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Abstract

This paper investigates the relationship between the decisions made by school leaders in England concerning their school policy for teaching modern foreign languages (MFL) post-14, and student motivation for MFL. Seventy head teachers, 119 heads of modern languages and 666 students aged 14–15 from schools in England took part in the questionnaire-based study. Student motivation was measured using the Self-Regulation Questionnaire (Academic) [Ryan, R.M. and J.P. Connell. 1989. Perceived locus of causality and internalization: examining reasons for acting in two domains. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 57, no. 5: 749–61], based on Self-Determination Theory. The relationship between student perceptions of the usefulness of specific languages and the decision to study these was considered. Results show that the way choice is presented is a key part of student motivation for MFL, and that students see different languages as useful for different reasons. Furthermore, the data suggest that the ways school leaders make decisions concerning language policy do not align with language provision that optimises student motivation. The study concludes by suggesting new pathways for rejuvenating language learner motivation in anglophone contexts.

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... For schools, this research can be used as a basis for developing technology and knowing the skills of students at the school, so that schools can take action to improve the skills of their students (J. M. Luo et al., 2019;Parrish & Lanvers, 2019;Sarid, 2018). Which will have an impact on increasing the results that students have, especially on soccer material This research is in line with previous literature regarding the use of technology in physical education subjects on student learning outcomes. ...
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Chapter
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The extended editorial provides a general introduction to the individual contributions to this special issue on ‘Choices in language education’. Together with the concluding piece by Lid King, it frames the various cases presented, and offers a discussion of the broader socio-political, cultural, economic and conceptual contexts within which they are located and against which they can be read. It examines issues of language choice with reference to recent policy initiatives at the level of the UK and the European Union and it discusses general principles concerning language choice. Finally, it introduces the various contributions to this special issue.
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In recent years, whilst the overall numbers of A level entries have risen, those for modern foreign languages as a whole have fallen. This paper considers the findings of a small-scale research project which focused on the reasons why pupils choose not to continue with MFL. GCSE pupils who were entered for the Higher Papers in French, German or both at three comprehensive schools were asked whether they were considering foreign languages as an option post-16, and if not why not. Year 12 linguists (those studying at least one foreign language) and non-linguists (those who do not) were interviewed both individually and in focus groups. Modern languages teachers were asked about possible reasons for the comparatively poor uptake at A level. Findings suggest that although pupils appreciate the skills and personality of the modern languages teacher, they find the subject difficult and unappealing. Low pupil confidence, lack of parental involvement, poor guidance and syllabus constraints may all have a role to play. GCSE is perceived to be boring and language understanding is felt to play an insufficient role at this stage.
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Self-determination theory (SDT) maintains that an understanding of human motivation requires a consideration of innate psychological needs for competence, autonomy, and relatedness. We discuss the SDT concept of needs as it relates to previous need theories, emphasizing that needs specify the necessary conditions for psychological growth, integrity, and well-being. This concept of needs leads to the hypotheses that different regulatory processes underlying goal pursuits are differentially associated with effective functioning and well-being and also that different goal contents have different relations to the quality of behavior and mental health, specifically because different regulatory processes and different goal contents are associated with differing degrees of need satisfaction. Social contexts and individual differences that support satisfaction of the basic needs facilitate natural growth processes including intrinsically motivated behavior and integration of extrinsic motivations, whereas those that forestall autonomy, competence, or relatedness are associated with poorer motivation, performance, and well-being. We also discuss the relation of the psychological needs to cultural values, evolutionary processes, and other contemporary motivation theories.
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Incl. bibl., abstract The comparability of examinations in different subjects has been a controversial topic for many years and a number of criticisms have been made of statistical approaches to estimating the 'difficulties' of achieving particular grades in different subjects. This paper argues that if comparability is understood in terms of a linking construct then many of these problems are resolved. The Rasch model was applied to an analysis of data from over 600,000 candidates who took the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) examinations in England in 2004. Thirty-four GCSE subjects were included in the final model, which estimated the relative difficulty of each grade in each subject. Other subjects failed to fit, as did the fail grade, U. Significant overall differences were found, with some subjects more than a grade harder than others, though the difficulty of a subject varied appreciably for different grades. The gaps between the highest grades were on average twice as big as those between the bottom grades. Differential item functioning (DIF) was found for male and female candidates in some subjects, though it was small in relation to variation across subjects. Implications of these findings for various uses of examination grades are discussed.
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Motivation is one of the most significant predictors of success in foreign language learning. While individual and governmental commitment to the learning of foreign languages is growing throughout most of Europe and across the globe, it is stuttering in the United Kingdom. An entitlement to language learning in primary school is not yet fully in place, whilst the removal of language from the core curriculum at Key Stage 4 (ages 14 to 16) has led to a dramatic fall in numbers of language learners. Among national initiatives seeking to enhance learners’ interest in languages among school pupils are Specialist Language Colleges and the Languages Ladder. The latter, by certifying achievement through its associated accreditation scheme Asset Languages, seeks to engender a sense of success and motivate continuation of language study. This article reports on a study conducted in 2005-06 of the language learning motivation of over ten thousand school pupils at Key Stage 3 – the only group currently obliged to study a foreign language. The study analyses the nature of learner motivation and its relationship with gender, level of study (Years 7, 8 and 9) and type of school, and thus provides evidence for possible measures to increase numbers of teenagers studying a foreign language, and a baseline against which the success of policy initiatives can be measured in the future.
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Theories of internalization typically suggest that self-perceptions of the "causes" of (i.e. reasons for) behavior are differentiated along a continuum of autonomy that contains identifiable gradations. A model of perceived locus of causality (PLOC) is developed, using children's self-reported reasons for acting. In Project 1, external, introjected, identified, and intrinsic types of reasons for achievement-related behaviors are shown to conform to a simplex-like (ordered correlation) structure in four samples. These reason categories are then related to existing measures of PLOC and to motivation. A second project examines 3 reason categories (external, introject, and identification) within the domain of prosocial behavior. Relations with measures of empathy, moral judgement and positive interpersonal relatedness are presented. Finally, the proposed model and conceptualization of PLOC are discussed with regard to intrapersonal versus interpersonal perception, internalization, cause-reason distinctions, and the significance of perceived autonomy in human behavior.