Role of Motivation in Learning a Foreign Language

Motivation is the urge or drives to take action to achieve wants or goals. As for the language learners, the ultimate success lies in the proficiency of a language. However, for others competency in a language is not enough; better communication skills must be put together to achieve the ultimate purpose. Several learner motivation models have been put forward under the pretext of linguistics, sociolinguistics and second-language acquisition. Some of the well-known works are widely accepted. The works of Clement, Gardner, Usioda Darnyei and McIntyre are few of them.

Before analyzing the ultimate upshot of motivation on second language learning, it’s imperative to comprehend the impact of a single variable, together with other factors, on the learner’s success. Gardener (1982) recognized several unified factors in his socio-educational model whilst learning a second language. Contrary to other researches, Gardner focuses explicitly on the second language acquisition embedded in a structured classroom instead of a natural ambiance. His working centers its verdict on the foreign language classroom. Attempts have been made in this model to correlate the descriptions of second language acquisition. Besides, the model embraces social and cultural milieu as well as individual learner differences and the bracket under which the learning is assumed (Gardner 1982).

Back in 1991, Crookes and Schmidt, recognized the learner’s orientation with respect to the aim of erudition of second language. This implies that the learner’s positive attitude concerning target language group coupled with crave for adding target language community. Hudson (2000) fancy the yearn something factual from the study of a second language. Instrumental motivation inspires the objective to attain socio-economic reward through the L2 accomplishment.

As Dornyei (2001: 116) notes, ‘teacher skills in motivating learners should be seen as central to teaching effectiveness'. Publications offering classroom-specific taxonomies, they may lack effectual guide to practitioners.

Before proposing few of these motivational approaches, it’d be rather more pertinent to speak about the teacher/learner relationship. No matter what, this relationship is pierced with power and status. It goes without saying that power plays a pivotal role in the relationship, not now, but for several years. When it comes to the rights and duties of teachers and learners, power supersedes. Both these connotations are linked with power. For example, several teachers could possibly proclaim that they reserve the right to penalize disobey learners. In any societal confrontation involving more than one individual, power relationships are inevitable ‘which are almost asymmetrical’ (Wright, 1987: 17). 

Motivation approaches are incapable to function in a vacuum. In order to make the motivation more operational, some requirements ought to be met first. These requirements include (a) a suitable teacher behavior and a magnanimous student-teacher connection, (b) an agreeable classroom ambiance, and (c) a consistent learner group under the pretext of a applicable customs.

Teacher behavior is a prevailing ‘motivational tool’ (Dornyei, 2001: 120). The teacher stimulus is diverse in that it ranges from the empathy with student-teacher attitudes that conquer students to engross in undertakings. As for the Alison (1993), the focal point is to ascertain the relationship of common belief and esteem which can only be achieved by negotiating on a more personal level.

In order to stimulate students to learn, they require liberal prospects to discover as well as consistent inspiration to boost their learning endeavors. For the reason that such type of motivation is too dubious to pull off under the present hectic atmosphere, it’s critical that the teacher must realize the importance of organizing and managing classroom leading to creative upbringing. Besides, inquisitive students may not be motivated to discover innovative things especially under the bar of unwind and impractical heaven (Good and Brophy, 1994: 215).

As mentioned above, disintegrated groups branded with the dearth of willingness can effortlessly result in the futile setting thereby diminishing the individual member’s assurance to learn. There are numerous dynamics that are actually responsible for the group consistency such as the time expended jointly, communal group history, knowing about each other, and interfacing, competition within the group, mutual threats, and energetic attendance of the leader (Ehrman and Dornyei, 1998: 142).

Ellis (1994), in an attempt to explore motivation, merely emphasize that the motivation shakes the degree to which the language learners orbits in the learning process; what types of behavior they may employ, and their ordinary accomplishment. Wlodwoski explained motivation as “the processes that can (a) arouse and instigate behavior, (b) give direction or purpose to behavior,(c) continue to allow behavior to persist, and (d) lead to choosing or preferring a particular behavior” (1985, p. 2).

Good and Brophy (1994: 228) note that ‘the simplest way to ensure that people value what they are doing is to maximise their free choice and autonomy'—a sentiment shared by Ushioda (1997: 41), who remarks that ‘self-motivation is a question of thinking effectively and meaningfully about learning experience and learning goals. It’s matter of smearing constructive thought patters coupled with credence edifice so as to ensure an optimum one’s participation in learning.

Conclusively, mentors must come forward to persuade developing programs that provoke student’s interest considering short term achievements with the intention of making language learning process an inspiring know-how. At the University level, this might incorporate several foreign exchange programs and other pursuits which stimulate students to augment their target language proficiency. Nevertheless, the job may be deemed to be troublesome at the primary or secondary level. A special programs ought to be introduced (in Universities) in order to facilitate the entrance students and incite them to expand language proficiency.