1950s with the remarkable work of two renowned Canadian social psychologists Robert Gardner and Wallace Lambert (1959, 1972) who conducted many empirical studies and investigations that examined how the language learners’ attitudes towards the L2 speaking community influenced their desire to learn the L2.
22.214.171.124. Gardner’s Social-Psychological Theory
The notable studies and investigations of Robert Gardner and his associates have grounded and inspired the field of L2 motivation research and resulted in one of the leading theories in the field: the Social-Psychological Theory. This theory is based on the assumption that students’ attitudes towards a specific language group are likely to influence their success in incorporating some aspects of that language (Gardner, 1985).
This well-known theory has many features that influentially contributed to the field of L2 motivation in many ways. Among its significant contributions is the detailed analysis it provided about the nature of motivation, how the integrative motivation is made up (Dörnyei, 2000), and its integrative-instrumental motives dichotomy. Gardner’s conceptualisation of the integrative motive encompasses two attitudinal components that influence motivation. The first component is integrativeness, which Gardner conceptualizes as the individual’s willingness and interest in social interaction with the members of the L2 group. The concept of integrativeness in this theory involves integrative motivation, interest in foreign languages, and attitudes towards the foreign/second language. The other component is the attitudes towards the learning situation, which involves the attitudes to, and the evaluation of, the L2 teachers and course.
Gardner’s theory has also laid the foundation of a second language learning model known as The Socio-Educational Model in which motivation is considered a cornerstone (see Figure 2.1).
Figure 2.1. Gardner’s (1985) Socio-Educational Model of Second Language Acquisition (Gardner, 1985, p.199)
“Based on their view of second languages as mediating factors between communities of various ethno-linguistic backgrounds in multicultural settings, Gardner and Lambert (1972) have regarded motivation to learn the language of the other communities as a primary force responsible for enhancing or hindering intercultural communication and affiliation” (cited in Dörnyei, 2001a, p. 48). Tremblay and Gardner (1995) have clarified that the construct of motivation in this model includes three basic motivational components: (a) the effort expended to learn the language; it can be assessed as the motivational intensity, which is “a criterion that measures the motivated language behaviour and a central concept in motivation research concerns a main aspect of motivated human behaviour, its direction and its magnitude,” (Csizér & Dörnyei, 2005, p. 20); (b) the desire/will to learn the language; and (c) the satisfaction with the task of learning the language, termed as attitudes towards learning the language. In addition, this theory comprises several value aspects like intrinsic value, which is measured by the desire to learn the foreign language and the attitudes towards learning the L2; and the extrinsic value, which is measured by the integrative and instrumental orientations.
Dörnyei (2003) has commented that this model is a major contribution of Gardner’s theory because of the specifications it made for the four aspects of second language acquisition process. These aspects encompass some biological and experiential antecedent factors such as the gender, age, or the learning history of the learner; the individual differences between learners, which include attitudes, intelligence, language aptitude, and motivation; the formal and informal language acquisition contexts; and the language learning outcomes (linguistic and non-linguistic).
A significant issue of this theory as explained by Gardner (1985) is its explanation for the relationship between motivation and orientation. He used the term “orientation” to refer to the goals of learning a foreign language (FL) and believed that the function of the two orientations he discussed (integrative and instrumental) was to initiate motivation and direct it towards a set of goals but neither of which, according to him, is a core component of motivation.
Another significant contribution of Gardner’s motivation theory is the standardized measurement it presented to test L2 motivation. This instrument is called The Attitude/Motivation Test Battery (AMTB) and it is a multi-component questionnaire that includes measures for the various components of Gardner’s theory and other items assessing classroom practices, such as the appraisal of the language teacher and the language course.
The attitudinal and motivational variables in the AMTB were grouped into five categories, as we can see in Figure 2.2:
Figure 2.2. Components of Gardner’s Attitude/Motivation Test Battery (AMTB) (Gardner, 1985, 144)
Despite all these major contributions, there was a lot of critique presented by many scholars to the limited nature of this theory (Gardner, 1994). Crookes and Schmidt (1991) have argued that this approach was too dominant, and that it has not seriously considered certain alternative concepts such as the connections of motivation to language-learning processes and language pedagogy. Oxford and Shearin (1994) also emphasise the fact that there would be other possible kinds of L2 motivation other than those discussed in Gardner’s theory. They add that while the concept of L2 learning motivation in this theory is important and extremely useful, it can be expanded to include a greater number of kinds of motivations (e.g. intrinsic and extrinsic motivations). Dörnyei (1994) has identified many limitations for Gardner’s theory. In line with Crookes and Schmidt, he states that although Gardner’s motivation approach went unchallenged for many years, the approach is fundamentally flawed as it ignored giving details on the cognitive aspects of motivation to learn. In relation to the educational applications of L2 motivation, Dörnyei also claims that Gardner’s theory did not include an educational dimension; he argues that the main emphasis of this theory was on general motivational components grounded in the social milieu rather than in the foreign language classroom. Dörnyei and Csizér (1998) assert this claim by stating that the social-psychological approach did not provide a detailed description of the classroom dimension of L2 motivation as it tried neither to explain specific student behaviour, nor to provide any practical guidelines for motivating those students. Furthermore, Cheng and Dörnyei (2007) have argued that this approach has never provided language teachers with direct help in promoting their motivational teaching practices. Dörnyei (2005, 2009) has also highlighted the need to reconceptualise the term “integrativeness”.
In response to strong criticisms of their theory, Gardner and associates carried out many investigations by which they added other motivational components to the old model. In an attempt to expand the motivation construct in language learning, Tremblay and Gardner (1995) investigated the relationship between a number of new motivational concepts such as persistence, attention, goal specificity, and causal attributions to the existing measures in their previous model and to the achievement of proficiency for students studying French.
They came to the realisation that the new motivational variables added to their understanding of L2 motivation and consequently helped them in providing an expanded revised model of language learning motivation (see Figure 2.3).
Figure 2.3. Tremblay and Gardner’s (1995) Model of L2 Motivation (cited in Dörnyei& Ushioda, 2011, p.48
126.96.36.199. Keller’s (1983) Motivational-Design Model
Another attempt to construct an L2 motivation framework during this period was carried out by John Keller in 1983. Despite that Keller’s (1983) model was developed and introduced during a period greatly influenced by social psychology; it was the first comprehensive education-oriented theory of foreign language motivation. Dörnyei (2001a) has maintained that this model draws some of the most important lines of research in motivational psychology and that it synthesises them in a way that the outcome is relevant to classroom application.
In his motivational-design model, Keller (1983) hypothesises that there are four basic motivational conditions that the instructional designer must understand and respond to in order to produce instruction that is interesting, meaningful, and challenging. These components are interest, relevance, expectancy, and satisfaction. Keller (1983, p. 89) stated that “interest refers to whether the learner’s curiosity is aroused and whether this arousal is sustained appropriately over time”. This component is centered on the individual’s intrinsic desires to know more about him/her and his/her environment. Dörnyei (2001a) proposes that relevance in Keller’s model refers to the extent to which the student feels that the instruction is connected to important personal needs, values, or goals. Dörnyei adds that this category coincides with instrumentality at a broad level, while it refers to the extent to which the classroom instruction and course content are considered to be conductive to master the L2 at the foreign language learning level. Keller (1983) explains expectancy in terms of the likelihood of success, and the extent to which success is under control. According to Dörnyei (2001a), this component is related to the learner’s self-confidence and self-efficacy at a general level and to the perceived difficulty of the task, the amount of effort required the amount of assistance and guidance available, the teacher’s presentation of the task, and familiarity with the task type at the language learning level. The