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Classroom social climate, self-determined motivation, willingness to communicate, and achievement: A study of structural relationships in instructed second language settings

Classroom social climate, self-determined
motivation, willingness to communicate, and
achievement: A study of structural relationships in
instructed second language settings
Hye-Kyoung Joea
Phil Hivera*
Ali H. Al-Hoorieb c
PRE-PUBLICATION COPY [This is the pre-publication copy of Joe, H.-K., Hiver, P., & Al-
Hoorie, A. H. (2017). Classroom social climate, self-determined motivation, willingness to
communicate, and achievement: A study of structural relationships in instructed second
language settings. Learning and Individual Differences, 53, 133–144. doi:
The purpose of this study is to integrate three related theoretical frameworksclassroom
social climate, self-determination theory (SDT), and L2 willingness to communicate
(WTC)—and investigate connections between key individual and situational factors for
motivation and L2 achievement in a formal secondary-school setting in Korea (N = 381). We
propose a model of the impact of the classroom social climate on secondary school L2
learnersself-determined motivation and WTC, before extending our analysis to the effect of
these individual and contextual factors on L2 achievement. Structural equation modeling
showed that self-determined motivation was predicted by satisfaction of basic psychological
needs (i.e., autonomy, competence, and relatedness), which are in turn predicted by positive
classroom social climate. WTC was predicted strongly by satisfaction of basic psychological
needs, and weakly by perceived competence and identified regulation, but not by intrinsic
motivation. L2 achievement was initially predicted significantly by identified regulation and
perceived competence, but after controlling for prior achievement only perceived competence
remained a significant, but weak (β = .07), predictor. These findings support the notion that
context is an empirically relevant frame of reference for the study of individual factors, and
highlight the impact a classroom environment exerts on important L2 learning outcomes.
However, it also underscores the work remaining in the L2 learning field to uncover robust
predictors of L2 achievement. We hope this study will stimulate further research into the
situated and interrelated nature of motivation, WTC, and achievement that will both
consolidate and refine current theoretical and empirical insights.
Keywords: self-determination theory, L2 willingness to communicate, basic psychological
needs, classroom social climate, L2 achievement
1. Introduction
One cannot think of successful second or foreign language (L2) development
occurring without at least some form of motivation on the part of the learner (Dörnyei &
Ryan, 2015). Motivation governs the direction and magnitude of behavioral choices regarding
what goals to avoid or pursue (Dörnyei & Ushioda, 2011), and provides an indication of the
quality and quantity of goal-directed effort. As such, the question of how to get and keep
learners motivated through the dips and peaks of language development may be a priority of
much of L2 instruction. However, the majority of L2 learning worldwide occurs in formal
classroom settings involving long hours of intense preparation to succeed in compulsory
examinations. Without debating the relative merit of these characteristics, we believe this
indicates that learners are presented with little need to use the target language apart from
achieving good grades. Thus, while there may be learners whose L2 learning behavior is
driven by externally-regulated motives, the notion of individual volitional action to
communicate in the L2—considered one of the most desirable outcomes of learning a second
languageis arguably absent from these settings (MacIntyre, 2007).
A longstanding emphasis within this field is a focus on contextual features of the L2
classroom, conditions which are thought to play a key part in initiating and sustaining L2
learning motivation due to the distributed nature (i.e., between people) of engagement and
goal-directed behavior in classrooms (Wedell & Malderez, 2013). The notion that classrooms
have distinct psychological environments, which may in turn affect individualsthought and
action, has been around for the better part of a century (Greeno, 2015). In the realm of L2
learning and use, this is even more pronounced because of the understanding that learner
characteristics, behavior, and development can be influenced by various competing temporal
and situational factors (e.g., Batstone, 2010; Kramsch, 2008; Larsen-Freeman, 2015; van Lier,
2004). Integrating various situative and individual constructs or processes offers a way to
examine learning and development beyond the individual, thus explaining why “individuals
take up practices in particular contexts as a function of their ongoing participation in social
practices” (Nolen et al., 2015, p. 235).
In this study we build on recent research showing the importance of a situated
perspective of L2 learnerswillingness to communicate (e.g., Cao, 2011; Khajavy, Ghonsooly,
Fatemi, & Choi, 2016; Peng, 2014; Yashima, 2012) to investigate the relationships between
individual and situational factors that impact L2 willingness to communicate (WTC) and L2
achievement in a formal classroom setting. Noels (2009) has proposed that self-determination
theory (SDT) is a core model for addressing both the individual learner’s agency in a formal
classroom setting and the social context of language learning. The constructs of SDT and
WTC address not only how satisfaction of basic psychological needs (e.g., autonomy,
competence, and relatedness) can lead to autonomous forms of motivated behavior in the
language classroom, but they are also well-suited to integrating situational factorssuch as
the classroom social environment—into a combined framework for investigating cognitive
choices and behavioral outcomes in L2 instructional settings. Our primary aim in this article,
extending work by Deci et al. (2001) which proposes that autonomy support contributes to
needs satisfaction and predicts key outcomes, is to capture theoretical and empirical insights
in constructing an integrative framework of the structural relationships between these aspects.
To do so, we propose a novel model of the impact of the classroom social climate on
secondary school L2 learners’ self-determined motivation and subsequent influence on WTC,
before extending our analysis to the effect of these individual and contextual factors on L2
2. Literature Review
2.1. Context and the Classroom Social Climate
A growing body of evidence suggests that the classroom social climate plays a
significant role in what actually happens in the process of learning, and the way that the
people in the classroom group think and behave (Jennings & Greenberg, 2009; Klem &
Connell, 2004). Interpersonal relationships, modes of communication between individuals,
and other group processes that exist in the context of a classroom can be seen as part of this
classroom social climate (Dörnyei & Murphey, 2003). On an individual-focused level, the
way students perceive various aspects of the classroom social environment relates to their
self-beliefs, which are associated with the use of adaptive self-regulatory strategies that in
turn influence the nature and extent of their engagement and achievement in academic tasks
(Patrick, Kaplan, & Ryan, 2011). However, even learnersengagement, conventionally
thought of as involving primarily cognitive involvement and affective connections, has begun
to be explored in ways which foreground the inherently social nature of educational and
intellectual endeavors (Wentzel, 2012). Philp and Duchesne (2016, p. 57) term this outcome
“mutualityor the effort, active participation, and responsiveness that occurs when learners
partake in reciprocal social interactions in L2 classroom settings.
Research into the social climate of the classroom posits three complementary
constructs (Patrick & Ryan, 2005): teacher academic support, teacher emotional support, and
classroom mutual respect. Teacher academic support refers to student perceptions of the
teacher helping them to master the learning content rather than encouraging competitiveness
between learners; teacher emotional support relates to a student’s perceptions of the teacher
caring for them as a person and supporting their overall well-being; classroom mutual respect
concerns the studentsperceptions of their teacher encouraging mutual respect and peer help
in classroom interactions (see also Patrick, Ryan, & Kaplan, 2007). The premise of these
dimensions of the social climate of a classroom is that the extent to which students sense
emotional support from their teacher, feel personally valued and able to contribute through
interactions with their peers, and perceive their teacher as being committed to supporting
their learning is an important precursor to studentseffort, engagement, and achievement in
the classroom (Ryan & Patrick, 2001).
With respect to classroom social climate and L2 learning in particular, research
conducted by Noels and colleagues (Noels, 2001; Noels, Clément, & Pelletier, 1999) is
noteworthy as their results indicate an important link between students’ perceptions that their
teachers’ instructional style was autonomy-supportive, on the one hand, and positive
language learning outcomes on the other. This has also been explored with regard to learners’
self-determined motivation (Noels, 2009; Reeve & Jang, 2006) and L2 willingness to
communicate (Peng & Woodrow, 2010). More recent research has reported not only that a
teacher providing informative feedback about learning progress was associated with
increased intrinsic motivation but also, conversely, that the more the students perceived their
teachers to be controlling, the lower the students’ intrinsic motivation (Jang, Reeve, & Deci,
2010; Skaalvik & Skaalvik, 2013). Because an optimal social environment is likely to
facilitate activities and interactions that promote L2 learners’ psychological well-being, we
expect the classroom social climate to influence basic psychological needs (i.e., autonomy,
competence, and relatedness) that lead to more autonomous forms of motivation. We build on
this idea in the next section.
