Sustaining Long-Term L2 and L3 Learning Motivation in a Monolingual Environment

  • Csilla SárdiEmail author
Part of the Multilingual Education book series (MULT, volume 35)


This study is grounded in Dörnyei’s L2 Motivational Self System and looks at motivational factors that influence the dynamics of long-term language learning behaviour of an L1 Hungarian young adult, the sole research participant. The aim of this research was to identify the characteristics of and differences in motivation between learning L2 German and L3 English, and possible influences in the motivational factors between the two languages over a time span of 20 years. An intrinsic case study was conducted by means of two successive semi-structured interviews. Findings show that factors belonging to all the three dimensions of Dörnyei’s model shaped the long-term motivation in both languages, and the dimensions appeared in the same order. Differences include a conflict between the ought-to L2 self and the participant’s autonomy aspirations in the case of only L3 English, and the emergence of a prevailing ideal English self in the long run. Several factors influenced the participant’s decision to finally maintain only an ideal English self including the perceived usefulness of World English, the rejection of a German-related profession, a safe integration into the cultural community, and considerations as to feasibility and cost effectiveness.


L2 Motivational Self System Ideal L2 self Ought-to L2 self L2 learning experience Integrative motivation World English 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.English and American StudiesPázmány Péter Catholic UniversityBudapestHungary

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