Significant motivatinal predictors of the amount of reading by efl learners in japan

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RELC Journal

Significant Motivational Predictors of the Amount of Reading By Efl Learners in Japan
Setsuko Mori RELC Journal 2004 35: 63 DOI: 10.1177/003368820403500106 The online version of this article can be found at:

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Setsuko Mori

University, Japan,



Although there is extensive research into what constitutes second language learning motivation and how it works, most of the existing work is carried out in ESL environments, and is mainly concerned withmotivation to communicate using the target language. However, in EFL environments such as Japan, students have quite limited contact with target language communities, and consequently need to rely largely on written form of input. Thus, this study attempted to investigate the relationship between how students’ motivation/attitudes toward reading in English and a specific reading task, and how muchthey read outside of class. The results of the study imply that the following two motivational constructs were significant predictors of the amount of reading: (1) a factor indicative of students’ study habits, and (2) a factor of task-specific motivation indicative of students’ lack of intrinsic value of stories. Surprisingly, neither sub-factors of reading motivation nor proficiency scores werefound to be significant predictors.
Introduction Since many researchers acknowledge that motivation can be one of the key predictors of success in second/foreign language learning, a large quantity of research has been carried out in order to investigate what constitutes motivation and how it functions. Although there is a discrepancy among researchers regarding exactly what encompassesmotivation, existing research in motivation suggest that motivation is a multi-faceted, complex construct comprised of various sub-constructs. Also recognizing
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importanceof motivation in language learning and the multi-dimensionality of motivation, the present study attempted to investigate what motivational sub-constructs can predict a certain learning behaviour: how
the motivational constructs are related to how much students read in English outside of the class. The decision to specifically examine the relationship between motivation and reading behaviour wasmade due to the fact that little research of such nature has been done especially in SLA. In researching motivation for second language learning, as a matter of fact, there seems to be a trend that researchers focus mostly on students’ motivation to interact or communicate with target language speakers (e.g. Clement 1980, 1986; Gardner and Maclntyre 1992, 1993; Gardner, Tremblay and Masgoret 1997;Maclntyre, Clement, Dornyei and Noels 1998; Dornyei 1996, 1998; Dornyei and Otto 1998) and neglect the issue of domain-specificity in motivation. One of the most frequently cited models on this line of research is probably the socio-psychological oriented work proposed by Gardner and his associates (e.g. Gardner 1985, 1988, 1996; Gardner and Lambert 1959; Gardner and Smythe 1975; Gliksman,...
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