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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Motivation of second language learners: The influence on culture acquisition
by Waack, Brittany L., M.A., Colorado State University, 2010, 81; 1483965
Abstract (Summary)

Second language (L2) acquisition does not consist solely of vocabulary, syntax and conjugations, it is necessary that learners also have an understanding of the history, the people and the general culture in order to use the L2 well. Therefore, why do many students only acquire a superficial understanding of culture?

This study focuses on the collision between culture acquisition and motivation. The research concerning motivation in the L2 is vaste, but the conclusions are not clear; however, three theories form the base of current research; the Socio-Educational Theory (Gardner 1972, 1985), the Social Conext Theory (Clément & Kruidenier, 1983) and the Self-Determination Theory (Noels, Pelletier, Clément et Vallerand, 2003). All these theories, despite their differences, state that the motivation plays an important role in L2 acquisition.

Therefore, this study with120 participants from all levels of French, from a mid-sized university located in the West of the United States, explores the importance of motivation in the acquisition not only of the L2, but more specifically of culture. The questionnaire, used to collect the motivation and cultural knowledge of the students, was completed three times throughout the semester, but the results did not find a statistically significant link between motivation and cultural knowledge for students of French in this context. However, there were positive changes seen over the course of the semester in relation to cultural knowledge and the general attitude towards the class and the French language for the majority of participants.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Grim, Frederique
Commitee: Coke, Pamela, Malpezzi-Price, Paola
School: Colorado State University
Department: Foreign Languages and Literatures
School Location: United States -- Colorado
Source: MAI 49/03M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Foreign Language, Multicultural Education
Keywords: Culture, French, Motivation, Second language learning
Publication Number: 1483965
ISBN: 978-1-124-39752-8
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