In this section, I have taken some of the most relevant definitions according to my research, and then I give my own definition taking into account some of the points of view I have revised.
Neiman et al (1978) came to the conclusion that “the most successful learners are not necessary those to whom a language comes very easily; they are those who display certain typicalcharacteristics, most of them clearly associated to motivation”. Motivation has a big influence on learning. Now, we need to understand what it is. It is not easy to set the definition of motivation in a unique way, but it is possible to create a concept taking into account the most important things that have been said about it. “Motivation is a difficult concept to be defined in a unique way because ofthe influence that the perceptions of each author in each subject, and in determined time have or had over it” Naranjo and Ordoñez, F. (2001). Some definitions that have been done are the following:
Gardner’s definition of motivation Gardner (1985:10) sets motivation as “The extent to which the individual works or strives to learn the language because of a desire to do so and the satisfactionexperienced in this activity”. Also, Gardner defined motivation as “the learner orientation with regard to the goal of learning a second language”. In this definition the immediate goal is the language learning. It is established to make an emphasis on the importance of the students’ aims.
Martinez Agudo (1999) cited by Ramos M. C. (2007: 1) defines motivation as “The influence of the mentalprocess that conduces to a conscious decision related to learning” (p.248)
According to Erazo, P.E (2003) P.12 “Motivation implies that someone will act in a determined way with the expectancy of achieving a particular goal or getting something he or she wants
Heckhausen offers the following definition cited in Tremblay and Gardner (1995) 505:6: “Motivation is the observed goal directed of thebehavior, the inception and completion of a coherent behavioral unit, its resumption after an interruption , the transition to a new behavioral sequence, the conflict between various goals and its resolution all of these represent issues in motivation” <Heckhausen 1991: 9>
I can say that motivation is an impulse that depends on internal and external factors and leads people to perform anactivity because of the interest it awakes. Also, motivation involves the reasons that impulse a person to take a decision in order to accomplish a purpose.
B.1 Perspectives about motivation
Motivation has been understood from different perspectives. One perspective that is also an approach is Behaviorism: it considers motivation as the stimulus that moves a person to do an activity in order to get areward or reinforcement. Then, learning could be stimulated like a response to some stimuli provided by some reward bringing to the accomplishment of basic and human needs. Lightbown and Spada (2001:112)
The second perspective is achievement motivation: It explains motivation like the need to achieve a task. One of the authors that contribute to this purpose is Atkinson1984; he claims “the basicpremise here is that people differ quite markedly in their need to achieve or to be successful” (Atkinson 1984: p.5). He believed that it was possible to assess the differences among individual needs to achieve or to be successful and there are important implications for their learning experiences according to M. Williams and R. Burden (1997: 114) there are people who have the desire to accomplishsuccessfully everything they do and push themselves to do it. However, others give the appearance that they don’t care if they do well or not “achievement motivation for any individual can thus be determined by the relative strength or the tendency to avoid the task” (Williams and Burden (1997:114). This tendency is determined by the fear of failure, interest and curiosity of the learner....