Advertisement

European Journal of Psychology of Education

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 337–353 | Cite as

Action control, L2 motivational self system, and motivated learning behavior in a foreign language learning context

  • Reza KhanyEmail author
  • Majid Amiri
Article

Abstract

Theoretical developments in second or foreign language motivation research have led to a better understanding of the convoluted nature of motivation in the process of language acquisition. Among these theories, action control theory has recently shown a good deal of explanatory power in second language learning contexts and in the presence of other motivation models. Despite this, the potential of this theory has not been seriously examined in foreign language contexts and its relevance to more recent motivation models has not been tested. Having this in mind, an effort was made in this study to evaluate a proposed model including three components of action control theory (hesitation, preoccupation, and volatility), three constituents of L2 motivational self system (ideal L2 self, ought-to L2 self, and learning experience) and learners’ motivated behavior in an Iranian context. Five hundred ten Iranian high school students who studied English as a foreign language in three language institutes completed two questionnaires containing items on the dimensions of actions control theory (ACS-90), the components of L2 motivational self system and also learners’ motivated behavior. The final model demonstrated some negative impacts of hesitation, preoccupation, and volatility on learners’ motivated behavior and their L2 learning experience. Iranian learners’ ideal L2 self and L2 learning experience were found as the main motivators stimulating learners’ motivated behavior. Their ideal L2 self and volatility positively correlated with each other and there was a negative relationship between learners’ ought-to L2 self and hesitation. The study concludes with certain pedagogical implications.

Keywords

Hesitation Preoccupation Volatility L2 motivational self system L2 motivated behavior Foreign language context 

