Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 16

Accepted Abstracts

Learning German as a Foreign Language: An Empirical Investigation of Motivation Based on Self-Determination Theory

Konstantinos Chatzidimou, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece)


The role of motivation in L2 learning is widely acknowledged. Hence, motivation in foreign language learning has become a focus of interest of several researches and various motivation theories have been provided. One of the leading theories within the category of the cognitive approaches in motivation is the self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985; Dörnyei, 2003; Noels et al., 2003). Starting from this point, the present study explored the motivation of Greek learners of German as a foreign language in the light of self-determination theory. 152 students of the School of German Language and Literature of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki participated in the questionnaire study. Its research tool was based on previous similar investigations in international settings (Noels et al., 2003). The study explored aspects of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, as well as amotivation and basic orientations in language learning. Perceived competence and anxiety were also investigated. Exploratory factor analysis of the items of the questionnaire and correlations among the motivational subscales were carried out in order to examine various parameters of self-determination in the Greek context of foreign language learning.

Keywords: Foreign Language Learning; Motivation; Self-Determination Theory; German as a Foreign Language.

[1] Deci, E.L., & Ryan, R.M. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behaviour. New York: Plenum.
[2] Dörnyei, Z. (2003). Attitudes, Orientations, and Motivations in Language Learning: Advances in Theory, Research, and Applications. Language Learning, 53(1), 3-32.
[3] Noels, K.A., Pelletier, L.G., Clément, R., & Vallerand, R.J. (2003). Why Are You Learning a Second Language? Motivational Orientations and Self-Determination Theory. Language Learning, 53(1), 33-64.

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