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Generalizability of integrative motivation to Saudi students

Authors:
Generalizability of Integrative
Motivation to Saudi Students
Ali H. Al-Hoorie
Nottingham University, UK
hoorie_a@jic.edu.sa
Background
Controversy
This view, however, was criticized over the years.
Originally, Au (1988) questioned the consistency of
the results supporting this theory. Others questioned
whether it applied to foreign language contexts,
where learners do not normally have any contact with
the L2 community (e.g., Crookes and Schmidt, 1991,
Dörnyei, 2005, Oxford and Shearin, 1994). In reply,
Masgoret and Gardner (2003) conducted a meta-
analysis and showed that the results were not
moderated by L2 availability, suggesting that the
theory also applied even when there was no contact
with L2 native speakers. Today, this controversy still
continues (see Dörnyei et al., 2014, Dörnyei and
Ushioda, 2009).
This study aims to contribute to this controversy
by examining the relevance of attitudes toward the
L2 community to the achievement of Saudi L2
learners.
Method
Participants
The participants (N= 270) were all male students
between the age of 1820 studying at Jubail
Industrial College, Saudi Arabia. The participants
were in the foundation year when the study was
conducted, receiving 22 hours of L2 instruction
per week.
Measures
1) Motivational Intensity (MI, 10 items; a = .81)
2) Attitudes toward L2 Learning
(ATLL, 6 items; a = .77)
3) Desire to Learn English
(DTLE, 6 items; a = .62)
4) Integrative Orientation (IO, 5 items; a = .79)
5) Interest in Foreign Languages
(IFL, 6 items; a = .77)
6) Attitudes toward Native Speakers
(ATNS, 6 items; a = .83)
7) English Teacher Evaluation
(ETE, 6 items; a = .86)
8) English Course Evaluation
(ECE, 5 items; a = .80)
Grades also were obtained from five L2 tests:
listening, reading, vocabulary, writing, and
grammar.
Data Analysis
Structural equation modelling was conducted using
Amos 22 (Arbuckle, 2013). The model fit the data
well (see Figure 1 below; all paths shown are
significant).
Results
Figure 1
ACH = Achievement; ATLE = Attitudes toward L2 Learning; ATLS = Attitudes toward the Learning
Situation; ATNS = Attitudes toward Native Speakers; DTLE = Desire to Learn English; ECE = English
Course Evaluation; ETE = English Teacher Evaluation; GR = Grammar; IO = Integrative Orientation; IFL
= Interest in Foreign Languages; INTEG = Integrativeness; LS = Listening; MI = Motivational Intensity;
MOT = Motivation; RD = Reading; VOC = Vocabulary; WR = Writing.
The results suggest that attitudes
toward the L2 community does have a
significant effect on learner
motivation, as predicted by Gardner’s
theory. However, the results also show
that attitudes toward the learning
situation are a much stronger predictor
of motivation than one’s general
disposition toward L2 native speakers.
These findings have important
implications. First, the L2 curriculum
should include components that instill
positive attitudes toward the L2
community. Second, and more
importantly, the learning environment
should receive special attention since
the learner’s attitudes toward the
course in general and toward the
teacher in particular are crucial in
learner motivation.
References
ARBUCKLE, J. L. 2013. IBM® SPSS® Amos™ 22 User’s
Guide, Meadville, PA, Amos Development
Corporation.
AU, S. Y. 1988. A critical appraisal of Gardner's social-
psychological theory of second-language (L2) learning.
Language Learning, 38, 7599.
CROOKES, G. & SCHMIDT, R. W. 1991. Motivation:
Reopening the research agenda. Language Learning,
41,469512.
DÖRNYEI, Z. 1994. Understanding L2 motivation: On
with the challenge! The Modern Language Journal, 78,
515523.
DÖRNYEI, Z. 2005. The Psychology of the Language
Learner: Individual Differences in Second Language
Acquisition, London, UK, Lawrence Erlbaum.
DÖRNYEI, Z., MACINTYRE, P. & HENRY, A. (eds.)
2014. Motivational Dynamics in Language Learning,
Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.
DÖRNYEI, Z. & USHIODA, E. (eds.) 2009. Motivation,
Language Identity and the L2 Self, Bristol, UK:
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GARDNER, R. C. 1985. Social Psychology and Second
Language Learning: The Role of Attitudes and
Motivation, London, UK, Edward Arnold.
GARDNER, R. C. & LAMBERT, W. E. 1972. Attitudes
and Motivation in Second-Language Learning,
Rowley, MA, Newbury House.
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analysis of studies conducted by Gardner and
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OXFORD, R. & SHEARIN, J. 1994. Language learning
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Although learning a second language (L2) might
appear just like another school subject, some
researchers argued that L2 learning is unique in that it
cannot be disconnected from the native speaking
community of the L2. This idea was first proposed by
Canadian social psychologists (Gardner, 1985,
Gardner and Lambert, 1972) studying the intergroup
relations between Anglophone and Francophone
Canadians. They argued that success in L2 learning is
a function of integrative motivation, or positive
attitudes and favorable disposition toward the L2
native-speaking community and culture.
This discovery was hailed as “the most
important milestone in the history of L2 motivation
research” (Dörnyei, 1994: 519) as it added to L2
learning a distinctive social dimension.
Model Fit
χ² = 156.50, p < .001
CMIN/df = 2.534
CFI = .961
NFI = .938
RMSEA= .075
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This meta-analysis investigates the relationship of second language achievement to five attitude/motivation variables from Gardner's socioeducational model: integrativeness, attitudes toward the learning situation, motivation, integrative orientation, and instrumental orientation. These relationships were examined in studies conducted by Gardner and associates using the Attitude/Motivation Test Battery and various measures Of second language achievement including self-ratings, objective tests, and grades. In total, the meta-analysis examined 75 independent samples involving 10,489 individuals. Two additional variables, availability of the language in the community and age level of the students, were examined to assess their moderating effects on the relationships. The results clearly demonstrate that the correlations between achievement and motivation are uniformly higher than those between achievement and integrativeness, attitudes toward the learning situation, integrative orientation, or instrumental orientation, and that the best estimates of the population correlations are greater than 0. Neither availability nor age had clear moderating effects.
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ARBUCKLE, J. L. 2013. IBM® SPSS® Amos™ 22 User's Guide, Meadville, PA, Amos Development Corporation.