“This language still motivates me!” Advanced language students and their L2 motivation

Main Article Content

Anne Huhtala
Anta Kursiša
Marjo Vesalainen

Abstract

The article focuses on written narratives of 51 Finnish university students who study German, Swedish or French as their major or one of their minors at an advanced level. The study aims to find what keeps these students motivated to study their L2. The data have been analyzed using analysis of narratives (Polkinghorne, 1995). Dörnyei’s (2009a, 2009b, 2014) L2 motivational self system (L2MSS), built around the concepts of ideal L2 self, ought-to L2 self and L2 learning experience, is used as the theoretical framework. The results indicate that perceived social pressure (ought-to L2 self) may be important when the study decision is made, but its importance diminishes during the studies. Instead, a future L2-related vision (ideal L2 self) as well as peers, teachers, course contents, and learning atmosphere (L2 learning experience) become increasingly important during the studies. The role of the emotional dimension of possible selves seems to be central in developing and preserving study motivation. At the end of the article, some implications of the results for higher education programs of languages other than English (LOTEs) are presented.

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How to Cite
Huhtala, A., Kursiša, A., & Vesalainen, M. (2019). “This language still motivates me!” Advanced language students and their L2 motivation. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 9(2), 287-311. https://doi.org/10.14746/ssllt.2019.9.2.3
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Articles
Author Biographies

Anne Huhtala, University of Helsinki

Anne Huhtala works as University Lecturer of Swedish at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Her present research interests include motivation, identity formation, L2 learning, and teacher education. She is also interested in the study of metaphors and in questions concerning evaluation in learning. She participates, for example, in the following research and development projects: MUMMI (Motivation-Usage-Multilingualism-Multiculturalism-Identity), and Developing Pre-Service and In-Service Teacher Education.

Contact details: University of Helsinki, Department of Finnish, Finno-Ugrian and Scandinavian Studies, Unioninkatu 40, Helsinki, Finland (anne.huhtala@helsinki.fi)

Anta Kursiša, University of Helsinki

Anta Kursiša is University Lecturer of German at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Her research interests are foreign language acquisition in a multilingual context, reading comprehension and cross-linguistic influence and interaction, with a focus on German as a foreign language, as well as L2 motivation for languages other than English. She is mainly interested in exploring the perspective of learners. At present, she participates, for example, in the projects MUMMI (Motivation-Usage-Multilingualism-Multiculturalism-Identity), and Multilingualism and German in Finland.

Contact details: University of Helsinki, Department of Languages, Unioninkatu 40, Helsinki, Finland (anta.kursisa@helsinki.fi)

Marjo Vesalainen, University of Helsinki

Marjo Vesalainen works as Senior Lecturer in University Pedagogy at the Centre for University Teaching and Learning at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Her present research interests lie in the areas of evaluation and assessment in teaching and learning, questions related to motivation, and teacher education. She is also interested in the study of learner language and L2 learning. She takes part, for example, in the following research projects: MUMMI (Motivation-Usage-Multilingualism-Multiculturalism-Identity), Developing Pre-Service and In-Service Teacher Education, and ARVI (Assessment Practices in Higher Education).

Contact details: University of Helsinki, Centre for University Teaching and Learning HYPE, Unioninkatu 40, Helsinki, Finland (marjo.vesalainen@helsinki.fi)

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