The Contexts of SLA Motivation: Linking Ideologies to Situational Variations

  • Odilia YimEmail author
  • Richard Clément
  • Peter D. MacIntyre


Yim, Clément, and MacIntyre offer a review of the contexts impacting SLA motivation. Using an ecological framework, the chapter grounds second language motivation in multilingual communication and outlines broad societal influences as well as more specific sociolinguistic factors. It also draws attention to different psychological perspectives in defining and studying context. The chapter concludes with the authors applying a social psychological, idiodynamic approach, to the investigation of the effects of context on SLA motivation, by looking at L2 learners’ willingness to communicate.


  1. Allard, R., & Landry, R. (1994). Subjective ethnolinguistic vitality: A comparison of two measures. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 108(1), 117–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bandura, A. (2006). Toward a psychology of human agency. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 1, 164–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Blom, J., & Gumperz, J. J. (1972). Social meaning in linguistic structure: Code-switching in Norway. In J. J. Gumperz & D. Hymes (Eds.), Directions in sociolinguistics: The Ethnography of Communication (pp. 407–434). New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston.Google Scholar
  4. Bourdieu, P. (1977). L’économie des échanges linguistiques. [The economics of linguistic exchanges]. Langue Française, 31, 17–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bourhis, R., Giles, H., & Rosenthal, D. (1981). Notes on the construction of a “subjective vitality questionnaire” for ethnolinguistic groups. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 2(2), 145–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bourhis, R., Sioufi, R., & Sachdev, I. (2012). Ethnolinguistic Interaction and Multilingual Communication. In H. Giles (Ed.), The handbook of intergroup communication (ICA handbook series). New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  7. Bourhis, R. Y. (2001). Acculturation, language maintenance, and language shift. In J. Klatter-Folmer & P. Van Avermaet (Eds.), Theories on maintenance and loss of minority languages (pp. 5–37). New York: Waxmann.Google Scholar
  8. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development: Experiments by nature and design. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Clément, R. (1979). Immersion and residence programs: Their effects on attitude and anxiety. Interchange, 9, 52–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Clément, R. (1980). Ethnicity, contact and communicative competence in a second language. In H. Giles, W. P. Robinson, & P. M. Smith (Eds.), Language: Social psychological perspectives (pp. 147–154). Oxford, UK: Pergamon.Google Scholar
  11. Clément, R. (1986). Second language proficiency and acculturation: An investigation of the effects of language status and individual characteristics. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 5, 271–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Clément, R., Baker, S., & Macintyre, P. (2003). Willingness to communicate in a second language: The effects of context, norms, and vitality. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 22(2), 190–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Clément, R., Gardner, R. C., & Smythe, P. C. (1977). Motivational variables in second language acquisition: A study of Francophones learning English. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 9(2), 123–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Clément, R., & Kruidenier, B. G. (1985). Aptitude, attitude and motivation in second language proficiency: A test of Clément’s model. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 4, 21–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Clément, R., Noels, K. A., & MacIntyre, P. (2007). Three variations on the social psychology of bilingualism: Context effects in motivation, usage and identity. In A. Weatherall, B. Watson, & C. Gallois (Eds.), Language and social psychology (pp. 51–77). Houndsmill, UK: Palgrave.Google Scholar
  16. Collentine, J., & Freed, B. F. (2004). Learning context and its effects on second language acquisition. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 26(2), 153–356.Google Scholar
  17. DeKeyser, R. (2007). Study Abroad as foreign language practice. In R. DeKeyser (Ed.), Practice in a second language. Perspectives from applied linguistics and cognitive psychology (pp. 208–226). New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. DeKeyser, R. M. (1991). Foreign language development during a semester abroad. In B. F. Freed (Ed.), Foreign language acquisition and the classroom (pp. 104–118). Lexington, MA: D. C. Heath.Google Scholar
