work with heightened intensity at tasks, and persist in the face of failure. One of the famous contributors to this theory is David McClelland. He (1953) believes that humans have a distinct need for achievement and desire to succeed at the highest possible level whilst simultaneously trying to avoid the possibility of failure. Atkinson (1964), another contributor to the theory, states that “the theory of achievement motivation attempts to account for the determinants of the direction, magnitude, and persistence of behaviour in a limited but very important domain of human activities,” (p. 240).
According to Dörnyei (2001b), some of the positive influences of the motivational components of this theory involve the learner’s expectancy of success, the incentive value given to the fulfillment of a task, and the need for achievement. On the other hand, the fear of failure, the incentive to avoid failure, and the risk of failure are some negative aspects of this motivational theory.
In an earlier study conducted in 1990, Dörnyei found that need for achievement contributed considerably to motivation in foreign language learning (FLL). He argued that this influence was due to FLL being composed of a series of academic achievement situations, and thus the need for achievement could be considered a motivational component typical of FLL contexts. Dörnyei concluded that ‘need for achievement’ was one of the motivational components that were widely discussed in general motivational psychology but generally ignored in second language acquisition research. He consequently went beyond such ignorance and included ‘need for achievement’ in his 1994 construct of L2 motivation as a component underlying the motivational process at the learner level.
Oxford and Shearin (1994) have identified a relationship between learners’ past success and failure experiences and their need for achievement. They propose that past success in a particular situation would make a person more likely to engage in achievement behaviours in a similar situation in the future; on the contrary, past failure experience would generate fear and stifle achievement behaviour.
18.104.22.168. Self-Determination Theory (SDT)
The founders of the Self-Determination Theory (SDT) are Richard Ryan and Edward Deci. This organismic theory is an approach to human motivation and personality that uses traditional empirical methods while employing an organismic meta-theory that highlights the importance of humans’ evolved behavioural self-regulation (Ryan & Deci, 2000). In line with this theory, which is mainly concerned with intrinsic motivation, human motivation can be a combination of self-determined (intrinsic) and controlled (extrinsic) forms of motivation.
Deci and Ryan (2000) hypothesise that SDT calls for the consideration of the three innate psychological needs of competence, autonomy, and relatedness for a better understanding of human motivation. The need for competence pertains to the need to experience opportunities to interact with the social environment, and shows one’s capacities confidently and effectively; the need for relatedness implies a need to feel that one belongs with, is cared for, respected by, and connected to significant others (e.g., teachers, a family members); the need for autonomy involves a sense of unpressured willingness to engage in an activity. Brophy (2004) has proposed that the satisfaction of these three basic needs allows people to be engaged in self-determined activity while the lack of satisfaction for these needs usually leads to more controlled motivation and less self-determined pursuits.
Guilloteaux (2007) has pointed out that the empirical investigations of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation within the framework of Self-Determination Theory (SDT) were initiated in the L2 learning context by Noels and associates in Canada. The aims of these investigations, according to Guilloteaux, was to study the possible relationships between SDT constructs and L2 orientations identified by some scholars (e.g. Gardner, 1985), as well as to examine how students’ perceptions of their teacher’s classroom behaviour influence their sense of self-determination and enjoyment of L2 learning. Guilloteaux (2007) explains that intrinsic reasons include experiencing stimulation, enjoyment, satisfaction, a sense of fun, or a sense of accomplishment. Extrinsic reasons (e.g., Gardner’s instrumental orientation) lay on a continuum similar to that postulated by SDT theory, with one pole consisting of external pressures (e.g., threats or rewards), and the other of internalised ones (e.g., because L2 learning is personally valued). The integrative reasons relate to positive contact with speakers of the L2, and the eventual identification with the L2 community. The results of Noels and associates’ study showed that the more students perceived their L2 teachers as controlling (e.g., using threats, imposing goals and deadlines, making them work under reward conditions) and as failing to provide informative feedback, the less they were self-determined.
2.3.3. The Process-Oriented Period (2000 Onwards)
This period of L2 motivation research represents recent research trends (2000 until present). It was initiated by the work of Dörnyei and Ushioda in Europe and is mainly characterized by interest in motivational change. Dörnyei and Ottó (1998) have introduced this period in their process model of L2 motivation.
22.214.171.124. Dörnyei and Ottó’s (1998) Process Model of L2 Motivation
In 1998, Dörnyei and Ottó developed a new model of L2 motivation in a response to the challenge of describing motivational process over time. This model organises the motivational influences of L2 learning along a sequence of discrete actional events within the chain of initiating and enacting motivated behaviour (Dörnyei, 2001a) and contains two dimensions: Action Sequence and Motivational Influences. The first dimension represents the behavioural process whereby initial wishes, hopes, and desires are first transformed into goals at the preactional phase, and then into intentions, leading eventually to action and, hopefully, to the accomplishment of the goals at the actional phase, after which the process is submitted to final evaluation at the postactional phase. The second dimension of the model includes all the energy sources and motivational influences that underlie and fuel the actional sequence (see Figure 2.7). There are three sets of motivational influences that affect different sequences of motivated action in this model. At the preactional phase, there are motivational influences on functions like goal setting, intention formation, and initiation of intention enactment. Some of these influences are values associated with learning the L2, attitudes towards theL2 and its community, and expectancy of success in L2 learning. Other motivational influences like the perceived quality of the learning experience and the learner’s sense of self-determination/autonomy influence functions like generating and carrying out subtasks, ongoing appraisal of one’s achievement, and action control at the actional phase. Some functions at the postactional stage, such as forming causal attributions, elaborating standards and strategies, and dismissing the intention and further planning are influenced by three active motivational influences: the attributional factors, self-concept beliefs, and the received satisfaction-promoting outcomes (e.g. feedback, praise, and grades) as we can see in Figure 2.7.
Figure 2.7. Dörnyei and Ottó’s (1998) Process Model of L2 Motivation (Dörnyei and Ottó, 1998, p.48)
2.4. Significance of Motivation/ L2 Motivation
Wlodkowski (1999) has emphasised the general importance of motivation by stating that even in the absence of agreement on how to define motivation, we know motivation is important. According to him, if we match two people of identical ability and give them the identical opportunity and conditions to achieve, the motivated person will surpass the unmotivated person in performance and outcome. He also stresses the importance of motivation to learn not only because it obviously improves learning but also because it mediates and is a consequence of learning. Wlodkowski highlights that when learners are motivated during the learning process, things go more smoothly, communication flows, anxiety decreases, and creativity and learning are more apparent. He adds that the more that people have had motivating learning experiences, the more probable it is that they will become lifelong learners. Williams and Burden (1997) further emphasise the importance of motivation and announce that if asked to identify the most powerful influences on student learning, motivation would probably be high on most teachers’ lists.
With relation to foreign/second language learning, it is beyond doubt that motivation is a significant factor that determines success in such a complex process. Gardner (2001c) is a believer in motivation as a central element in this context. He supposes that all the individual difference characteristics of the language learner, such as attitudes, language aptitude, self-confidence, language anxiety, intelligence, language learning strategies, etc. are dependent on motivation for their effects to be realised. Oxford and Shearin (1994) argue that motivation is directly related to the different aspects of language learning in the way it strongly influences how often students use L2 learning strategies, how much they interact with native speakers, how much input they receive in the target language, how well they do on curriculum-related achievement tests, how high their general proficiency levels become, and how long they persevere and maintain L2 skills after language study is over. Dörnyei and Csizér (1998), Cheng and Dörnyei (2007), and Guilloteaux and Dörnyei (2008) all agree upon the idea that motivation serves as the initial engine to