2.2. Self-Determined Motivation and L2 Learning
Self-determination Theory (SDT) has been described as a comprehensive theory of human
motivation (Deci & Ryan, 2000), developed on the premise that when basic psychological
needs are satisfied as a function of interpersonal dynamics and social settings human beings
naturally develop growth-oriented propensitiesnamely, internalization and intrinsic
motivation (Deci, & Ryan, 2012; Noels, 2009). SDT theorists argue that when these basic
psychological needs are met humans are able to internalize motivated behaviors—that is, they
become self-determined and autonomously initiated (Deci & Ryan, 2002). We, thus, expect
the more self-determined types of motivation to be influenced by satisfaction of basic
psychological needs in classroom settings as these position learners to engage in more
autonomously motivated pursuits (e.g., Carreira, 2012; Jang, Reeve, Ryan, & Kim, 2009).
Extrinsic and intrinsic motivations are thought to exist on a continuum of self-
determination (Reeve, 2002). On this continuum, amotivation is the absence of any kind of
motivation. Types of extrinsic motivation range from the least self-determined form external-
regulation, to introjected-regulation (i.e., when external forces of control have been
internalized to some extent), identified-regulation (i.e., when an internalized sense of the
personal value of an activity is achieved), and integrated-regulation (i.e., when performing an
activity becomes a means of expressing core aspects of one’s identity). Although it originates
externally, integrated-regulation shares several characteristics with intrinsic motivation, given
that it stems from values that are fully congruent with aspects of a learner’s self (Deci,
Vallerand, Pelletier, & Ryan, 1991). Particularly with beginning adolescent L2 learners,
however, this type of regulation is not easily distinguished from identified regulation because
the source of motivation originates from outside (Noels, 2001; Pintrich, 2003). Because our
sample is adolescent L2 learners, we do not examine integrated regulation, and instead focus
on identified regulation and intrinsic motivation in the rest of this article.
While SDT research has demonstrated that both intrinsic and identified self-
regulations are associated with successful learning outcomes (Burton, Lydon, D’Alessandro,
& Koestner, 2006), the continuum view of self-regulatory styles positions individuals’
acceptance of the value and importance of a behavior and its integration into the self (i.e.,
identified regulation) further away from the autonomous end than individuals freely choosing
to perform an activity for its own sake out of an underlying sense of interest and enjoyment
(i.e., intrinsic regulation). Some scholars have concluded that because identified regulation
has stronger associations with investment of effort and persistence, it is key to the successful
regulation of behaviors that are highly valued socially but not necessarily fun, and thus a
more significant determinant of performance outcomes (Gagné & Deci, 2005; Ratelle, Guay,
Vallerand, Larose, & Senècal, 2007). On the other hand, intrinsic motivation may be more
closely linked to enjoyable experiences such as L2 communication (Pae, 2008) as it is the
form of activity regulation most closely associated affective drives that relate to happiness or
satisfaction while engaging in an activity.
With its unique focus on internalization as a process of transformation, the direct
implication of SDT for L2 pedagogy is that extrinsically motivated students can develop
toward more self-determined types of motivation given optimal environments which
encourage choice in the learning activity, support learners’ efforts in meeting new challenges
and help foster learners’ sense of competence in their abilities (rnyei & Ushioda, 2011;
Noels & Giles, 2009). Existing research indicates that individuals who report learning an L2
for more self-determined reasons generally display greater motivational intensity, a
heightened desire for L2 learning, more positive attitudes towards L2 study, and higher L2
achievement (Noels, Clément, & Pelletier, 1999; Noels, Pelletier, Clément, & Vallerand, 2000;
Pae, 2008). We, thus, expect WTC and L2 achievement to be influenced by these more self-
determined types of motivation, and test the influence of these two self-regulatory styles on
our outcome variables separately.
2.3. L2 Willingness to Communicate
The construct of WTC has, and continues to attract considerable interest in the L2
learning research (Gregersen & MacIntyre, 2014). WTC is generally defined as a volitional
decision to initiate communication in the second language in a particular situation with a
particular person at a particular moment in time (MacIntyre, Clément, Dörnyei, & Noels,
1998). Whereas willingness to communicate in one’s first language was originally
conceptualized more as a stable trait-like difference, L2 WTC takes into account dynamic
contextual factors as well (MacIntyre & Legatto, 2011). L2 WTC is commonly associated
with the sub-factors perceived communicative competence and communicative apprehension.
The first of these is an individual student’s own confidence in his or her communicative
competence, which has been shown to have a robust link to WTC (e.g., Fallah, 2014, Öz,
Demirezen, & Pourfeiz, 2015). Communicative apprehension, on the other hand, refers to the
level of anxiety or fear of communicating in the second language and is found to be
negatively related to WTC across most research (Yashima, 2012).
WTC, on a fundamental level, is often more directly related to subjective self-
evaluation of an individual’s ability to communicate rather than an objective measure
(Gregersen & MacIntyre, 2014, p. 214). This self-evaluation includes not only one’s
confidence in their capacity to construct meaning through language that is linguistically
accurate, but extends also to using coherent and cohesive discourse, achieving functional
intentions, communicating in a social and contextually appropriate way, and compensating
strategically for gaps in this competence. Scholars, for instance, have acknowledged the
significance of self-evaluation and perceived communicative competence for individuals
enacting WTC (MacIntyre, 2007), with some finding a common tendency for apprehensive
learners to underestimate their communicative competence respective to their actual
competence (MacIntyre & Doucette, 2010). This emphasizes WTC as an act of self-
determined volition on the part of learners to initiate communication in the L2. We, therefore,
expect—as outlined previously—a direct effect on WTC from the more self-determined
forms of motivation, but also that greater satisfaction of learners’ basic psychological needs,
particularly perceptions of competence, will influence WTC directly (e.g., Peng & Woodrow,
Scholars working primarily within the SDT tradition have noted that “aspects of
context shape the learner’s experience, and, reciprocally, how the learner shapes the context
to meet her needs and aspirations” (Noels, 2009, p. 299). With regard to WTC, this links to
evidence from an intriguing line of research exploring WTC in L2 classrooms settings. This
body of work suggests that the characteristics of many L2 classroom settings predispose
learners to particular attributions, orientations, and attitudes that either encourage or inhibit
their willingness to engage in communication (Cao, 2011; Khajavy et al., 2016). Learners in
these studies, relying on experiential perceptions of the classroom environment, reported that
“the mood, emotions, or climate sensed and shared by the class group(Peng, 2013, p. 208),
what might also be referred to as the classroom atmosphere, is one of the most prominently
influential contextual factors. The fundamental aim of language classroom instruction is often
framed as enhancement of WTC (MacIntyre, Baker, Clément, & Donovan, 2003; Öz et al.,
Willingness to communicate functions as a conduit to language learning because
higher levels of WTC contribute to more frequent L2 use, and this increased interaction is
thought to promote successful L2 development (Kang, 2005; Yashima & Zenuk-Nishide,
2008). We test not only this assumption in our model, but we also expect the classroom social
environment to provide the necessary pre-conditions for greater self-determination that will
lead to enhanced WTC.
2.4. Hypotheses
We have reviewed three interrelated theoretical frameworks (i.e., classroom social
climate, SDT, and L2 WTC) in an attempt to formalize connections between key individual
and situational factors that have to date been discussed largely separately in the literature.