Notes

References

  1. Aliakbari, M., & Amiri, M. (2016). Personality, face concern, and interpersonal conflict resolution styles: a case of Iranian college students. Personality and Individual Differences, 97, 266–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arbuckle, J. L. (2007). AMOS 16.0 user’s guide. Chicago: SPSS Corporation.Google Scholar
  3. Bentler, P. M. (2007). On tests and indices for evaluating structural models. Personality and Individual Differences, 42, 825–829.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Csizér, K., & Kormos, J. (2009). Learning experiences, selves and motivated learning behaviour: a comparative analysis of structural models for Hungarian secondary and university learners of English. In Z. Dörnyei & E. Ushioda (Eds.), Motivation, language identity and the L2 self (pp. 98-119). Clevedon: Multilingual MattersGoogle Scholar
  5. Csizér, K., & Lukács, G. (2010). The comparative analysis of motivation, attitudes and selves: the case of English and German in Hungary. System, 38, 1–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. DeRidder, D., de Wit, J., & Adriaanse, M. A. (2009). Making plans for a healthy diet: the role of motivation and action orientation. European Journal of Social Psychology, 39, 622–630.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Diefendorff, J. M., Hall, R. J., Lord, R. G., & Strean, M. L. (2000). Action-state orientation: construct validity of a revised measure and its relationship to work related variables, construct validity of a revised measure and its relationship to work related variables. Journal of Applied Psychology, 85(2), 250–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dörnyei, Z. (2001). Teaching and researching motivation. Harlow: Pearson Education.Google Scholar
  9. Dörnyei, Z. (2005). The psychology of the language learner: individual differences in second language acquisition. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  10. Dörnyei, Z. (2009). The L2 motivational self system. In Z. Dörnyei & E. Ushioda (Eds.), Motivation, language identity and the L2 self (pp. 9–42). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  11. Dörnyei, Z., & Chan, L. (2013). Motivation and vision: an analysis of future L2 self images, sensory styles, and imagery capacity across two target languages. Language Learning, 63, 437–462.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dörnyei, Z., & Csizér, K. (2012). How to design and analyze surveys in SLA research? In A. Mackey & S. Gass (Eds.), Research methods in second language acquisition: a practical guide (pp. 74–94). Malden: Wiley.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dörnyei, Z., & Ryan, S. (2015). The psychology of the language learner revisited. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  14. Dörnyei, Z., & Ushioda, E. (2009). Motivation, language identities and the L2 self: future research directions. In Z. Dörnyei & E. Ushioda (Eds.), Motivation, language identity and the L2 self (pp. 350–356). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  15. Dörnyei, Z., Csizér, K., & Németh, N. (2006). Motivation, language attitudes and globalisation: a Hungarian perspective. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  16. Ellis, R., & Shintani, N. (2014). Exploring language pedagogy through second language acquisition research. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  17. Fukuyama, F. (1992). The end of history and the last men. New York: Avon.Google Scholar
  18. Gardner, R. C. (1985). Social psychology and second language learning: the role of attitudes and motivation. London: Edward Arnold.Google Scholar
  19. Gregersen, T., & Horwitz, E. K. (2002). Language learning and perfectionism: anxious and non-anxious language learners’ reactions to their own oral performance. Modern Language Journal, 86, 562–570.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Harmer, J. (2007). The practice of English language teaching. Essex: Longman.Google Scholar
  21. Hashemian, M., Mirzaei, A., & Hosseini, M. (2015). Taboos in IRIB’s dubbed Hollywood movies: a look at translation of culture-bound elements. The 2nd National Applied Research Conference on English Language Studies. Google Scholar
  22. Henry, A. J. (2011). Examining the impact of L2 English on L3 selves: a case study. International Journal of Multilingualism, 8, 235–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Higgins, E. T. (1987). Self-discrepancy: a theory relating self and affect. Psychological Review, 94, 319–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hock, M. F., Deshler, D. D., & Schumaker, J. B. (2006). Enhancing student motivation through the pursuit of possible selves. In C. Dunkel & J. Kerpelman (Eds.), Possible selves: theory, research and application (pp. 205–221). New York: Nova Science.Google Scholar
  25. Jaramillo, F., Locander, W. B., Spector, P. E., & Harris, E. G. (2007). Getting the job done: the moderating role of initiative on the relationship between intrinsic motivation and adaptive selling. Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 27, 59–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kazen, M., Kaschel, M., & Kuhl, J. (2008). Individual differences in intention initiation under demanding conditions: interactive effects of state vs. action orientation and enactment difficulty. Journal of Research in Personality, 42(3), 693–715.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kim, T. Y. (2009). The sociocultural interface between ought-to L2 self and ought-to L2 self: a case study of two Korean students’ ESL motivation. In Z. Dörnyei & E. Ushioda (Eds.), Motivation, language identity and the L2 self (pp. 274–294). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  28. Kuhl, J. (1986). Motivation and information processing: a new look at decision making, dynamic change, and action control. In R. M. Sorrentino & E. T. Higgins (Eds.), Handbook of motivation and cognition: foundation of social behavior (pp. 404–434). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  29. Kuhl, J. (1994a). A theory of action and state orientations. In J. Kuhl & J. Beckmann (Eds.), Volition and personality (pp. 9–46). Gottingen: Hogrefe & Huber Publishers.Google Scholar
  30. Kuhl, J. (1994b). Action vs. state orientation: psychometric properties of the action control scale (ACS-90). In J. Kuhl & J. Beckmann (Eds.), Volition and personality (pp. 47–59). Gottingen, Germany: Hogrefe & Huber Publishers.Google Scholar
