Date of Award
Master of Arts
In second language research and pedagogy, motivation has been labeled as a key factor for success (Clément, 1980; Dörnyei, 1998; Tremblay & Gardner, 1995; Deci & Ryan, 1985); namely, language learners with high levels of motivation will be more successful than those who exhibit more negative attitudes towards learning the TL. Through classroom observations, student survey responses and personal interviews conducted in a beginner-level university French class, this study attempted to determine broad motivational patterns using Gardner's (1982) binary integrative and instrumental model, and then determine specific origins for these motivations. Four interviewees were selected: two with high instrumental and integrative orientation, and two with low integrative and instrumental orientation. Research questions aimed to determine initial motivational tendencies of the students and how these changed or remained consistent throughout the semester; additionally, a comparison between what interviewees indicated about their own motivational tendencies and their class performance were analyzed. The findings of this study indicated that integrative motivational tendencies shifted positively over the course of the semester, whereas instrumental motivational tendencies remained consistent. The change in integrative motivation was mainly due to cultural francophone insights brought to the classroom through the instructor and textbook materials. The malleable nature of integrative motivation presupposes that students' investment (Norton-Pierce, 1995) in, or motivation, to learn the TL language culture must grow in order for integrative motivation to do so as well. Implications include how larger university environments can more successfully hone in on individual achievement through teacher awareness of student motivational behaviors in the classroom. Additionally, pedagogical implications will aid educators in better understanding their pupils' motivation for learning foreign languages and recognizing how student behavior can be helpful indicators of waning or waxing motivation in class. Results suggest that teaching culture in the FL classroom can help augment integrative motivation.
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