Self-determination and Motivated Engagement in Language Learning

  • Kimberly A. NoelsEmail author
  • Nigel Mantou Lou
  • Dayuma I. Vargas Lascano
  • Kathryn E. Chaffee
  • Ali Dincer
  • Ying Shan Doris Zhang
  • Xijia Zhang


This chapter provides an overview of self-determination theory (SDT), and reviews how it has been incorporated in second language learning research to better understand language learning motivation. Findings from 20 years of empirical studies generally support the premises of SDT, although there are noteworthy gaps in this body of research regarding the motivational process across learners’ ages and ethnolinguistic contexts, as well as regarding the dynamic, time-nested nature of the process. The chapter ends by suggesting future directions for theory development, quantitative and qualitative research, and interventions for teaching.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kimberly A. Noels
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nigel Mantou Lou
    • 1
  • Dayuma I. Vargas Lascano
    • 2
  • Kathryn E. Chaffee
    • 1
  • Ali Dincer
    • 3
  • Ying Shan Doris Zhang
    • 1
  • Xijia Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.University of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Université LavalQuebecCanada
  3. 3.Erzincan Binali Yildirim UniversityErzincanTurkey

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