  19. Dewaele, J. M. (2013). Emotions in multiple languages (2nd ed.). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  20. Dewaele, J. M., & Nakano, S. (2013). Multilinguals’ perceptions of feeling different when switching languages. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 34(2), 107–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Dörnyei, Z., MacIntyre, P., & Henry, A. (Eds.). (2015). Motivational dynamics in language learning. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  22. Ferguson, C. A. (1959). Diglossia. Word, 15, 325–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fishman, J. A. (1967). Bilingualism with and without diglossia; diglossia with and without bilingualism. Journal of Social Issues, 23(2), 29–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Freynet, N., & Clément, R. (2015). Bilingualism in minority settings in Canada: Integration or assimilation? International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 46, 55–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gardner, R. C. (1985). Social psychology and second language learning: The role of attitudes and motivation. London, UK: Edward Arnold Publishers.Google Scholar
  26. Gardner, R. C. (2010). Motivation and second language acquisition: The Socio-educational model. New York, UK: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  27. Gardner, R. C., & Lambert, W. E. (1972). Attitudes and motivation in second-language learning. Rowley, MA: Newbury House.Google Scholar
  28. Gardner, R. C., Smythe, P. C., & Clément, R. (1979). Intensive second language study in a bicultural milieu: An investigation of attitudes, motivation, and language proficiency. Language Learning, 29(2), 305–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Gaudet, S., & Clément, R. (2005). Identity maintenance and loss: Concurrent processes amongst the Fransaskois. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 37, 110–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Gibbons, J. (1987). Code-mixing and code choice: A Hong Kong case study. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters Ltd.Google Scholar
  31. Giles, H., Bourhis, R. Y., & Taylor, D. (1977). Towards a theory of language in ethnic group relations. In H. Giles (Ed.), Language, ethnicity and intergroup relations (pp. 307–348). London: Academic.Google Scholar
  32. Giles, H., Coupland, N., & Coupland, J. (1990). Accommodation theory: Communication, context, and consequence. In H. Giles, J. Coupland, N. Coupland, & K. Oatley (Eds.), Context of accommodation: Developments in applied sociolinguistics. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Greeno, J. G. (1998). The situativity of knowing, learning, and research. American Psychologist, 53, 5–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Gregersen, T., & MacIntyre, P. (2014). Capitalizing on language learner’s individuality. From premise to practise. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Gregersen, T., Macintyre, P., & Meza, M. (2014). The motion of emotion: Idiodynamic case studies of learners’ foreign language anxiety. Modern Language Journal, 98(2), 574–588.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Gumperz, J. J. (1982). Discourse strategies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  37. Gurtner, J.-L., Monnard, I., & Genoud, P. A. (2001). Towards a multilayer model of context and its impact on motivation. In S. Volet & S. Järvelä (Eds.), Motivation in learning contexts: Theoretical advances and methodological implications (pp. 189–208). Oxford: Pergamon.Google Scholar
  38. Hickey, D. T., & Granade, J. B. (2004). The influence of sociocultural theory on our theories of engagement and motivation. In D. McInerney & S. Van Etten (Eds.), Big theories revisited (Vol. 4, pp. 200–223). Greenwich, CT: Information Age.Google Scholar
  39. Hymes, D. (1972). Reinventing anthropology. New York, NY: Random House.Google Scholar
  40. Ife, A., Vives, G. B., & Meara, P. (2000). The impact of study abroad on the vocabulary development of different proficiency groups. Spanish Applied Linguistics, 4(1), 55–84.Google Scholar
  41. Labrie, N., & Clément, R. (1986). Ethnolinguistic vitality, self-confidence and second language proficiency: An Investigation. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 7, 269–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Lafford, B. (2004). The effects of context of learning on the use of communication strategies by learners of Spanish as a second language. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 26(2), 201–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Landry, R., & Bourhis, R. (1997). Linguistic landscape and ethnolinguistic vitality: An empirical study. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 16(1), 23–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Llanes, A., & Muñoz, C. (2009). A short stay abroad: Does it make a difference? System, 37(3), 353–365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Low, W. M., & Lu, D. (2006). Persistent use of mixed code: An exploration of its functions in Hong Kong schools. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 9(2), 181–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. MacIntyre, P. D., Clément, R., Dörnyei, Z., & Noels, K. A. (1998). Conceptualizing willingness to communicate in a L2: A situational model of L2 confidence and affiliation. The Modern Language Journal, 88, 547–562.Google Scholar