These factors are summarized conceptually in Figure 1. To be more specific, the overarching
hypotheses that we test in our study are as follows:
(a) positive classroom social climate promotes the satisfaction of learnersbasic
psychological needs (Patrick et al., 2007, 2011),
(b) satisfaction of basic psychological needs in turn leads to stronger self-determined
motivation (intrinsic motivation and identified regulation) (Deci, & Ryan, 2012; Jang
et al., 2009), and
(c) self-determined motivation subsequently influences WTC and achievement
positively (Pae, 2008; Peng & Woodrow, 2010).
In addition to these overall connections in Figure 1, we also anticipate more specific links:
(d) satisfaction of basic psychological needs also has a direct effect on WTC (Cao,
2011; Carreira, 2012),
(e) perceived competence facilitates both WTC and achievement directly (Fallah,
2014; Khajavy et al., 2016), and
(f) WTC influences achievement positively (Gregersen & MacIntyre, 2014;
MacIntyre, 2007).
Figure 1. The hypothesized model.
If a model fits the data, it is still possible that other competing models might fit the
same data equally well or even better (Kline, 2011; Shah & Goldstein, 2006). Therefore, the
second purpose of this study is to test a plausible alternative model that might explain the
relationships among the factors we are investigating. This competing model (Figure 2) posits
a reversed pathway whereby the self-determined forms of motivation predict the way students
perceive the classroom environment. According to this model, interpretation of the classroom
social climate is relational to (i.e., a function of) one’s motivation and satisfaction of basic
psychological needs. Whatever the actual classroom social climate, motivated learners will
perceive it as enjoyable while others will be left dissatisfied.
Finally, motivation researchers do not typically control for prior achievement. This is
unfortunate considering that finding significant associations between motivational factors and
outcome variables would mean little if these associations simply disappear once we control
for prior achievement levels. Because motivational factors would serve little purpose if they
do not add to our prediction of a variable (e.g., achievement) over and above our knowledge
of its existing state (e.g., prior achievement), the third purpose of this study is to add prior
achievement to the model in order to investigate which associations would remain significant
and which would not.
Figure 2. The competing model with reversed pathways.
3. Method
3.1. Participants
The participants were 381 (female = 266, male = 115) Korean secondary school
learners of English as a foreign language. We recruited these L2 learners using quota
sampling in order to ensure representation of various geographic regions, socioeconomic
strata, and the entire age range of secondary school (age range = 13–18 years old, M = 14.3,
SD = 2.7). Ninety-five participants (24.9%) were from secondary schools in the capital,
located in educationally competitive school districts with a higher than average
socioeconomic status. An additional 172 learners (45.1%) were from suburban schools
located in the most densely populated regions immediately surrounding the capital. The final
114 participants (29.9%) were from rural schools in provinces further south and southwest of
the capital. Compared to the capital, these areas differ considerably with respect to
educational investment and socioeconomic status. Korea is typical of many foreign language
contexts with mandated high-stakes tests, and most (85.5%) of the participants reported
engaging in regular independent L2 study outside of the compulsory classroom setting. The
majority (87.9%) indicated no study abroad experience in the L2.
3.2. Instruments
The participants responded to 5-point Likert scale items adapted from the literature
(see Appendix A). As a first step, the items were submitted to Mokken scale analysis using
MSP 5 (Molenaar & Sijtsma, 2000) in order to minimize the risk of spurious over-
dimensionalization which factor analysis, both exploratory and confirmatory, is prone to
when using questionnaire data (see van der Eijk & Rose, 2015). Confirmatory factor analysis
was then conducted to test the measurement model using Amos 22 (Arbuckle, 2013).
Mokken scale analysis pointed to seven factors underlying the data. Mokken also
calculates the homogeneity (H; >.30 weak, >.40 medium, >.50 strong) and reliability (rho)
for each scale. The results are presented next.
Classroom Social Climate (9 items, H = .63, rho = .92, α = .92) was adapted from
Patrick et al. (2011) and Patrick et al. (2007). Originally, this scale consisted of three
subscales: Teacher Academic Support, Teacher Emotional Support, and Classroom Mutual
Respect. The Mokken results suggest that it is not appropriate to treat these as three distinct
latent variables, at least in this context. Each of these three subscales was therefore
aggregated and used as an indicator of Classroom Social Climate (Teacher Academic Support,
3 items, α = .84; Teacher Emotional Support, 4 items, α = .84; Classroom Mutual Respect, 2
items, α = .71). Three additional items were excluded because the Mokken results indicated
that they do not load on the Classroom Social Climate construct.
Basic Psychological Needs were assessed through the following scales, all adapted
from Carreira (2012). Autonomy (3 items, H = .65, rho = .82, α = .81) was concerned with
learners’ sense of ownership of the learning process in the classroom; Competence (3 items,
H = .59, rho = .81, α = .78) was related to students’ perceptions of their competence as
language learners; Relatedness (2 items, H = .64, rho = .74, α = .71) was concerned with
interpersonal involvement with teachers and peers. Each of these three subscales was
aggregated and used as an indicator of Basic Psychological Needs in the model. One original
item from Relatedness was omitted because it did not load on that construct.
Self-Determined Motivation was assessed through two scales, both adapted from the
Language Learning Orientations Scale developed by Noels et al. (2000). Identified
Regulation (2 items, H = .53, rho = .71, α = .68) was related to self-selected, personally
important purposes for language learning behavior; Intrinsic Motivation (5 items, H = .66,
rho = .88, α = .89) was concerned with language learning behavior that is interesting,
enjoyable, and self-actualizing. One item from each scale was excluded because they did not
load on their respective constructs.
As educational outcomes, the following two measures were used.
Willingness to Communicate (12 items, H = .67, rho = .95, α = .95) was adapted from
Pae (2011), a scale previously used with Korean L1 respondents. These items were concerned
with willingness to communicate in the L2 with friends (4 items, α = .85), acquaintances (4
items, α = .85), and strangers (4 items, α = .83). Each of these three subscales was aggregated
and used as an indicator of Willingness to Communicate. Note that these three subscales are
distinct from the Autonomy scale mentioned above. While the Autonomy scale addressed
voluntary participation inside the classroom, these three subscales were concerned with
willingness to communicate outside the classroom with friends, acquaintances, and strangers.
The correlations between these three subscales and Autonomy were only moderate, rs
= .40, .41, and .40, respectively.
L2 Achievement. We obtained two measures of L2 achievement for each participant.
One was their exam results from the previous year (taken about six months before the study)
to serve as a measure of their prior achievement level, and one for the final exam (taken
approximately four months after the study).
The questionnaire scales were then submitted to confirmatory factor analysis in order
to test the measurement model. The results showed that the model had good fit, χ²(94) =
207.861, p < .001, χ²/df = 2.211, CFI = .973, RMSEA = .056, PCLOSE = .147. With the
exception of Competence (.46), all factor loadings were significant and over .50, and most of
them were over .70. Most standardized residuals were also below ±2, and none exceeded ±3,
indicating the observed covariance terms reasonably fitted the estimated covariance terms.
Table 1 also presents the construct reliability and average variance extracted (AVE) values,
showing that the model, with the possible exception of Basic Psychological Needs, had
generally satisfactory convergent and discriminant validity. There were no missing data to
Table 1
Reliability and validity of the constructs in the measurement model and their inter-construct
1. Intrinsic Motivation
2. Identified Regulation
3. Willingness to Communicate
4. Basic Psychological Needs
5. Classroom Social Climate
Note. CR = construct reliability, AVE = average variance extracted. Values in the diagonal are
the square roots of their respective AVE.
3.3. Procedure
The questionnaire items were adapted to the present context and translated into the
students’ L1 (Korean) by a non-affiliated researcher familiar with the principles of
questionnaire construction and both languages in question, and then back-translated by the
authors. Following initial IRB approval, we approached school administration and teaching
faculty in the locales of interest to obtain written institutional consent and verbal participant
assent. Students from the schools that agreed to participate completed the survey outside of
their regular class time. They were informed by the research assistant administering the
questionnaire about the purpose of the survey, reminded that participation was entirely
voluntary, and assured of the confidentiality of their responses. Throughout, the participants
were treated in accordance with APA ethical guidelines.
