Motivation of Young Learners of Foreign Languages

  • Jelena Mihaljević Djigunović
  • Marianne Nikolov


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.


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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

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