An Overview of Motivation: The Challenges and the Importance of Motivation for Second Language Acquisition

Zahra Mahdikhani


The importance of the learner's attitudes and motivation plays a major role for most psycholinguists, either in a language learning situation or in a second language acquisition context. A quick look at the major theories of language acquisition can be helpful to establish this. Krashen's monitor model argues attitudes and motivation most influential in unconscious language acquisition. The learner's motivational level acts as an affective filter on language intake (Krashen 1981, p. 102). In another model language learning begins when the learner feels motivated to communicate something to someone (see Carroll's conscious reinforcement model, 1981). Reinforcement takes place when the desired end is obtained. Bialystok's strategy model (1978) demonstrates that it can be assumed that learners will seek language exposure only if they feel motivated. Therefore, using their explicit and/or implicit knowledge, communication will take place. This study investigates the challenges and the importance of motivation for second language learning or SL acquisition.

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