4. Results
The residuals of Intrinsic Motivation and Identified Regulation were allowed to
covary due to being at the same level of self-determined motivation. The model had a good fit,
χ²(107) = 227.280, p < .001, χ²/df = 2.124, CFI = .972, RMSEA = .054, PCLOSE = .222.
However, the modification indices suggested a path from Teacher Emotional Support to
Competence that we did not anticipate. Adding this path improved the model fit significantly,
Δχ2(1) = 34.907, p < .001, ΔRMSEA = .002. Although this additional path was exploratory, it
had hardly any impact on the remaining coefficients in the model, and so none of our
conclusions were affected by it. The results of this model are in Figure 3, χ²(106) = 192.373,
p < .001, χ²/df = 1.815, CFI = .980 RMSEA = .046, PCLOSE = .710.
Figure 3. Results of the final model without controlling for prior achievement. Error terms and their covariances were omitted for simplicity.
The full model is in Appendix B.
Note. † p < 10, * p < .05, *** p < .001
The results confirmed most of our hypotheses. However, only Competence and
Identified Regulation were significant predictors of L2 Achievement. Neither WTC nor
Intrinsic Motivation could predict it. The exploratory path from Teacher Emotional Support
to Competence was negative. One explanation may be that the social dimensions of a
classroom that promote emotional well-being are incongruent with these L2 students
perceptions of competence stemming from social comparison and normative criteria (i.e., test
scores as a measure of L2 achievement), particularly if those individuals define competence
as the superiority of their ability in relation to their classmates (e.g., Pintrich, Conley, &
Kempler, 2003; Senko, Hulleman, & Harackiewicz, 2011). Still, this finding and its
interpretation remain tentative, and might be specific to this Asian context. Therefore, we are
cautious not to over-interpret it.
Competence also predicted WTC and L2 Achievement directly. This indicates that
Competence predicts these two variables over and above its shared variance with the other
two indicators of Basic Psychological Needs. This is not surprising considering the role that
perceived competence plays in human motivation and performance, which has been
established experimentally (e.g., Bandura, 1986, 1997). What might have also contributed to
this direct path is the fact that Competence had the lowest loading on Basic Psychological
Needs (see also Figure 4), suggesting that some of its variance is not captured by this latent
variable. This also explains the relatively low AVE value reported in Table 1.
We then tested the competing model, in which the effect of Basic Psychological
Needs and Self-Determined Motivation is mediated by perception of the Classroom Social
Climate (see Figure 2). The competing model (AIC = 473.256, BIC = 642.796) fit less well
than the primary model (AIC = 286.373, BIC = 471.685). This suggests that the first model
(Figure 3) better accounts for the empirical data.
The best fitting model was then reanalyzed after controlling for Prior L2 Achievement
(Figure 4). This model had a good fit, χ²(117) = 217.105, p < .001, χ²/df = 1.856, CFI = .979,
RMSEA = .047, PCLOSE = .654. As for the first outcome, WTC, the results showed that
neither perceived Competence nor actual Prior L2 Achievement could predict it directly.
Instead, WTC was most strongly predicted by Basic Psychological Needs (one of which is
Competence). Additionally, WTC was predicted only weakly by Intrinsic Motivation and
Identified Regulation. As for the second outcome variable, L2 Achievement, adding Prior L2
Achievement to the model resulted in that no variable was now able to predict Final L2
Achievement except Competence, and only very weakly. Prior Achievement alone accounted
for about 65.6% of the variance (directly and indirectly; see Table 2), thus leaving just under
35% of the variance potentially explainable by the other variables. Competence explained
only 0.5% of this variance. A more detailed comparison of the coefficients before and after
controlling for Prior L2 Achievement is presented in Table 3.
Table 2
Standardized direct, indirect and total effects on the two primary outcome variables.
Final Achievement
Prior Achievement
Classroom Social Climate
Teacher Emotional Support
Basic Psychological Needs
Identified Regulation
Intrinsic Motivation
Willingness to Communicate
Note. Indirect effects were computed for each of 10,000 bootstrapped samples. Significance
was tested based on the 95% confidence interval.
* p < .05, *** p .001
Figure 4. Results of the final model after controlling for prior achievement. Error terms and their covariances were omitted for simplicity. The
full model is in Appendix B.
Note. * p < .05, *** p < .001
Table 3
Standardized and unstandardized coefficients, standard errors, and critical ratios for the two final models.
Social Climate
Basic Psychological Needs .55 (.54) 0.446 (0.434) .052 (.051) 8.619*** (8.441***)
Competence –.33 (–.26) –0.383 (–0.296) .064 (.059) 5.961*** (5.034***)
Intrinsic Motivation
.61 (.58)
0.949 (0.886)
.109 (.110)
8.708*** (8.060***)
Identified Regulation
.37 (.33)
0.352 (0.315)
.082 (.080)
4.305*** (3.953***)
.39 (.39)
0.555 (0.545)
.127 (.123)
4.360*** (4.449***)
.10 (.09)
0.094 (0.084)
.052 (.055)
1.814† (1.535)
Final L2 Achievement
.41 (.07)
0.412 (0.075)
.050 (.036)
8.186*** (2.103*)
.07 (.07)
0.068 (0.061)
.900 (.067)
0.368 (0.907*)
Final L2 Achievement
–.03 (–.05)
–0.028 (–0.053)
.062 (.040)
0.457 (1.332)
.13 (.13)
0.197 (0.194)
.084 (.084)
2.342* (2.301*)
Final L2 Achievement
.12 (.05)
0.193 (0.074)
.094 (.060)
2.060* (1.239)
Final L2 Achievement
.03 (.00)
0.033 (0.003)
.058 (.038)
0.561 (0.082)
Prior L2
Intrinsic Motivation
Final L2 Achievement
Identified Regulation
Basic Psychological Needs
Note. Values outside brackets are for the model before controlling for Prior L2 Achievement (i.e., Figure 3) while values inside brackets are
for the model that controls for Prior L2 Achievement (Figure 4).
p < .10, * p < .05, *** p < .001
5. Discussion
5.1 Revisiting Our Hypotheses
From its beginnings, L2 WTC has been conceptualized as a complex systemof sorts
(MacIntyre, 1998, p. 547), and the overall purpose of this study was to examine
empirically the relationships between the contextual and psychological factors that might
influence L2 learnersWTC and achievement in a formal classroom setting. To this end,
we set out to integrate a number of frameworks (see Figure 1) in an attempt to account for
how contextual factors affect the quality of individualsmotivation and in turn positively
influence instructed L2 learnersWTC and achievement. Our overarching goal,
represented in the integrated model in Figure 3, has been to investigate the extent to which
the social context of the L2 classroom functions as a key factor in determining the quality
of student motivation, thus contributing to WTC and success in L2 learning more broadly.
Consistent with our first hypothesis, our main findings indicate that the classroom
social climate was a significant predictor of learnersbasic psychological needs. These
results illustrate how context is an empirically relevant frame of reference for the study of
individual factors in the field. Furthermore, they add support for the idea that students
perceptions that their teacher cares about their learning and is invested in their well-being
and success, on the one hand, and their feelings of support, caring, and encouragement
from peers, on the other, will promote the necessary need satisfaction (Patrick et al., 2011).
In fact, classroom situations in which individuals feel under-valued, overly constrained, or
threatened are likely to elicit defensive or aggressive student reactions. Dimensions of the
social climate of the classroom that build relatedness may include learnersfeelings of
affiliation, group cohesion, and fair and positive interactions. A predictable learning
environment featuring moderately challenging tasks, necessary instructional support, and
regular experiences of success are likely to promote a sense of competence. Furthermore,
transparency, and the potential for choice over learning tasks, teams, and techniques that
learners are involved in will engender autonomy. Our model also indicated that teacher
emotional support predicted competence negatively; however, this result remains tentative
as it is based on an exploratory path.