  47. MacIntyre, P. D., Dörnyei, Z., & Henry, A. (2015). Conclusion: Hot enough to be cool: The promise of dynamic systems research. In Z. Dörnyei, P. D. MacIntyre, & A. Henry (Eds.), Motivational dynamics in language learning (pp. 419–429). Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  48. MacIntyre, P. D., & Legatto, J. J. (2011). A dynamic system approach to willingness to communicate: Developing an idiodynamic method to capture rapidly changing affect. Applied Linguistics, 32, 149–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. MacIntyre, P. D., & Serroul, A. (2015). Motivation on a per-second timescale: Examining approach-avoidance motivation during L2 task performance. In Z. Dornyei, P. D. MacIntyre, & A. Henry (Eds.), Motivational dynamics in language learning (pp. 109–139). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  50. Milton, J., & Meara, P. (1995). How periods abroad affect vocabulary growth in a foreign language. ITL: Review of Applied Linguistics, 107–108, 17–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Myers-Scotton, C. (1993). Social motivations of code-switching. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  52. Noels, K. A., & Clément, R. (1996). Communicating across cultures: Social determinants and acculturative consequences. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 28(3), 214–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Nolen, S. B., Horn, I. S., & Ward, C. J. (2015). Situating motivation. Educational Psychologist, 50(3), 234–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Nolen, S. B., Ward, C. J., & Horn, I. S. (2011). Motivation, engagement, and identity: Opening a conversation. In D. M. McInnerny, R. A. Walker, & G. A. Liem (Eds.), Sociocultural theories of learning and motivation: Looking back, looking forward (Vol. 10, pp. 109–135). Charlotte, NC: Information Age.Google Scholar
  55. Nolen, S. B., Ward, C. J., & Horn, I. S. (2012). Methods for taking a situative approach to studying the development of motivation, identity and learning in multiple social contexts. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 27, 267–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Pavlenko, A. (2005). Emotions and multilingualism. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  57. Sachdev, I., & Bourhis, R. Y. (2001). Multilingual communication. In W. P. Robinson & H. Giles (Eds.), The new handbook of language and social psychology (pp. 407–428). New York, NY: Wiley.Google Scholar
  58. Sachdev, I., Giles, H., & Pauwels, A. (2012). Accommodating multilinguality. In T. K. Bhatia & W. C. Ritchie (Eds.), The handbook of bilingualism and multilingualism (pp. 391–418). Malden, MA: Blackwell.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Sampasivam, S., & Clément, R. (2014). The dynamics of second language confidence: Perspective and interaction. In S. Mercer & M. Williams (Eds.), Multiple perspectives on the self (pp. 23–40). Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Segalowitz, N., & Freed, B. (2004). Context, contact, and cognition in oral fluency acquisition: Learning Spanish in at home and study abroad contexts. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 26(2), 173–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Ushioda, E. (2015). Context and complex dynamic systems theory. In Z. Dörnyei, P. MacIntyre, & A. Henry (Eds.), Motivational dynamics in language learning (pp. 47–54). Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  62. Ushioda, E., & Dörnyei, Z. (2013). Motivation. In S. Gass & A. Mackey (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of second language acquisition (pp. 396–409). New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  63. Volet, S., & Kimmel, K. (2012). Editorial introduction: Motivation and learning in multiple contexts. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 27, 155–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Volet, S. E., & Järvelä, S. (Eds.). (2001). Motivation in learning contexts: Theoretical advances and methodological implications. Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  65. Woolard, K. A. (1989). Double talk: Bilingualism and the politics of ethnicity in Catalonia. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Odilia Yim
    • 1
    Email author
  • Richard Clément
    • 1
  • Peter D. MacIntyre
    • 2
  1. 1.University of OttawaOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Cape Breton UniversitySydneyCanada

Personalised recommendations