Motivationer, attityder och moderna språk : En studie om elevers motivationsprocesser och attityder vid studier och lärande av moderna språk

Sammanfattning: Motivations, Attitudes and Modern Languages. A study of students’ motivational processes and attitudes while learning foreign languages.This doctoral thesis investigates students’ motivational processes and attitudes while studying and learning foreign languages (FLs). Students were asked about their choice of FL, and what had motivated them during their many years of studies.The study analyzes open-ended questionnaires and interviews with 43 students enrolled in the last year of foreign language studies in two schools, limiting its focus to the three most commonly studied FLs – French, German and Spanish. The theoretical framework of the thesis draws on sociocognitive theory (Bandura 1997; Linnenbrink & Pintrich 2002). Several informants refer to motivation in terms that could be related to intrinsic motivation. They have chosen to continue studying their particular target language due to an emotional state which could be related to enjoyment, pleasure and curiosity (Deci & Ryan 1985).Another salient feature is the frequent reference to mastery goals. Many of the informants express a motivation directed towards mastery and growth, or a main goal to be fluent or communicatively competent in their target language. Several informants also underline the motivational importance of experiencing competence, success and development. They become motivated by experiencing self-efficacy (Bandura 1997). This self-efficacy is rooted in experience of success, but also in being encouraged by significant others or role models, i.e. family members and friends. Despite a frequent awareness of the weakening general interest for FL, most students have a supportive network.Likewise, family and friends play a crucial role for many informants while choosing their target language initially. This key factor interacts with other important factors, such as the experiences of visiting countries or settings where the target language is used. In this context, target language attitudes tend to be important when choosing language and pursuing studies.