  31. Kuhl, J., & Helle, P. (1986). Motivational and volitional determinants of depression: the degenerated-intention hypothesis. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 95, 247–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. MacIntyre, P. D., & Blackie, R. A. (2012). Action control, motivated strategies, and integrative motivation as predictors of language learning affect and the intention to continue learning French. System, 40, 533–543.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. MacIntyre, P. D., & Doucette, J. (2010). Willingness to communicate and action control. System, 38, 161–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. MacIntyre, P. D., MacMaster, K. & Baker, S. (2001). The convergence of multiple models of motivation for second language learning: Gardner, Pintrich, Kuhl and McCroskey. In Z. Dörnyei & R. Schmidt (Eds.), Motivation and second language acquisition (pp. 461-492). Honolulu, HI: The University of Hawaii, Second Language Teaching & Curriculum CenterGoogle Scholar
  35. MacIntyre, P. D., Baker, S., Clément, R., & Donovan, L. A. (2003). Talking in order to learn: willingness to communicate and intensive language programs. The Canadian Modern Language Review, 59, 589–607.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Magid, M. (2012). The L2 motivational self system from a Chinese perspective: a mixed methods study. Journal of Applied Linguistics, 6, 69–90.Google Scholar
  37. Markus, H. R., & Nurius, P. (1986). Possible selves. American Psychologist, 41, 954–969.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Matin, M. (2007). The relationship between attitudes and orientation toward English learning and preferences in the use of language learning strategies. MA thesis, Iran University of Science and TechnologyGoogle Scholar
  39. Noels, K. A. (2003). Learning Spanish as a second language: learners’ orientations and perceptions of their teachers’ communication style. In Z. Dörnyei (Ed.), Attitudes, orientations, and motivations in language learning (pp. 97–136). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  40. Noels, K. A. (2009). The internalisation of language learning into the self and social identity. In Z. Dörnyei & E. Ushioda (Eds.), Motivation, language identity and the L2 self (pp. 295–313). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  41. Oyserman, D., Bybee, D., & Terry, K. (2006). Possible selves and academic outcomes: How and when possible selves impel action. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91(1), 188–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Papi, M. (2010). The L2 motivational self system, L2 anxiety, and motivated behavior: a structural equation modeling approach. System, 38, 467–479.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Piniel, K., & Csizér, K. (2015). Changes in motivation, anxiety and self-efficacy during the course of an academic writing seminar. In Z. Dörnyei, P. D. MacIntyre, & A. Henry (Eds.), Motivational dynamics in language learning (pp. 164–194). Bristol, Buffalo, Toronto: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  44. Pintrich, P. R. (1990). Motivation and self-regulated learning components of classroom academic performance. Journal of Educational Psychology, 82, 33–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Pizzolato, J. E. (2006). Achieving college student possible selves: navigating the space between commitment and achievement of long-term identity goals. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 12(1), 57–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Ryan, S. (2009). Self and identity in L2 motivation in Japan: the ideal L2 self and Japanese learners of English. In Z. Dörnyei & E. Ushioda (Eds.), Motivation, language identity and the L2 self (pp. 120–143). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  47. Ryan, S., & Dörnyei, Z. (2013). The long-term evolution of language motivation and the L2 self. In A. Berndt (Ed.), Fremdsprachen in der perspektive lebenslangen lernens (pp. 89–100). Frankfurt: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  48. Sadighi, F., & Maghsudi, N. (2000). The relationship between motivation and English proficiency among Iranian EFL learners. Indian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 26(1), 39–52.Google Scholar
  49. Taguchi, T. (2013). Motivation, attitudes and selves in the Japanese context: a mixed methods approach. In M. T. Apple, D. Da Silva, & T. Fellner (Eds.), Language learning motivation in Japan (pp. 169–188). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  50. Taguchi, T., Magid, M., & Papi, M. (2009). The L2 motivational self system amongst Chinese, Japanese, and Iranian learners of English: a comparative study. In Z. Dörnyei & E. Ushioda (Eds.), Motivation, language identity and the L2 self (pp. 66–97). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  51. Tamadonfar, M. (2001). Islam, law, and political control in contemporary Iran. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 40, 205–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Taylor, F. (2010). A quadripolar model of identity in adolescent foreign language learners (Unpublished PhD thesis). University of Nottingham.Google Scholar
  53. Ushioda, E. (2001). Language learning at university: exploring the role of motivational thinking. In Z. Dörnyei & R. Schmidt (Eds.), Motivation and second language acquisition (pp. 91–124). Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.Google Scholar
  54. Waninge, F., Dörnyei, Z., & de Bot, K. (2014). Motivational dynamics in language learning: change, stability and context. Modern Language Journal, 98(3), 704–723.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. You, C. J., & Chan, L. (2015). The dynamics of L2 imagery in future motivational self-guides. In Z. Dörnyei, P. MacIntyre, & A. Henry (Eds.), Motivational dynamics in language learning (pp. 397–418). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  56. You, C. J., Dörnyei, Z., & Csizér, K. (2016). Motivation, vision, and gender: a survey of learners of English in China. Language Learning, 66(1), 94–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada, Lisboa, Portugal and Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.English DepartmentIlam UniversityIlamIran

Personalised recommendations