Motivation

Authored by: Martin Lamb

The Routledge Handbook of English Language Teaching

Print publication date:  May  2016
Online publication date:  May  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415747394
eBook ISBN: 9781315676203
Adobe ISBN: 9781317384472

10.4324/9781315676203.ch23

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Abstract

Motivation is widely acknowledged, among both teachers and researchers, as one of the key issues in language education. Dörnyei (2001: 2), for example, suggests that “99 per cent of language learners who really want to learn a foreign language (i.e. who are really motivated) will be able to master a reasonable working knowledge of it as a minimum, regardless of their language aptitude.” Yet everyone involved in language education also knows that the proportion of school pupils who do achieve “a reasonable working knowledge” of a foreign language falls far short of 99 per cent – in fact, it is probably a small minority. This state of affairs would suggest, then, that motivation is frequently a problem in ELT and the teaching of other foreign languages.

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