With regards to our second hypothesis, need satisfaction in the L2 classroom was
significantly related to self-determined forms of motivation, and in addition to this our
model confirmed that basic psychological needs contribute positively to learnersWTC. As
with the previous hypothesis, the strength of these effects remained virtually unchanged
before and after controlling for prior L2 achievement. The finding that satisfaction of basic
psychological needs has a powerful direct influence on WTC may be a result of
individuals’ greater engagement, well-being, and self-endorsement that are precursors to
agentically committing oneself to volitional action such as L2 communication. Need
frustration, conversely, has been found to have the opposite effect on WTC in instructed
L2 settings (Cao, 2011).
However, although we hypothesized that intrinsic motivation would better predict
learnersWTC, we found evidence for a stronger link from identified regulation instead.
These results, whose implications we discuss at length below, provide support for what
Noels (2009) refers to as the somewhat counterintuitive superiority of identified regulation
in certain contexts or with certain activities, and confirms a point made previously that due
to its close association with investment of effort and persistence, identified regulation may
better predict the successful regulation of behaviors that are highly valued socially but not
necessarily fun—including, for instance, classroom L2 learning. This illustrates that the
characteristics and salience of social contexts, including the need satisfaction they promote,
can either nurture or hinder studentsgrowth-oriented propensities and relate strongly to
their motivation and learning outcomes (Carreira, 2012).
Turning to our more detailed hypotheses, we did not find support for the hypothesis
that perceived competence would contribute positively to WTC. This result is inconsistent
with some previous WTC research (Peng & Woodrow, 2011), but suggests that it may not
be competence per se that facilitates WTC but satisfaction of basic psychological needs
more generally. In addition, there is evidence that learners often fail to interact in the L2
despite their ability to do so (MacIntyre & Doucette, 2010). It is also possible that
individualsappraisals of their WTC may not adequately reflect the situated and dynamic
nature of this volition to communicate. Because WTC is a volitional process that is
inherently social, there are real-time approach and avoidance tendencies that depend much
more on the social contexts and on psychological conditions of those settings (Yashima,
2012). For instance, the level of anxiety and perceived distance induced by the
interactional setting may result in lower volition to communicate on particular timescales.
Thus, in the social setting of the secondary-level language classroom a focus on normative
L2 assessment criteria may encourage detrimental comparisons of competence and a
common orientation of visibly outperforming others, instead of encouraging development
of skills and knowledge through collaborative interaction in the L2 (Pae & Shin, 2011).
Finally, our results did not support the claim that L2 learners with higher WTC
perform better in formal educational settings, even before controlling for prior
achievement level. Instead, our model indicated that WTC did not exert an influence on
final L2 achievement. This may be because having higher levels of WTC does not
automatically lead to actual opportunities to communicate in the L2—something which
would be required for any language development to occur through interaction. Therefore,
in addition to consideration of the “probability of initiating communication given choice
and opportunity(MacIntyre, 2007, p. 567) in classroom settings, WTC needs to be
accompanied by consideration of the amount and nature of actual opportunities to use the
language, particularly as these are the mechanisms thought to spur L2 development. In
combination, these results could be interpreted in light of broader moves in psychology
and the learning sciences to view thought processes and action as a convergence of both
the person and the environment. Our findings that WTC and L2 achievement are
determined both individually (i.e., through basic psychological needs and self-determined
motivation) as well as situationally (i.e., through the indirect influence of classroom social
climate) are consistent with the critical nature that situational aspects are now understood
to represent in WTC in L2 instructional settings, in some instances even directly predicting
this outcome. We turn now to a more thematic discussion of our results, highlighting what
we see as key implications for L2 practitioners and researchers.
5.2 Implications
The first implication is concerned with learnerslevels of autonomous regulation. The
results of our study provide some support for the superiority of identified regulation over
its intrinsic counterpart in this and similar L2 contexts. We see this as a key implication for
L2 classroom settings characterized by a high-degree of structure and competitive
assessments: more self-determination may not necessarily lead to more successful
outcomes because students in formal school settings (i.e., classrooms where L2 study is
compulsory) generally do not exhibit greater autonomous regulation, let alone specifically
intrinsic motivation. Brophy (2009) has proposed that “SDT would benefit from breaking
free of the lingering constraints of its original focus on intrinsic motivation(p. 151), and
this has importance for formal instructional settings. Primarily, the focus on intrinsic
regulation is better suited to play or recreational activities, rather than work or learning
activities, and in certain instances may not involve a competence dimension at all. In L2
learning contexts, adaptively varying the degree of internalization depending on the task
demands, or complementing high levels of identified regulation with intrinsic motivation
may be necessary in order to reap the full benefits of self-determined motivation.
Furthermore, while previous research has established that teachers’ interpersonal styles can
positively contribute to studentsexperience of self-determination (Jang et al., 2010), given
the constraints of most L2 instructional settings teachers are unlikely to be able to create
and maintain individualized enjoyable experiences for the majority of their learners as a
matter of routine. Thus, the primary issue facing teachers may be related more to helping
learners transition from the more controlled types of regulation to identified or integrated
(i.e., autonomous) regulation than about fostering intrinsic motivation per se (Wentzel &
Brophy, 2014). For these reasons, we would suggest that shifting attention from an
exclusive focus on intrinsic motivation to include other more productive forms of extrinsic
regulation is likely to increase the applicability and implications of these dimensions.
The second implication relates to the causality of contexts. It is clear that in
communicative situations that draw on one’s WTC, individuals both operate on, and are
operated on, by the world (Ushioda, 2009). And, because learning contexts afford
members critical opportunities for participation in valued social practices and outcomes
(i.e., WTC and L2 achievement), our investigation of the network of relationships of WTC
in instructed settings illustrates the interdependence between the classroom environment,
the individuals studied within that context, and the phenomena of interest (Yashima,
MacIntyre, & Ikeda, 2016). Indeed, as Nolen et al. (2015) propose, the analytic shift
toward learners-in-context results in the realization that learning processes (e.g., WTC) and
outcomes (L2 achievement) come about in a negotiated relationship with the social world.
We would suggest that this entails an ontological shift requiring a more sophisticated
conceptualization of context than one of a monolithic essentialized, external variable that
suggests a simple, linear relationship. Contexts, such as L2 classroom environments,
should be seen as “intrinsic, core, fundamental parts” of individual motivated thought,
action, and of important learning outcomes (Mercer, 2016, p. 25). We see parallels in our
current results and the assumptions of a situative perspective—namely that actions,
learning, and cognition are always situated. The main implication of this notion for WTC
is the focus on the co-constitutive nature of WTC and the classroom context: Learning
environments are shaped adaptively and relationally through the actions and responses of
individuals embedded in them, and these reciprocally provide the necessary conditions for
WTC to develop. The results of our integrative framework with its various links indicate
that the personal is in fact situational and provide substantiating evidence for this
reticulated view of the individual and the contextual.
From a research methodological perspective, perhaps the most intriguing aspect of
the present results is the effect of controlling prior achievement. Just as most language
motivation literature fails to test competing models that might account for the data at least
equally well—a form of confirmation bias—language motivation researchers also do not
routinely control for prior achievement when attempting to predict future achievement.
Worse, many studies have used retrospective reports of prior achievement as the criterion
measurea practice that leads to severe interpretational issues. Because retrospective
achievement precedes the motivation measure chronologically, it would be illogical to
assume that this motivational variable was helpful and contributed to achievement.
Without adequate controls, such as baseline achievement, researchers would be at risk of
obtaining spurious results. In our case, the initial model suggested that both perceived
competence and identified regulation predict final achievement. After controlling for prior
achievement, however, perceived competence dropped drastically (from β = .41 to β = .07),
while identified regulation dropped to non-significance (cf. Table 3).Therefore, because
researchers in our field routinely fail to control for prior achievement, we would not be
surprised if it turns out that many of the observed significant effects in the literature are
mere statistical artifacts.
