Modelling the structure of language learning motivation

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Motivation, as one of the most influential individual differences in language learning, has been extensively studied in a number of contexts (Gardner & Lambert, 1972; Dörnyei & Ushioda, 2009). Consequently, a number of theories have been proposed, the most endorsed of which seems to be Dörnyei’s (2005) Motivation Self System. Yet, there have been few attempts at using structural equation modelling to represent the latent structure of language learning motivation. The current study investigates the language learning motivation of Polish teenagers enrolled in compulsory education. 465 fifteen-year-olds from 10 schools located in rural and urban areas of southern Poland filled in a motivational questionnaire that aimed to measure 7 constructs from ranging from the most popular language learning goals such as instrumental orientation and international orientation, through self-guides, including ideal L2 self, self-efficacy beliefs and the English self-concept, to the scales of intrinsic motivation and self-regulation. The students also completed Quick Oxford Proficiency Test, which was mainly focused on reading skills but on the knowledge of English grammar and vocabulary. The obtained data was analysed using SPSS and Mplus, the structural equation modelling software. The hypothesised model included the direct links between language learning goals and self-guides which, in turn, influenced the levels of intrinsic motivation and, indirectly, self-regulation. Language learning proficiency, as measured by the test, was expected to be directly affected by self-regulation and indirectly by other variables. The final model confirmed that motivation indeed influences language learning proficiency. Similarly, as hypothesised, language learning goals seem to affect self-guides, which, in turn have a decisive role in the prediction of intrinsic motivation and self-regulated behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventThe American Association of Applied Linguistics Conference - Dallas, Dallas, UK United Kingdom
Duration: 16 Mar 201319 Mar 2013


ConferenceThe American Association of Applied Linguistics Conference
Country/TerritoryUK United Kingdom


  • SEM model
  • motivation
  • Polish students


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