Parameters Inducing Motivational Surges in Second Language Learning
Motivational surges in language learning occur when a number of personal and contextual parameters come together to induce intense and long-term motivational experiences. In the second language learning literature, this phenomenon is known as the directed motivational current (Dörnyei, Muir, & Ibrahim, 2014). As a novel concept in the field, little is known about what might induce this extraordinary motivational surge. The current study empirically examined the parameters of nine participants who provided accounts of the conditions around the initial stages of their motivational currents. The qualitative analysis found that five factors triggered the motivational currents in the participants: emergent opportunities, negative emotion, moments of realization/awakening, new information, and meeting others who shared the goal. The study also revealed two main conditions necessary for a DMC to begin: goal/ambitions and perceived feasibility. The final section of this paper presents practical implications of the current findings in relation to how second language teachers and educators might benefit from the findings to help incite motivational surges in their language learners.
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