One possibility for why hardly any motivational variable could predict
achievement is that motivational variables need more time to have an effect. However, in
our case there was a gap of about 10 months between the two assessments, with the
questionnaire administered in the middle of this period. One would think that this is a
sufficient duration for motivational variables to exert their impact, especially in formal
educational settings where some stakeholders may find this too long to wait for
interventions to have tangible effects. We propose calling the delay between the
implementation of an intervention and the emergence of its effects the incubation period
(following early psychotherapy tradition, e.g., Eysenck, 1968; Golin, 1961). We would
encourage future research to first of all control for prior achievement and test alternative
models, but also to more explicitly investigate this incubation period, as such temporal
awareness might shed some light on some conflicting results found in the literature (cf.
Dörnyei, 2003).
6. Conclusion
The purpose of this study has been to integrate the related theoretical frameworks
of the classroom social climate, SDT, and L2 WTC. This was achieved by examining
whether the classroom social climate would exert an effect on the satisfaction of learners
basic psychological needs, thereby positively influencing the development of the more
autonomous forms of motivation which, in turn, would predict higher levels of WTC and
achievement. Our findings generally supported these hypotheses. Two noteworthy findings
were, first, that only competence was a significant, though weak, predictor of L2
achievement, and, second, that neither WTC nor intrinsic motivation nor identified
regulation exerted any effect on L2 achievement.
Several limitations exist with regards to our research methodology. Our use of
structural equation modeling implies causal relationships among our constructs. Although
this is actually the position expressed in much of the existing literature reviewed above,
these reports do not typically substantiate their claims through experimental designs. Our
study intended to test whether hypothesized relationships between individual and
situational factors for motivation and L2 achievement are plausible given our empirical
data, and further experimental research is undoubtedly needed. Another potentially
valuable avenue for future research would be to investigate the reciprocal causality
between self-determined motivation, achievement, and WTC using longitudinal modeling
methods. Furthermore, we have said little about the temporal stability of patterns of
dynamic change that these individual and contextual factors might show at much smaller
scales of granularity. Despite these limitations, by consolidating theoretical and empirical
insights in a structural model of the relationships between key individual and situational
factors, this study is expected to contribute to current understanding and open potential
avenues for continued advances in this domain. We believe that it is only through this type
of integrative study of L2 learners in context that the field can move forward.
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Appendix A: Questionnaire Items
Teacher Emotional Support
Our English teacher respects our opinions.
Our English teacher really understands how we feel about things.
Our English teacher tries to help us when we are sad or upset.
We can count on our English teacher for help when we need it.
Teacher Academic Support
Our English teacher cares about how much we learn.
Our English teacher wants us to do our best in school.
Our English teacher likes to help us learn well.
Classroom Mutual Respect
My English teacher wants us to respect each other’s opinions.
My English teacher wants all students to feel respected.
* My English teacher does not allow students to make fun of other studentsideas in class.
* My English teacher makes sure that students do not say anything negative about each
other in class.
* My English teacher does not let us make fun of someone who gives the wrong answer.
I am willing to participate in English lessons.
I voluntarily speak during English lessons.
I voluntarily participate in English lessons in my own way.
I consider myself good at English.
I often consider myself bad at English. (reversed)
I fully understand what I have been taught in English lessons.
Everybody in the class enjoys English lessons.
I enjoy studying with teachers and classmates during English lessons.
* I learn cooperatively with classmates during English lessons.
Identified Regulation
I choose to be the kind of person who can speak more than one language.
I think learning English is good for my personal development.
* Speaking English is necessary for me to be who I want to be.
Intrinsic Motivation
I experience pleasure in knowing more about English speakers as a group.
I get a satisfied feeling from finding out new things.
I experience pleasure when I surpass my previous performance in my language studies.
I experience a highfeeling while speaking in the English language.
I get pleasure from hearing the English language spoken by native speakers.
* I experience enjoyment when I grasp a difficult concept in the second language.
Willingness to Communicate with Strangers
I would like to present a talk in English to a group of strangers.
I would like to talk in English in a small group of strangers.
I would like to talk in English with a stranger while standing in line.
I would like to talk in English in a large meeting of strangers.
Willingness to Communicate with Acquaintances
I would like to talk in English with an acquaintance while standing in line.
I would like to talk in English in a large meeting of acquaintances.
I would like to talk in English in a small group of acquaintances.
I would like to present a talk in English to a group of acquaintances.
Willingness to Communicate with Friends
I would like to talk in English in a large meeting of friends.
I would like to talk in English with a friend while standing in line.
I would like to present a talk in English to a group of friends.
I would like to talk in English to a small group of friends.
Note. All items were administered in Korean.
* Items with an asterisk were excluded following Mokken analysis because they did not
load on their respective constructs.
Appendix B: The Full Models
Figure B1: The full model without controlling for Prior L2 Achievement. p < .10, * p < .05, *** p < .001
Figure B2: The full model after controlling for Prior L2 Achievement. * p < .05, *** p < .001
... Dincer and Yesilyurt (2017) also indicated that teacher is the key factor in the class as a motivation supporter. Moreover, supportive classroom environment promotes autonomous motivation and contributes to better academic performance (Joe, Hiver, and Al-Hoorie 2017). Therefore, as part of the classroom social context, students' perceived teacher-student relationships are often considered to relate with their motivational beliefs (Koca 2016;Liu and Chiang 2019). ...
... Specifically, the direct and indirect correlation between teacher-student relationships and FL achievement has been indicated Ma, Du, and Liu 2020). Students' perceived teacher support also improves their willingness to communicate and further L2 achievement (Joe, Hiver, and Al-Hoorie 2017). Moreover, positive teacher-student relationships promote students' motivational beliefs in FL learning (Alzubaidi, Aldridge, and Khine 2016;Henry and Thorsen 2018;Lamb 2017;Sadoughia and Hejazib 2021). ...
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This study examined the motivation level of struggling English learners in China and explored the link between motivation and their English achievement. Furthermore, this research dug into the moderation effect of teacher-student relationships on this link based on attachment theory and self-dertemination theory. Struggling students (n = 14,531) were chosen according to the bottom 25th percentile cutoff on English achievement from a large-scale survey in China. The standardised English performance test and students' self-reported motivation and teacher-student relationships were adopted to collect data. Descriptive statistics showed that struggling English learners had medium intrinsic and utility value and low self-efficacy. Correlation analysis revealed that intrinsic value and utility value were positively correlated with their English performance, while self-efficacy was not. The moderation analysis further demonstrated that supportive teacher-student relationships had a buffering effect on the low or medium motivation of struggling English learners. These findings suggest that harmonious teacher-student relationships are important for improving the English performance of struggling students. ARTICLE HISTORY
... In recent years, SLA research has experienced an affective turn (Pavlenko, 2013). Accordingly, in addition to focusing on how to initiate and sustain more self-determined types of motivation in learners, a host of SDT-related studies has examined the relationships between EFL motivation and other psychological variables and shown its significant association with student engagement (e.g., Chen and Kraklow, 2015;Oga-Baldwin and Nakata, 2017;Tsao et al., 2021), anxiety (e.g., Khodadady, 2013;Alamer and Almulhim, 2021), self-confidence (e.g., Lou and Noels, 2021), and willingness to communicate (e.g., Peng and Woodrow, 2010;Joe et al., 2017;Lin, 2019). However, there is a paucity of research on the relationships between self-determined motivation and positive character strengths (e.g., academic buoyancy) as well as emotions other than anxiety (e.g., boredom), which have emerged as salient topics in current SLA research. ...
