Yueh-Hung Tseng



Motivation is a key factor in determining success in foreign and second language learning. However, the relationship between motivation and intended effort, “a mediating factor between motivation and success" (Papi, 2010, p. 468), has been studied mostly quantitatively rather than qualitatively, and even fewer studies have addressed this relationship among elementary school students in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) contexts, especially in rural districts. In response, this study examined such a relationship qualitatively drawing on Dörnyei’s (2005) L2 Motivational Self System as the theoretical lens in a fifth grade class in Taiwan. The purpose was to bridge the divide between rural and urban contexts. Data collection involved participants' drawings and written responses to motivation-related questions, interviews, and the researcher's observations and reflection journal. The study found no direct or linear link between motivation to study English and intended effort. In addition, this relationship was social. Furthermore, participants' learning experiences played a critical and complex role in mediating intended effort. The findings suggest that teachers should create motivated learning experiences rather than try to motivate students through tests.


Key Words: motivation, motivational L2 self, motivational L2 self in EFL learning


DOI: 10.30397/TJTESOL.202110_18(2).0004