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Energising Directed Motivational Currents through Learners’ Agency

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Arkadiusz Pietluch

This book attempts to demystify concerns surrounding a novel motivational construct known as a Directed Motivational Current. The study aimed at exploring whether a high sense of efficacy may support a person in transforming short-spanned motivational episodes into longitudinal engagement typical for the DMC framework. To this end, a sequential exploratory mixed methodology was used. Subsequently, a link between well-anchored efficacy beliefs and the rate at which DMCs occur was indeed discovered. This was further reinforced by the outcomes of personalised interviews. Eventually, the research yielded several noteworthy conclusions, including the fact that imbuing the DMC structure with elements of efficacy building may lead to long-term, sustained behaviour in a foreign language classroom.

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CHAPTER I A general overview of Second Language Acquisition theory

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Since the early 1960s, motivation has been a focal factor in the inquiry concerning the rate in which a person acquires sufficient command of a second language. Although the concept has undergone rapid expansion, especially in the last three decades, it unchangeably occupies the position of an essential predictor of a learner’s success when attempting to develop satisfactory language fluency. Amongst more or less successful theories that have emerged over time, the conceptual framework of Second Language Acquisition coined by Krashen has been, for many years, deemed the most successful in terms of advancing researchers’ understanding of the factors responsible for the growth of linguistic proficiency. On top of discussing individual components of Krashen’s theory, the present chapter was also devised in the hope of providing a concise overview of the variables capable of hindering and facilitating the assimilation of a second language, including affective factors such as motivation or self-efficacy. Individual differences that are considered crucial for predicting one’s success in the domain under scrutiny will be also outlined.

1.1. The Second Language Acquisition Theory

In recent decades, much attention has been devoted to exploring the mechanisms behind developing satisfactory language proficiency and, as a result, several theories have been proposed. However, as the process of improving one’s language competence is far from linear, the majority of constructs that emerged over time failed to withstand the evidence-based scrutiny and aroused a rather short-spanned interest. In stark contrast, the Second Language Acquisition theory1 devised...

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