... Their survey revealed that the autonomy-supportive communicative teaching method among South Korean university EFL students profoundly affected intrinsic motivation and its relation to a set of psychological factors and achievement, such as self-confidence and achievement. Another example was offered by Joe et al. (2017), whose questionnaire explicated the significant indirect role of English classroom social climate among South Korean secondary school students on their autonomous motivation and also suggested that identified regulation was predictive of willingness to communicate. ...
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For several decades, there has been an increase in studies on second language motivation, one of the most salient topics in individual difference research in second language acquisition, guided by theories and methods from related fields. Self-determination theory (SDT) is one of the most influential theories to provide a comprehensive framework for investigating language learning motivation. To date, numerous SDT-related studies have been performed to explore ways to develop more self-determined types of motivation. However, research on the relationship between self-determined types of motivation and other psychological variables has been limited. To address this gap, the present study investigated the complex relationships between autonomous motivation, buoyancy, boredom, and engagement in a sample of 561 Chinese senior high school English as a foreign language (EFL) learners. Data were collected through a composite questionnaire measuring students’ autonomous motivation, buoyancy, boredom, and engagement in EFL learning. Chain mediation analysis was used to test the complex relationships among these variables. The results show that autonomous motivation directly affected student engagement in EFL learning and autonomous motivation also indirectly affected student engagement in EFL learning through the separate mediation of buoyancy and boredom in EFL learning as well as the chain mediation of both mediators. The results support SDT and offer some pedagogical implications for teachers and educators.
... With the three basic psychological needs as the starting point, they found progressive influence first on goal-setting orientation, then motivational emotional state, and finally language achievement outcome. Similarly, Joe et al. (2017) found that L2 achievement was significantly predicted by perceived competence in a Korean secondary-school context. It can thus be inferred that the three basic psychological needs in the L2 context are situated within the motivational process and play a crucial role in L2 learning and development. ...
... In this study, female participants' satisfaction with L2 speaking autonomy and relatedness and L2 listening competence was significantly higher than those of males, whereas their degrees of L2 speaking competence and L2 listening autonomy and relatedness were similar. One explanation for this finding could be that females may be more willing to communicate in an L2 than males (Donovan & MacIntyre, 2004), and being willing to communicate has been positively correlated with self-determined motivation and basic psychological needs (Joe et al., 2017). Therefore, female students might obtain higher satisfaction of basic psychological needs in these linguistic areas. ...
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This study aimed to develop and validate two parallel scales to measure the psychological L2 speaking and listening needs of 863 English-as-a-foreign language (EFL) learners. The associations between three psychological needs (i.e., autonomy , competence, and relatedness) of L2 speaking and of L2 listening were examined to develop insights into oracy (i.e., integration of speaking and listening) in L2 communication. Subsequently, the impact of demographic variables was explored. The data, collected via a 5-point Likert-scale questionnaire, were analyzed through descriptive and correlation analysis, factor analysis, and ANOVA. Exploratory factor analysis was conducted to determine the factor structures, followed by confirmatory factor analysis for validation. Results demonstrated that the validity and reliability of the two developed scales were satisfactory. L2 speaking autonomy was significantly related to L2 listening autonomy, as were competence and relatedness. The three psychological needs of both L2 speaking and listening revealed varying patterns in terms of gender, major, university geographical context, schooling stage (first year to fourth year), and study-abroad experiences. The research findings reinforce the need for integration of Jian Xu, Xuyan Qiu 484 L2 speaking and L2 listening when satisfying university students' psychological needs, contribute to the research field with the measurement scales of psychological needs in L2 speaking and listening settings, and yield implications for teaching the two language skills integratedly.
... That is to say, if students have a high interest in their majors, their learning motivation and autonomy will be high, and they will be more motivated in the learning process and have a higher sense of satisfaction with basic psychological needs; if students have no interest in their majors, their learning initiative will not be high and their sense of satisfaction with basic psychological needs will be low. Thus, the degree of psychological basic needs satisfaction differed significantly in the interest of major, which is consistent with the finding of a positive correlation between basic psychological needs, self-determination motivation, and initiative engagement (Fan and Long, 2022) and also in line with the research results of previous scholars (Joe et al., 2017;Alamer, 2021). Some of the subjects felt stressed because they were used to the traditional classroom where the teacher mainly taught and the students passively accepted, they were afraid of the teacher's authority, they had difficulties in teacher-student interaction and communication, and they spent more time learning new knowledge before class than in the traditional classroom. ...
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Self-determination theory is a psychological theory proposed by American psychologists and is widely used in research in the field of education. Mobile applications are gradually changing the traditional classroom communication mode between teachers and students with their intelligent, portable, and humanized operation. Deep integration of information technology and education teaching, promoting mobile applications into the teaching process, facilitating local colleges and universities to better achieve the cultivation goal of high-quality application-oriented talents, and exploring a new learner-centered classroom teaching model are hot issues of current research in the education field. The flipped classroom and mobile application were effectively combined, and a flipped classroom model based on mobile application was proposed and implemented. Based on self-determination theory, this study investigates the current situation of students' basic psychological needs satisfaction and classroom satisfaction under the flipped classroom model based on mobile applications and explores the relationship between the students' basic psychological needs satisfaction and classroom satisfaction. A total of 151 local college students in different professional fields participated in the questionnaire survey. The research results reveal that in the flipped classroom model based on mobile applications, the students' basic psychological needs satisfaction and classroom satisfaction are at a high level, and the two are significantly positively correlated. Therefore, the students' basic psychological needs affect their satisfaction with the classroom, which provides some references for the smooth implementation and further promotion and application of the classroom teaching model.
... Case-centric process tracing provides the tracing of this evidence as proof for the existence of the hypothesized causal mechanisms. Besides, as contended by Joe et al. (2017), in a safe, positive, and highly supportive classroom context, reciprocal attention and productive communications and social interactions between the human actors are encouraged best. Within such a classroom environment, learning is combined with joy and strengthened interpersonal affairs; thus, positive affective variables can be enhanced (Dewaele and MacIntyre, 2014). ...
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When the Complex Dynamic Systems Theory (CDST) enlightened the line of inquiry in education, innovative research methodologies, both quantitative and qualitative, were also introduced. Process tracing, which is among the CDST-compatible qualitative research methods, has just begun to benefit SLA research in the past few years. The present study provides a review of the conceptualization, significance, and procedural features for the implementation of the process tracing analytical method. In doing so, this review suggests a number of practices through which process tracing has been introduced in SLA. Additionally, some practical implications are provided for SLA researchers to enhance their knowledge of this new approach. Finally, future research suggestions for a more advanced use of this method are made in SLA.
... 23 According to, 24,25 positive psychology aroused great attention in the field of second language acquisition. 26,27 believed that positive emotions (emotional expression of social presence), arising from positive student-student, student-content, and studentteacher communications and interactions, are of great benefit to L2 learning. Conversely, limited social-affective interaction leads to a feeling of disconnectedness 25 or othering identities, 28 which results in low learning engagement or even academic dropout. ...
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Purpose: Due to COVID-19, many English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers chose to blend online and offline teaching. However, students in this modality face challenges in presence and feel isolated. Thus, the research investigated the relationship between social presence and sense of community in Chinese blended EFL learning during the pandemic and examined the role that interaction played in the relationship between social presence and sense of community. Participants and methods: Based on a purpose-sampling, 237 EFL students from three universities in the eastern part of China participated in this study using a set of self-rated questionnaires that assessed three variables: social presence, interaction, and sense of community. SPSS 23.0 and AMOS 24.0 were used to verify the hypotheses through structural equation modeling. Results: This study found that ① the mean scores of social presence, interaction and sense of community varied from results of previous studies before the outbreak of COVID-19, and possible reasons were discussed; ② social presence had a significant impact on sense of community (p < 0.05) without interaction as the mediator, and interaction proved to be a full mediator in the relationship between social presence and sense of community [β = 0.164, p = 0.001, 95% CI (0.072, 0.311)]. Conclusion: In blended EFL learning during COVID-19 in China, social presence was positively related to sense of community, and interaction mediated this relationship fully. The present findings could help teachers better facilitate the virtuous interaction circle in online or blended EFL learning and, in turn, promote effective learning of learners.
