Advertisement

Motivation of Young Learners of Foreign Languages

  • Jelena Mihaljević Djigunović
  • Marianne Nikolov
Chapter

Abstract

In this chapter young learners’ motivation for language learning is presented as a construct distinct from motivation of more mature language learners. Based on their critical overview of research to date, the authors trace its dynamic and complex nature reflected in interactions with contextual factors (valued others, immediate learning environment, out-of-school exposure to the target language) and with other individual learner differences (age, gender, self-concept and anxiety). Two novel ideas are stressed: the key role that tasks play in shaping children’s motivation and the reciprocal relationship between young learners’ and their teachers’ motivation. The highlight of the chapter is a comprehensive framework for researching young learners’ motivation, integrating the stages of motivational development and shifts in roles of valued others.

References

  1. Aro, M. (2009). Speakers and doers. Polyphony and agency in children’s beliefs about language learning. Jyväskylä: Jyväskylä Studies in Humanities.Google Scholar
  2. Blondin, C., Candelier, M., Edelenbos, P., Johnstone, R., Kubanek-German, A., & Taeschner, T. (1998). Foreign languages in primary and pre-school education: A review of recent research within the European Union. London: CILT.Google Scholar
  3. Butler, Y. G. (2017). The dynamics of motivation development among young learners of English in China. In J. Enever & E. Lindgren (Eds.), Early language learning. Complexity and mixed methods (pp. 167–185). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cantin, S., & Boivin, M. (2004). Change and stability in children’s social network and self-perceptions during transition from elementary to junior high school. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 28(6), 561–570.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Carreira, J. M. (2012). Motivational orientations and psychological needs in EFL learning among elementary school students in Japan. System, 40, 191–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chambers, G. (2000). Motivation and the learners of modern languages. In S. Green (Ed.), New perspectives on teaching and learning modern languages (pp. 46–76). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  7. Council of Europe. (2007). From linguistic diversity to plurilingual education: Guide for the development of language education policies in Europe. Main version. Strasbourg: Council of Europe, Language Policy Division.Google Scholar
  8. Croatian National Framework Curriculum. (2011). Zagreb: Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports.Google Scholar
  9. Csapó, B., & Nikolov, M. (2009). The cognitive contribution to the development of proficiency in a foreign language. Learning and Individual Differences, 19, 203–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Csizér, K., & Kormos, J. (2008). The relationship of intercultural contact and language learning motivation among Hungarian students of English and German. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 29(1), 30–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dörnyei, Z. (2005). The psychology of the language learner: Individual differences in second language acquisition. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  12. Dörnyei, Z., Csizér, K., & Németh, N. (2006). Motivation, language attitudes, and globalisation: A Hungarian perspective. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dörnyei, Z., & Ottó, I. (1998). Motivation in action: A process model of L2 motivation (Vol. 4, pp. 43–69). London: Working Papers in Applied Linguistics (Thames Valley University.Google Scholar
  14. Edelenbos, P., Johnstone, R., & Kubanek, A. (2006). Languages for the children in Europe: Published research, good practice and main principles. Strasbourg: European Commission. Retrieved from ec.europa.eu/education/policies/lang/doc/young_en.pdf.Google Scholar
  15. Falout, J., Elwood, J., & Hood, M. (2009). Demotivation: Affective states and learning outcomes. System, 37, 403–417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fenyvesi, K. (2018). Individual differences in early learning of English in Danish schools: A mixed-methods study. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. University of Southern Denmark.Google Scholar
  17. Gardner, R. C. (2001). Language learning motivation: The student, the teacher, and the researcher. Texas Papers in Foreign Language Education, 6, 1–18.Google Scholar
  18. Genesee, F. (1978). Is there an optimal age for starting second language instruction? McGill Journal of Education, 3(2), 145–154.Google Scholar
  19. Goodenow, C., & Grady, K. E. (1993). The relationship of school belonging and friends’ values to academic motivation among urban adolescent students. Journal of Experimental Education, 62, 60–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Harris, J. (2009). Expanding the comparative context for early language learning: From foreign to heritage and minority language programmes. In M. Nikolov (Ed.), The age factor and early language learning (pp. 351–376). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  21. Heinzmann, S. (2013). Young language learners’ motivation and attitudes. Longitudinal, comparative and explanatory perspectives. London, UK: Bloomsbury Academic.Google Scholar
  22. Henry, A. (2013). Digital games and ELT: Bridging the authenticity gap. In E. Ushioda (Ed.), International perspectives on motivation: Language learning and professional challenges (pp. 133–155). Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Julkunen, K., & Borzova, H. (1997). English language learning motivation in Joensuu and Petrozavodsk. Joensuu: University of Joensuu.Google Scholar
  24. Kim, T.-Y. (2011). Korean elementary school students’ English learning demotivation: A comparative survey study. Asia Pacific Education Review, 12(1), 1–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kim, T. Y., & Seo, H. S. (2012). Elementary school students’ foreign language learning demotivation: A mixed methods study of Korean EFL context. The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 21, 160–171.Google Scholar
