The Internal Structure of Language Learning Motivation and Its Relationship with Learnersâ€™ Belief and Self-Perceived Performance
The Internal Structure of Language Learning Motivation and Its Relationship with Learners Belief and Self-Perceived Performance
Keywords: The L2 motivational self system, learner s belief, self-perceived competence, structural equation modeling, young EFL learners
Chia-hui Cindy Shen
Department of English, National Taiwan Normal University
Chia-hui Cindy Shen obtained her Master degree from the Department of English Instruction in Taipei Municipal University of Education, and now she is a PhD student at English Department, National Taiwan Normal University. She teaches at Taipei Municipal Fuan Elementary School. Her research interests include SLA, vocabulary instruction, and reading strategies.
The complexity and multi-facets nature of L2 motivation leads to conflicting findings in the past, especially during the cognitive-situated period in 1990s, i.e., Gardner s classic concept of the socio-educational model (Gardner, 1985). However, it has been attacked by Diörnyei s (2005) L2 motivational self system. From the perspective of willingness to communicate, few of the published research concerns motivational processes with learners beliefs and self-perceived communication competence. The present study took the initiative to investigate the relationship between L2 motivational self-system, learners belief, and self-perceived competence in a theoretical model. Participants were 227 first-to-sixth grade Chinese speaking children at an elementary school in Taipei City. Data was collected by means of a self- report questionnaire, in-depth interview, and in-class observation. Multiple-group structural equation modeling was applied to analyze the proposed model and to evaluate the relations between the various latent variables investigated in this study. The results indicated that all the constituent elements of the L2 motivational self system, though to different degrees, motivated language learners to have positive perception toward learners belief and self-perceived competence; nevertheless, the ought-to L2 self self-driven students had less identity in self-belief and self-perceived competence in communication. These findings pointed to the conclusion that learners belief was closely related to the students motivational regulations, particularly the ideal L2 self. Pedagogical implications and directions for future research were provided.