Dengan perkembangan era industri yang semakin canggih dan global, maka lulusan SMK dituntut untuk memiliki keterampilan yang memadai dan bisa bersaing di dunia kerja, salah satunya keterampilan Bahasa Inggris.. Untuk memenuhi tuntutan tersebut perlu diadakan peningkatan keterampilan Bahasa Inggris siswa SMK. Oleh karena itu, kegiatan pengabdian ini bertujuan untuk melatih ketrampilan siswa-siswa dalam dunia kerja khususnya di perbankan. SMKS Khatolik sendiri merupakan sekolah kejuruan yang berkembang cukup pesat di Kefamenanu dan telah membuka jurusan Perbankan. Namun, para guru dan siswa belum memiliki pengetahuan Bahasa Inggris cukup dan praktis dalam dunia perbankan. Oleh karena itu pelatihan ini memberikan solusi untuk menambah pengetahuan dan ketrampilan siswa dalam menggunakan Bahasa Inggris untuk perbankan agar lulusan SMK ini nantinya memiliki nilai jual lebih untuk bersaing di dunia perbankan. Kegiatan pelatihan dilaksanakan sebanyak 5 kali pertemuan. Pertemuan pertama memberikan gambaran umum tentang dunia perbankan, pertemuan kedua dilanjutkan dengan materi vocabulary dalam dunia perbankan, pertemuan ketiga fokus pada materi pelayanan nasabah dan teller. Kemudian pertemuan keempat dan kelima, siswa diberi latihan dan praktik presentasi bisnis dan surat menyurat dalam Bahasa Inggris. Hasil dari kegiatan ini menunjukkan peningkatan kemampuan siswa-siswa kelas perbankan dalam membaca, berbicara dan menulis Bahasa Inggris. Siswa juga memperoleh banyak kosakata yang berhubungan dengan dunia perbankan sehingga membantu mereka lebih memahami proses transaksi di bank dalam Bahasa Inggris
This qualitative study was conducted to explore the factors affecting Qassim University EFL students’ acquisition of English language speaking skills. Thirty students enrolled in the Intensive Course Program (ICP) in the English Language and Translation Department of the Sciences and Arts College in Unaizah, Saudi Arabia, participated in this study. Information on the factors affecting students’ acquisition of English Language speaking skills was gathered using semi-structured interviews with students who were usually active participants in the classroom. A qualitative content analysis was used to analyze the interview-generated data. The qualitative data was interpreted using manual coding, which requires thoroughly in-depth reading of the transcripts and assigning codes and themes. The findings of the study revealed that Qassim University EFL students’ acquisition of English language speaking skills is affected by a variety of factors including psychological factors such as motivation, lack of confidence, second language anxiety, shyness and introversion, pedagogical factors like classmates’ behaviors, teaching methods and materials, instructor’s feedback, classroom atmosphere, topical knowledge and interest, class size, and linguistic factors such grammatical understanding, vocabulary knowledge, and correct pronunciation. It can therefore be assumed that the factors affecting English language speaking acquisition among EFL students have to be considered within multidimensional aspects rather than simply originating from students themselves. In light of the findings, some pedagogical implications were offered, as well as suggestions for future research.
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Background: This study was conducted to find out the correlations and influences of students’ anxiety and motivation to students’ speaking English achievement. Methodology: One hundred and thirteen students Islamic Boarding School of Nabil Husein Samarinda participated in this study. A stratified random sampling technique was used in this study. Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety (FLCAS) and Attitude Motivation Test Battery (AMTB) were used as instruments. Multiple Regression and Path Analysis were used as data analysis techniques to analyze the data. Findings: 80.4% of students’ anxiety influenced to students’ speaking English Achievement. The next finding showed that students’ anxiety correlated to students’ motivation at 94.7%. It indicated a strong correlation where the degree of correlation at 0.897. As well the students’ motivation also affected students’ speaking English achievement on the degree at 79.9%. The last finding showed that students’ speaking English was affected by students’ anxiety and motivation simultaneously. Conclusion: This article explains how the students’ anxiety and motivation influence speaking English achievement. Originality: This research was conducted to find out the correlations and the influences of students’ anxiety, and students’ motivation to students’ speaking English achievement.
Despite the extensive research on willingness to communicate in a second language (L2 WTC), foreign language anxiety (FLA), and foreign language enjoyment (FLE), few studies have tested the roles of these variables in predicting L2 learning outcomes. This line of inquiry is imperative, especially because the importance of L2 WTC primarily lies in its presumable role in enhancing L2 learning. This study examines how FLA, FLE, and L2 WTC predict English public speaking performance. Data were collected by administering a questionnaire that contained closed-ended and open-ended items to 132 Chinese university students who took an English public speaking course. Hierarchical regression analysis showed that FLE was the single significant predictor of L2 WTC and public speaking performance. Participants’ responses revealed a range of major categories underlying classroom episodes when they felt most enjoyable, most anxious, and most willing to communicate. Implications for future research and pedagogical practice are finally addressed.
The study of 'group dynamics' is a vibrant academic field, overlapping diverse disciplines. It is also highly relevant to language education because the success of classroom learning is very much dependent on how students relate to each other, what the classroom climate is like, what roles the teacher and the learners play and, more generally, how well students can co-operate and communicate with each other. This innovative book addresses these issues and offers practical advice on how to manage language learner groups in a way that they develop into cohesive and productive teams.
Recently, situated willingness to communicate (WTC) has received increasing research attention in addition to traditional quantitative studies of trait-like WTC. This article is an addition to the former but unique in two ways. First, it investigates both trait and state WTC in a classroom context and explores ways to combine the two to reach a fuller understanding of why second language (L2) learners choose (or avoid) communication at given moments. Second, it investigates the communication behavior of individuals and of the group they constitute as nested systems, with the group as context for individual performance. An interventional study was conducted in a class for English as a foreign language (EFL) with 21 students in a Japanese university. During discussion sessions in English over a semester in which Initiation–Response–Feedback (IRF) patterns were avoided to encourage students to initiate communication, qualitative data based on observations, student self-reflections, and interviews and scale-based data on trait anxiety and WTC were collected. The analyses, which focused on three selected participants, revealed how differences in the frequency of self-initiated turns emerged through the interplay of enduring characteristics, including personality and proficiency, and contextual influences such as other students’ reactions and group-level talk–silence patterns.
It is a common perception among language teachers that the acquisition of L2 competency does not necessarily lead to communication in the L2. As MacIntyre (2007) puts it, “even after studying language for many years, some L2 learners do not turn into L2 speakers” (p. 564). Research on willingness to communicate in an L2 (L2 WTC) has attempted to shed some light on this enigma. L2 WTC is particularly significant from a pedagogical perspective because L2 communication is a necessary part of L2 learning. As many researchers agree, L2 competency develops through productive use of the language (e.g., Swain, 1995).
Self-determination Theory (SDT) is a motivational theory of personality, development, and social processes that examines how social contexts and individual differences facilitate different types of motivation, especially autonomous motivation and controlled motivation, and in turn predict learning, performance, experience, and psychological health. SDT proposes that all human beings have three basic psychological needs – the needs for competence, autonomy, and relatedness – the satisfaction of which are essential nutrients for effective functioning and wellness. Satisfaction of these basic needs promotes the optimal motivational traits and states of autonomous motivation and intrinsic aspirations, which facilitate psychological health and effective engagement with the world.
This article explores how learners engage in tasks in the context of language classrooms. We describe engagement as a multidimensional construct that includes cognitive, behavioral, social, and emotional dimensions of engagement among second and foreign language learners in the classroom. We discuss key concepts and indicators of engagement in current research on task-based interaction and outline some of the issues in researching engagement in this context.