An assessment of the motivations of successful foreign language learners at the University of Portsmouth: to what extent do their motivations differ across gender?

Grantham, Eleanor Kia (2016) An assessment of the motivations of successful foreign language learners at the University of Portsmouth: to what extent do their motivations differ across gender? BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    This dissertation analyses the relationship between motivation and foreign language acquisition. Although a previously considered area of study, it is important to further understand the role of motivation in the foreign language classroom as a factor that produces successful, motivated linguists. This research also assesses the extent to which there is a difference in motivations between genders, a popular concept when discussing language learning motivation. In the foreign language classroom male students are often outnumbered by females, therefore it is necessary to develop a further understanding as to why. With significant drops in those choosing to study languages at GCSE, A Level and University in the UK, it is important to identify why languages are becoming less popular as a study choice. To gauge a better understanding of these drops, it is important to acknowledge what we can learn from successful language learners. This understanding is developed by the implementation of primary research in the form of questionnaires and semi structured interviews with forty foreign language students at the University of Portsmouth.
    Overall, the results from the primary research found that the motivations of both the male and female successful language learners of this study were more similar than initially thought. Although slight differences were discovered, there were as many similarities regarding the factors they highlighted that drove them to study foreign languages. It would therefore be inaccurate to state that the male and female participants of this study were motivated differently dependent on their gender. Further research on a larger scale would be required to understand whether or not there is a clear difference in the motivating factors of male and female language learners. The factors of motivation that did however appear to have a significant impact in the lives of these successful language learners include the attitudes of the teacher and parents; contextualising language learning; introducing foreign languages to learners at an early stage and allowing students to understand both the personal and lifestyle benefits that could potentially be gained from continuing with language learning.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Languages and Area Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2016 14:12
    Last Modified: 17 Oct 2016 14:12
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/22320

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