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Tracing the Motivational Trajectories in Learning English as a Foreign Language. The Case of Two English Majors

  • Mirosław PawlakEmail author
  • Anna Mystkowska-Wiertelak
Chapter
Part of the Second Language Learning and Teaching book series (SLLT)

Abstract

There has been a major shift in research on second language motivation in the last fifteen years, with researchers becoming more and more interested in how this attribute changes over time rather than merely establishing the reasons for learning and seeking relationships between levels of motivation and attainment (cf. Dörnyei, 2005; Dörnyei & Ryan, 2015; Ushioda & Dörnyei, 2005; Dörnyei & Ryan, 2012). As a result, there are more and more studies which seek to determine how learners’ motives and the intensity of their engagement change over longer periods of time but also such which are aimed to track fluctuations in motivation in the course of tasks, lessons or sequences of such lessons, also attempting to pinpoint contextual and individual factors responsible for such changes. The chapter reports the results of a study, which constitutes part of a larger-scale empirical investigation using retrodictive qualitative modeling (RQM) (Dörnyei, 2014a) and falls within the former category by tracing the motivational trajectories of two English majors. This is done with a view to gaining insights into the dynamic nature of their motivation, identifying the factors that affected their motivational processes at different educational levels, seeking explanations of their successes and failures, and trying to identify distinctive profiles of these students. The results show that RQM is indeed capable of providing insights into motivational dynamics, although the procedure also suffers from some limitations.

Keywords

L2 motivation Motivational dynamics Retrodictive qualitative modeling L2 motivational self system Ideal L2 self 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to take this opportunity to thank the focus group teachers and the students who participated in the study, but in particular our friends and colleagues from State University of Applied Sciences in Konin, Poland, who were involved in the research project that yielded data for the study described in this chapter: Dr. Jakub Bielak, Dr. Marek Derenowski, Dr. Katarzyna Papaja and Dr. Bartosz Wolski.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Adam Mickiewicz UniversityKaliszPoland
  2. 2.State University of Applied SciencesKoninPoland

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