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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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Introduction

Much investigative effort has been devoted in recent decades to the task of exploring what factors account for the success of a learner in a foreign language classroom. Amongst several dilemmas that have been troubling those concerned with second language instruction, one of the most notorious was the question of why certain individuals develop fluency in a foreign language in, what appears to be, almost an effortless manner, while other students struggle to exceed the boundaries of the beginner level. Stephen Krashen (1985), for instance, sought to explain the process of attaining satisfactory linguistic proficiency in terms of general mechanisms and the volume of input in a target language a person receives. It has not been until the early 1980s and the seminal work of Gardner (1982) until the researchers’ attention was swayed towards the scope of influence of affective variables on the process in question. Since then, it has become a commonplace to consider that notions such as motivation or anxiety are indeed crucial in predicting a student’s performance in a classroom, giving rise to a multitude of different motivational frameworks that were believed to contribute to leveraging the likelihood of attaining language proficiency. Although some theories have failed to withstand the evidence-based scrutiny, the novel conceptualisation of Directed Motivational Currents coined by Dörnyei and his colleagues, on top of broadening comprehension of the motivational processes, offers a robust practical structure which may inspire motivational momentum that would be far and beyond standard...

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