Throughout the whole language teaching in China, the study of learning motivation, especially the study of foreign language leaning motivation, has long been neglected. It has been realized that motivation is one of the most significant factors which result in successful learning. Although there have been discussions on this issue in the field of second language acquisition (SLA) in recent years, the theories of
motivation in this field can not be used without adaptation in foreign language leaning context in China. The objective of the thesis is, therefore, to put forward a model and some strategies for language teachers to motivate Chinese learners in classroom setting.
The thesis is composed of four chapters. Chapter 1 reviews the motivation study in the field of second language acquisition. Gardner's socio-psychological model is the focus of interest. In Gardner's model, there are three important facets: the integrative motivation hypothesis, the Attitude/Motivation Test Battery, and the socio-educational model. Elaborations and evaluations are made on each facet. Other models of motivation study in SLA, such as Speech Accommodation Theory, Acculturation Model and Monitor Model, are also mentioned.
Chapter 2 is a review of the motivation study in the field of psychology. Four approaches, each with one or two representative theories, are presented, namely the reinforcement theory in behavioral approach, the self-actualization theory in humanistic approach, the attribution theory in cognitive approach, and the self-efficacy theory and goal theory in social learning approach. Characteristics of each approach are explored and evaluations are made.
Chapter 3 proposes a modified model of motivation study in the form of a chart. Important factors or components in the chart are grouped into two categories, personal and environmental, to be elaborated and discussed in classroom setting. Strategies are proposed as well when analyzing these factors for language teachers.
In Chapter 4 a questionnaire is proposed for language teachers to discover, highlight, utilize and maximize the motivations of a FL learner.
The thesis is pedagogically oriented as the present writer recognizes the urgent need for language teachers to motivate their learners in classroom teaching. It is hoped that the proposed model can serve as a guide for practitioners to motivate Chinese learners.