Assessing Motivation and Learning Strategies Using the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire in a Foreign Language Learning Context

By Huang, Shu-Chen | Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, April 20, 2008 | Go to article overview

Assessing Motivation and Learning Strategies Using the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire in a Foreign Language Learning Context


Huang, Shu-Chen, Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal


This study pinpointed the lack of, and necessity for, using standardized questionnaires for the study of learner motivation in the foreign language (L2) learning context. To compare the similarities and differences in general education and L2 learning, the researcher chose the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ; Pintrich, Smith, Garcia, & McKeachie, 1991) and investigated the scale's reliability and its correlation with L2 achievement. Results suggested that, in spite of some inherent uniqueness, L2 learning is similar to other subjects in the school environment and the MSLQ has the potential to be applied to L2-related studies.

Keywords: learning motivation, Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire, foreign language learning, Attitude and Motivation Test Battery.

Motivation has generally been considered to be an important factor in student learning and achievement (e.g., Domyei, Csizer, & Nerneth, 2006; Gardner, Tremblay, & Masgoret, 1997; Schunk, Pintrich, & Meese, 2007; Volet & Jarvela, 2001). The fact that learning motivation is not directly observable makes selfreport questionnaires one of the most common types of research instrument utilized (Dornyei, 2001). In general educational settings, various standardized motivation scales have been developed, validated, and applied for both theoretical and pedagogical purposes (Schunk et al., 2007). However, in the specific field of second/foreign language (L2) learning and teaching, standardized survey instruments probing learner motivation are relatively rare and less frequently used (Dörnyei). Many L2 researchers (e.g., Chen, Warden, & Chang, 2005; Kormos & Dörnyei, 2004) developed their own questionnaires because it was the best way to ensure that their particular research needs were adequately addressed. One major problem with this phenomenon is that results cannot be compared across studies and it is difficult to accumulate research results over time.

Despite the prevalence of various customized motivational test batteries, one L2 motivation instrument is well-known and has been adapted repeatedly, that is, Gardner and his associates' Attitude and Motivation Test Battery (AMTB; Gardner, Tremblay, & Masgoret, 1997). The AMTB was first introduced in Gardner's (1985) social-psychological theory of L2 motivation. Originating from the Anglo-Francophone bilingual society in Canada, the theory postulates that motivation to learn a second language can be either integrative or instrumental. Learners with an integrative orientation are genuinely interested in the target language and its associated culture, whereas learners with an instrumental orientation are more concerned with the utility of the target language for practical purposes such as securing a better job or obtaining a raise in pay. The former orientation is generally considered to yield more intensive learning efforts and a better learning outcome.

Although the AMTB is a comprehensive scale (containing 100 items in 12 subscales) developed with procedures to ensure validity and reliability, it is not readily applicable by other L2 researchers to other learning situations. The reasons for this have to do with both construct and context. In terms of theoretical construct, Dörnyei (2005) points out that the AMTB assesses both motivation and motivated behavior, making it difficult "to decide the exact nature of the underlying learner trait that the instrument targets" (p. 73). In terms of research context, the AMTB classifies L2 learning as a social behavior and assumes that social contact with people and their culture represented by the target L2 is a natural part of the learning experience. This is not the case with many L2 learners in other parts of the world. For example, many Asian countries are homogeneous in terms of the language spoken. Opportunities to interact with native English speakers are rare and the saliency of integration in bilingual societies may not be as obvious. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Assessing Motivation and Learning Strategies Using the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire in a Foreign Language Learning Context
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.