The effects of bilingual schooling on language learning motivation

Janina Iwaniec, Karen Dunn

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Although the number of bilingual schools is on the rise, relatively little is known about the effects of bilingual education on language learning motivation. This study aims to compare motivation of 15-year-old learners of English in Spain from bilingual and non-bilingual schools. In particular, levels of motivation as well as relationship between motivational variables were examined. 1773 learners of English sampled randomly from schools located in the Madrid region completed a motivational questionnaire. 524 attended bilingual schools and 1249 attended non-bilingual schools. The collected data was analysed in Mplus 7. The analysis included: confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and multigroup analysis. The fscores produced in the analysis were then entered into SPSS 22 and t-tests were used to compare relative levels of motivation expressed for each scale.
The results show that there is a significant difference between one covariance only (parental encouragement with international orientation) between CFA models for bilingual and non-bilingual learners. The covariance is stronger for the non-bilingual group rather than the bilingual group. This means that levels of parental encouragement are more closely related to students’ perceptions of English as a lingua franca if they attend non-bilingual schools than if they attend a bilingual school. Moreover, students from bilingual schools were found to have significantly higher levels of international orientation, ideal L2 self, English self-concept, motivated learning behaviour and reported more positive language learning experience than their peers from non-bilingual schools. At the same time, learners from non-bilingual schools scored significantly higher on scales of parental encouragement and ought-to L2 self than those from bilingual schools. Taken together, these findings suggest that the motivation of learners from bilingual schools is more internalised than that of learners from non-bilingual schools. In contrast, the role of external motivators is greater for learners in non-bilingual schools than their bilingual counterparts.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2018
EventAmerican Association for Applied Linguistics - Chicago, USA United States
Duration: 24 Mar 201827 Mar 2018


ConferenceAmerican Association for Applied Linguistics
Abbreviated titleAAAL 2018
Country/TerritoryUSA United States


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