals who have accepted or devised specific and challenging goals persist longer at a task than individuals with non-specific ("do my best¡±) and easy goals (Locke & Latham 1990). This involves: i) commitment to the goal; ii) feedback on performance in relation to the goals; iii) ability of the individual to reach or approach the goals; and iv) role modelling and tangible incentives (Tremblay & Gardner 1995:508). Oxford & Shearin (1994) argue that "goal setting can have exceptional importance in stimulating L2 learning motivation, and it is therefore shocking that so little time and energy are spent in the L2 classroom on goal setting¡± (1994:19).
- Expectancy theory: An important concept in current theories of motivation in psychology, expectancy proposes that organisms anticipate events and that their behaviour is thus guided by anticipatory goal states (Heckhausen 1991). The higher the expectancy for a behaviour to produce a specific outcome (e.g. learn a language), the greater tends to be the motivation. Bandura (1989) suggests that the most important expectancy is self-efficacy, referring to an individual's beliefs in his/her capacity to reach a certain level of performance or achievement. In language learning, this can be seen as self-confidence, which is an important variable in Clément's Social Context Model of L2 learning (Clément 1980; Clément & Kruidenier 1985). Clément & Kruidenier (1985) propose that self-confidence is the most important determinant of motivation to learn and use the L2 in a multi-cultural setting.
Goals, expectancies, and self-efficacy affect performance because they: i) promote persistence; ii) promote increased effort, especially on tasks with time limits; iii) direct attention toward goal-relevant action; iv) stimulate individuals to develop metacognitive plans for attaining goals; and v) enhance the quality of analytic strategies used (Oxford & Shearin 1994; Dörnyei 1994:278).Oxford & Shearin (1996:122) discuss four theories from general psychology: i) needs theory; ii) instrumentality theories; iii) equity theories; and iv) reinforcement theories:
- Need theories (cf. Maslow 1970; Gardner & Tremblay 1994a &b).
- In the first theory of needs and motivation, Maslow proposes a hierarchy of needs:
- physiological needs: Students need to satisfy physical needs (hunger, warmth, avoidance of pain, sleep, etc.) before being able to give attention to learning;
- safety and security: Risk-taking cannot occur unless students feel secure (Brown 1987; Horwitz 1990; Horwitz & Young 1991; Scarcella & Oxford 1992; Stevick 1995). Insecure L2 learners can be very anxious (MacIntyre & Gardner 1989; 1991a & b; Horwitz & Young 1991);
- belongingness and love. Teachers can reduce anxiety and foster psychological security and feeling of belonging by developing a non-threatening climate, helping students relax, developing peer-support networks, and promoting self-confidence (Moskowitz 1978; Horwitz 1990; Horwitz & Young 1991; Legutke & Thomas 1991:35; Oxford 1990a & c; Scarcella & Oxford 1992);
- esteem: self-esteem and self-perception are important factors in motivation for learning (Clément 1980; Clément & Kruidenier 1985; Allwright & Bailey 1991);
- self-actualisation. Students can regress in motivation and performance if needs (especially higher-order needs) for psychological security are not met (Alderfer 1972).
- A second theory of motivation is based on the need for achievement (need-achievement) and the related "fear of failure¡± and "fear of success¡±. Need theorists agree that fear of failure is usually evoked in situations in which competence of performance is the focus (Crandall 1963). Horner (1968) describes the concept of "fear of success¡± shown by students who do not wish to be too successful, in order to avoid losing social affiliation and acceptance.
theories: These suggest that individuals
engage in activities instrumental in achieving some valued outcome. Unlike
tension-creating need theories, instrumentality theories focus on the
individual's expectation of receiving a valued reward:
- Atkinson's expectancy-value theory. Atkinson (1964) proposed that engagement in achievement-oriented behaviours is a function of the motivation for success, the probability of success (expectancy) and the incentive value (valence) of success. This can also produce avoidance of the shame of failure.
- Early instrumentality theories were formalised in the VIE theory (valence, instrumentality, expectancy) (Vroom 1964), according to which students ask themselves whether the outcome (e.g. good grades) will have value (valence), positive results (instrumentality), and success (expectancy). This concept is often combined with goal-setting theory (cf. Mento et al. 1980; Matsui, et al. 1981).
- Equity theories: (Oxford & Shearin 1996:129). These are characterised by attention to the ratio between inputs (ability, personality, experience, student input) and outcomes (grades, ratings, praise, rewards), perceived discrepancies resulting in unhappiness and demotivation (Laef 1985). The learner must believe that the expected results are worth the effort expended.
- Reinforcement theories: These attribute individual behaviour to the behavioural stimulus-response-reward association. Research results have not been replicated, but it can be said that "rewards interact in a complex manner with task characteristics¡± (Oxford & Shearin 1996:130) and that "More is not always better¡± (Laef 1985:371). Gardner & Tremblay (1994a) note that one of the greatest movements in motivation theory has been the concept that learning can happen without external rewards.