  26. Lamb, M. (2007). The impact of school on EFL learning motivation: An Indonesian study. TESOL Quarterly, 41(4), 757–780.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lamb, M. (2017). The motivational dimension of language teaching. Language Teaching, 50(3), 301–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Marschollek, A. (2002). Kognitive und affektive Flexibilität durch frmde Schprachen. Eine empirische untersuchung in der primarstufe. [Cognitive and affective flexibility in foreign languages. Empirical study of first grade]. Münster: Lit.Google Scholar
  29. Mihaljević Djigunović, J. (2009, March). Learner behaviour and learning outcomes: Insights from the YL classrooms. Paper presented at the AAAL conference, 21–24 March 2009, Denver, CO.Google Scholar
  30. Mihaljević Djigunović, J. (2015). Individual differences among young EFL learners: Age- or proficiency-related? A look from the affective learner factors perspective. In J. Mihaljević Djigunović & M. M. Krajnović (Eds.), Early learning and teaching of English. New dynamics of primary English (pp. 10–36). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Mihaljević Djigunović, J. (2017). Developmental aspects of early EFL learning. In J. Enever & E. Lindgren (Eds.), Early language learning. Complexity and mixed methods (pp. 222–246). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Mihaljević Djigunović, J., & Letica Krevelj, S. (2010). Instructed early SLA—Development of attitudes. SRAZ, 53, 137–156.Google Scholar
  33. Mihaljević Djigunović, J., & Vilke, M. (2000). Eight years after: Wishful thinking vs facts of life. In J. Moon & M. Nikolov (Eds.), Research into teaching English to young learners (pp. 66–86). Pécs: University Press Pécs.Google Scholar
  34. Nikolov, M. (1999). “Why do you learn English?” “Because the teacher is short.” A study of Hungarian children’s foreign language learning motivation. Language Teaching Research, 3(1), 33–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Nikolov, M. (2001). A study of unsuccessful language learners. In Z. Dörnyei & R. Schmidt (Eds.), Motivation and second language acquisition (pp. 149–170). Honolulu, HI: The University of Hawaii, Second Language Teaching and Curriculum Center.Google Scholar
  36. Nikolov, M. (2003). Angolul és németül tanuló diákok nyelvtanulási attitűdje és motivációja [Attitudes and motivation of English and German learners]. Iskolakultúra, XIII(8), 61–73.Google Scholar
  37. Nikolov, M. (2008). “Az általános iskola, az módszertan!” Alsó tagozatos angolórák empirikus vizsgálata [“Primary school means methodology!” An empirical study on lower-primary EFL classes]. Modern Nyelvoktatás, X(1–2), 3–19.Google Scholar
  38. Nikolov, M. (2016). Trends, issues, and challenges in assessing young language learners. In M. Nikolov (Ed.), Assessing young learners of English: Global and local perspectives (pp. 1–18). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Nikolov, M. (2017). Students’ and teachers’ feedback on diagnostic tests for young EFL learners: Implications for classrooms. In M. P. G. Mayo (Ed.), Learning foreign languages in primary school: Research insights (pp. 249–266). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Nikolov, M., & Mihaljević Djigunović, J. (2011). All shades of every color: An overview of early teaching and learning of foreign languages. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 31, 95–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Oga-Baldwin, W. L. Q., Nakata, Y., Parker, P., & Ryan, M. (2017). Motivating young language learners: A longitudinal model of self-determined motivation in elementary school foreign language classes. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 49, 140–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Papi, M., & Abdollahzadeh, E. (2012). Teacher motivational practice, student motivation, and possible L2 selves: An examination in the Iranian EFL context. Language Learning, 62(2), 571–594.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Pfenninger, S. E., & Singleton, D. (2017). Beyond age effects in instructional L2 learning. Revisiting the age factor. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  44. Rixon, S. (2016). Do developments in assessment represent the ‘coming of age’ of young learners’ English language teaching initiatives? The international picture. In M. Nikolov (Ed.), Assessing young learners of English: Global and local perspectives (pp. 19–41). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Şad, S. N., & Gűrbűztűrk, O. (2015). The affective objectives in early foreign language teaching: A scale development study. International Journal of Academic Research in Education, 1(1), 1–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Song, B., & Kim, T.-Y. (2017). The dynamics of demotivation and remotivation among Korean high school EFL students. System, 65, 90–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Sung, H., & Padilla, A. M. (1998). Student motivation, parental attitudes, and involvement in the learning of Asian languages in elementary and secondary schools. Modern Language Journal, 82(2), 205–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Szpotowicz, M., & Lindgren, E. (2011). Language achievements: A longitudinal perspective. In J. Enever (Ed.), Early language learning in Europe (pp. 125–143). London: The British Council.Google Scholar
  49. Tragant Mestre, E., & Lundberg, G. (2011). The teacher’s role: What is its significance in early language learning? In J. Enever (Ed.), Early language learning in Europe (pp. 81–100). London: The British Council.Google Scholar
  50. Ushioda, E. (2016). Language learning motivation through a small lens: A research agenda. Language Teaching, 49(4), 564–577.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Zhang, Q.-M., & Kim, T.-Y. (2013). Cross-grade analysis of Chinese students’ English learning motivation: A mixed-methods study. Asia Pacific Education Review, 14, 615–627.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jelena Mihaljević Djigunović
    • 1
  • Marianne Nikolov
    • 2
  1. 1.Zagreb UniversityZagrebCroatia
  2. 2.University of PécsPécsHungary

Personalised recommendations