Affective variables, parental involvement and competence among South Korean high school learners of English

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Annie Morris
Marc Lafontaine
François Pichette
Linda de Serres


This study investigated the relationships between various affective variables and two measures of competence in English, for 190 South Korean high school students. A 55-item questionnaire was used to measure attitudes (Attitudes toward English Speakers and their Communities and Attitudes toward the English-speaking Culture), motivation (Motivational Intensity, Desire to Learn and Attitudes toward the Learning of English), amotivation, parental involvement (Active Parental Encouragement, Passive Parental Encouragement and Parental Pressure), parental disinterest and students’ competence in L2 (English- EXAM and English-SELF). Pearson product-moment coefficients indicate that active and passive forms of parental encouragement correlate with motivationto learn, as conceptualized by Gardner (1985, 2010), as well as with parental pressure, which suggests that South Korean students report undergoing forms of pressure when their parents actively or passively encourage them. Furthermore, the obtained correlations of the active and passive forms of encouragement with different variables suggest that the two forms represent two distinct concepts. While parental disinterest correlated negatively with motivational variables, parental pressure correlated only with motivational intensity, and only weakly. Therefore, parental pressure seems not to interact significantly with participants’ attitudes, motivation and competence. Multiple linear regression analyses confirm the importance of motivation to learn for students' L2 competence.


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Author Biographies

Annie Morris, La Capitale School Board, Quebec

Annie Morris is an English as a second language teacher for La Capitale school board in Quebec, Canada. Her teaching and research interests include students' attitude and motivation to learn English, as well as the teaching and learning of the English stressed syllables.



Marc Lafontaine, Université Laval

Marc Lafontaine is a lecturer at Université Laval, Canada, where he teaches French as a second language, didactics and psycholinguistics. His research interests include learning and reading strategies as well as attitudes and motivation towards learning and reading. Contact details: Département de langues, linguistique et traduction, Université
Laval, Québec, QC, Canada G1V0A6.

François Pichette, Teluq/Université du Québec a Montreal

Francois Pichette is Professor of Linguistics at Teluq/Universite du Quebec a Montreal, Canada. His teaching and research interests include language acquisition and development, reading and writing, and second-language vocabulary acquisition. Dr. Pichette has also taught Spanish and French at universities in Mexico andthe United States, and has published in several peer-reviewed journals such as The Modern Language Journal, The Canadian Modern Language Review, The Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics and Foreign Language Annals.

Linda de Serres, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières

Linda de Serres is a Professor of Linguistics at Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Canada. Her main current research interests include first- and second-language learning with traditional and multimedia support material, second-language reading, and language testing. Contact details: Département de lettres et communication sociale, UQTR, C. P. 500, Trois-Rivières, Québec, QC, Canada G9A5H7.


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