Oxford & Shearin (1996:122) see motivation as "crucial for L2 learning¡±, but Dörnyei (1998), Van Lier (1996:106) and Crookes & Schmidt (1991) warn that it is a multifaceted factor and that "no available theory has yet managed to represent it in its total complexity¡± (Dörnyei 1998:131). Thus researchers need to be careful when conceptualising and assessing motivational variables, and should be aware of the fact that the aspect of motivation they are focusing on is likely to represent only a part of a more intricate psychological construct. Dörnyei (1998) sees a need for a process-oriented perception of motivation, with a description of the various stages. This might include planning, intention-formulation, appraisal of the situation, generation of concrete tasks, prioritising between multiple tasks, enactment of intentions, and evaluation of outcomes.
Dickinson (1995:168) found that concepts central to autonomy (learner independence, learner responsibility, learner choice, plus decision making, critical reflection and detachment) are all important in cognitive motivation, and argues that self-instruction leads to increased empathy between teacher and learners and among learners, producing a more cohesive and supportive group of learners, which is motivating in several ways, but in particular is likely to lead to a reduction in inhibition (Dickinson 1987:33). Research into motivation in general education suggests that motivation to learn and learning effectiveness can be increased in learners who take responsibility for their own learning, who understand and accept that their learning success is a result of effort, and that failure can be overtaken with greater effort and better use of strategies (Wang & Palincsar 1989). Motivation tends to be higher in learners who are interested in the learning tasks and the learning outcomes for their own sake, and who focus on learning outcomes rather than performance outcomes (Dweck 1986). Intrinsic motivation leads to more effective learning, and is promoted in circumstances in which the locus of control is clearly with the learner (Deci & Ryan 1985).
Dörnyei (1990:62) showed that instrumental motives significantly contribute to motivation in EFL contexts, and can involve a number of extrinsic motives, resulting in a fairly homogeneous subsystem. Instrumental motives most efficiently promote learning up to the intermediate level, but to go beyond this level, the learner must be integratively motivated (cf. Krashen 1981; Gardner 1985). Based on this research, Dörnyei (1994) proposes a general framework of L2 motivation, consisting of three levels: i) the Language Level; ii) the Learner Level; and iii) the Learning Situation Level. These coincide with the three basic constituents of the L2 learning process (the L2, the L2 learner, and the L2 learning environment) and also reflect the three different aspects of language (the social dimension, the personal dimension, and the educational subject matter dimension). Gardner & MacIntyre (1993a) conclude that sociocultural context has an overriding effect on all aspects of the L2 learning process, including motivation, and Williams & Burden (1997) point to the perceived value of the activity ¡©and a s ense of agency as over-riding determinants in motivation:
The greater the value that individuals attach to the accomplishment of or involvement in the activity, the more highly motivated they will be both to engage in it initially, and later to put sustained effort into succeeding in the activity. This would appear to be true whether they are influenced by intrinsic or extrinsic reasons. (Williams & Burden 1997:125)
Dörnyei stresses the importance of the teacher in developing motivation - "teacher skills in motivating learners should be seen as central to teaching effectiveness¡± - but complains that educational-oriented motivation articles in the 1990s "typically contained summaries of relevant classroom-specific motives [but did not offer] a sufficiently serviceable guide to practitioners.¡± Good & Brophy (1994:212) also describe the situation in which "teachers were forced to rely on unsystematic "bag-of-tricks' approaches or on advice coming from questionable theorising¡± (1994:212). Dörnyei (1998:131) therefore suggests "Ten Commandments for Motivating Language Learners¡± (Dörnyei & Csizér, in press):
- Set a personal example with your own behaviour.
- Create a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere in the classroom.
- Present the task properly.
- Develop a good relationship with the learners.
- Increase the learner's linguistic self-confidence.
- Make the language classes interesting.
- Promote learner autonomy.
- Personalise the learning process.
- Increase the learners' goal-orientedness.
- Familiarise learners with the target language culture.
Oxford & Shearin (1996:139) also offer practical suggestions for teachers:
- Teachers can identify why students are studying the new language.
- Teachers can find out actual motivations (motivation survey).
- Information on motivation can be passed on to the next class in a portfolio.
- Teachers can determine which parts of L2 learning are especially valuable for the students.
- Teachers can help shape students' beliefs about success and failure in L2 learning.
- Students can learn to have realistic but challenging goals.
- Teachers can learn to accept diversity in the way students establish and meet their goals, based on differences in learning styles.
In conclusion, motivation in second language learning presents a rich field for research, dealing as it does with the very driving forces behind learning:
... there is much that we have yet to learn about the role of motivational factors in learning ... The processes involved are vastly more complex than our research to date has been able to illuminate. (Van Lier 1996:116)
... given motivation, it is inevitable that a human being will learn a second language if he is exposed to the language data. (Corder 1981:1)
 Instrumental motivation: The practical benefits of language proficiency