Speaking Abilities Of Students With Integrative Motivation Cultural Studies Essay

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Motivation, by definition, is the reason why somebody does something or behaves in a particular way. As Brown (2004, p.160) put it " it's the most frequently used catch- all term for explaining the success or failure of virtually any complex task". As a rule, something wonderful happens when children are asked to choose their own topics and are given ample time to discuss them. They become hungry speakers with an appetite for discussions. However Kit-Ling in an abstract of one of his studies states that most previous studies in Western societies have demonstrated a general decline in school motivation. But, it is not clear whether motivational decline occurs uniformly for all students. The moderating effects of individual and cultural differences on students' motivational decline need to be further explored. (online source, see the reference list).

Among the various types of motivation is the integrative one. People with this type of motivation wish to integrate themselves into the culture of the second language group and become involved in social interchange in that group. Models of second language acquisition postulates that language learning is a dynamic process in which affective variables influence language achievement. Previous studies have found that motivation, and in particular integrative motivation is an essential factor in the acquisition of a second language and that assimilative motivation is largely responsible for the development of native-like speech in both first and second languages. However interesting this may be, Williams and Burden(1997) report:

It was originally found that integrative motivation correlates with higher achievement in language, leading to the suggestion that this is a more important form of motivation. However other studies have challenged this view. (p. 117)

That is, it is not assumed that learners must be assimilatively motivated in order to develop a high second language fluency level, because many learners who are instrumentally motivated develop enough second language facility to satisfy communicative language function requirements. Yet, without assimilative motivation, these learners are not likely to acquire all the characteristics of native-like speech.

To summarize, previous studies have come to quite different conclusions about the effects of these two types of motivations on speaking fluency. If the effects of assimilative motivation are to be understood thoroughly, actual observational studies must be performed on subjects of varying ages placed in diverse second language environments. Only through direct observation of individuals immersed for extended periods of time can the quality and quantity of interaction between second language learners and second language community members be measured.

The purpose of this study is to investigate possible differences in speaking fluency between students who have integrative motivation and those who have instrumental motivation.

The study focuses on the question: do student with integrative motivation (independent variable) show different speaking abilities (dependent variable)?



The study will be conducted with 20 TCG (Telecommunication Company of Guilan) elementary students attending in-service English program. They will be divided into two groups based on the kind of their motivation: those with instrumental (control group) and those with integrative one (experimental group). The type of their motivation was elicited through interviewing the subjects one by one. ??????????????????????/

Integrative motivation has been defined in terms of agreeing with items like: BASED ON WHAT?

I want to learn "the language" because it will help me to learn more about people who speak "the language".


I want to learn "the language" so that I can gain friends more easily with people who

speak "the language".


I want to learn "the language" to meet and converse with more and different people.

I tend to categorize these reasons and others like them as integrative reasons because each seems to reflect an interest in integration with (or specifically in becoming closer psychologically to) the group who speaks the language. And if someone were to express such reasons or similar ones, I would say that they were expressing an integrative orientation to

language study. That is, to me, an orientation is a collection of reasons that reflect common or conceptually similar goals that indicate that

the individual is learning "the language" because of a genuine interest in coming, or at least willingness to come, closer psychologically with individuals who speak "the language". It is even possible that an individual who expresses such reasons might be integratively motivated to learn the language, but I would want to see if he or she exhibits other characteristics of the motivated individual before I made this inference.

In like manner, I could see that someone agreeing with reasons such as the following ones was expressing somewhat different goals. The following reasons have been referred to as instrumental reasons:

I want to learn "the language" in order to get a good job.


I want to learn "the language" because it will be important for my future career.


I want to learn "the language" so that I will be better educated.

I consider each of these to reflect an instrumental orientation because they each describe

a goal that doesn't seem to involve any identification or feeling of closeness with the other language group, but instead focus on a more practical purpose learning the language would serve for the individual. There is nothing in these reasons to suggest that the individual wants to come particularly close in an emotional sense to members of the other community. The intent seems much more to be one of satisfying a purpose that involves the group at a more distant level.


The subjects are called for an interview session. Speech will be elicited using 3 different sources: pictures, prompts on a topic from the researcher and from reading a short passage. At the beginning of their speaking they are given a 5 minute free talk as a warm-up.


After the required data have been collected a Biserial correlation coefficient (will be run (since one is a nominal scale and the other an interval one) to determine the degree of relationship between the two variables.