The Role of Studentsʼ Attitudes and Motivation in Second Language Learning in Online Language Courses
University of California, San Diego
ABSTRACT This study investigated the role of studentsʼ motivation and attitudes in second language (L2) study within an online language course context (LOL). Studentsʼ attitudes and motivation were examined within a socioeducational framework (Gardner & MacIntyre, 1993) while learning contexts were examined based on Dörneyiʼs (1994) components of foreign language learning motivation. Studentsʼ learning behaviors and learning outcomes were used as predictor and criterion variables in a series of quantitative and qualitative analyses. The results showed that students tended to have relatively high anxiety about the LOL course at the beginning of the semester, perhaps due to their lack of familiarity with the speciﬁc LOL learning environment. However, studentsʼ motivation and attitudes toward L2 study were relatively positive and stable during the course. The ﬁndings provided some evidence that motivated students studied regularly and productively to take every opportunity to perfect their language skills. It was also found that each teacher idiosyncratically implemented the LOL course, thereby creating a unique class culture and affecting studentsʼ motivation and attitudes toward studying the L2 in the LOL context. The ﬁndings reinforced the importance of studentsʼ motivation and attitudes in L2 study and, equally important, the continuing critical role of the teacher in technology-enhanced teaching. KEYWORDS Motivation, Attitudes, Online Course, Second Language, Teacherʼs Role INTRODUCTION
A studentʼs attitude and motivation has frequently been reported to be the most critical factor for success within computer-assisted language learning (CALL) environments (Brandl, 2002; Desmarais, 2002; Doherty, 2002; Gilbert, 2001; Murday & Ushida, 2002; Warschauer, 1996a, 1996b). Motivation, according...