L2 motivation in higher education: A qualitative study from Egypt

ElKhayat, Ranya (2022) L2 motivation in higher education: A qualitative study from Egypt. Ed.D thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Drawing from mainstream psychology, research in L2 motivation started in 1959 with the work of Gardner and Lambert (1959). Since then, the field witnessed major developments, looking at the language learner’s motivation from different angles: the cognitive, the social psychological, and the temporal. One of the models that looks at the language learner from a more holistic perspective is Zoltan Dörnyei’s L2 Motivational Self System (L2MSS) (2005, 2009a). The model examines motivation through three components: the Ideal L2 Self, the Ought-to Self, and the L2 Learning Experience. Any or all these components can enhance the learner’s L2 motivation.

This study explores the factors affecting L2 motivation in university students in Egypt from Dörnyei’s theoretical perspective. It uses qualitative methods within an interpretivist/constructivist approach. 20 first-year university students from one higher education institution participated in the study. All participants responded to a qualitative questionnaire which focused on their motivation for English language learning. Subsequently,12 of them agreed to participate in an interview. Data were analysed using Braun and Clarke’s (2006) Thematic Analysis both deductively and inductively. The findings demonstrate that the participants were motivated by all three components of the L2MSS in different levels. Nevertheless, the dominant motivator was the L2 Learning Experience, with special attention to the role of the instructor.

Various elements in the study underpin its significance. First, this study explores L2 motivation using the L2MSS as a model for the first time in a qualitative study in Egypt. Second, the study corroborates recent research exploring the overlap between the Ideal and the Ought-to Selves in the learner’s perspectives. Third, this research not only demonstrates the significance of the L2 Learning Experience as a driver for L2 motivation, since it was the least researched component in the model, but also as a factor that can enhance/inhibit the other two components: the Ideal and the Ought-to Selves. The L2 Learning Experience is the dominant motivator according to the findings of the study, and this is supported by the salient role of the instructor. Furthermore, the study highlights the significant role of emotions in reflecting student motivation or demotivation. The findings may help policy makers, curriculum developers and instructors gain a deeper understanding of the different motivators at play in the perception of their students. This in turn can contribute to the creation and development of a better L2 learning environment for the learners.

Item Type: Thesis (Ed.D)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Supervisor's Name: Crichton, Dr. Hazel and Hedge, Professor Nicki
Date of Award: 2022
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2022-83080
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2022 10:11
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2022 10:14
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.83080
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/83080

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