There isconsensus among many researchers and teachers that motivation is a major factorfor success in language learning, and befitting its central role, there is agrowing body of theoretical writing and empirical research that strives tobetter articulate and understand this complex process.
( Mercer, Ryan, &Williams, 2012; Ushioda & Dornyei, 2012) (As cited in McEown, Noels a&Saumure, 2014) Research shows that success in Ssecond language learning isstrongly affected by a number of relevant individual characteristics fromattitude, motivation, aptitude to age and motivation is said to be thestrongest factor. This study is a review of literature that will presentdefinitions of motivation and attainment and then will go on to reflectingbriefly on the theories of L2 moivation with a little emphasis on the SecondLanguage Motivational Self System L2MSS given by Zoltan Dornyei in his book(2009). Then, relationship between motivation and attainment will be criticallyexamined and finally, this relationship will be supported with its implicationin the research.MotivationMotivation is an abstract, dynamic, multi-faceted andmultidimensional construct.
Motivation is regarded as an influential element inthe success of any activity or achieving the desired goals. It determines humanbehavior and gives direction to one’s actions. Whereas, regarding multifaceted and multidimensional nature of motivation and avariety of psychological perspective of human behavior, there is an abundanceof motivational theories and its definitions. Dornyei defines motivation as:”Motivationprovides the primary impetus to initiate learning the L2 and later the drivingforce to sustain the long and tedious learning process; indeed, all the oherfactors involved in L2 acquisition presuppose motivation to some extenet.”(Dornyei, 1998) In Pintrich and Schunk’s perspective,” motivation involves variousmental processes that lead to initiation and maintenance of action.” Thus,motivation no longer remains static mental or emotional state as the term hadbeen traditionally used rather, it becomes a dynamic and flexible process.According to Dornyei ” a process wherebya certain amount of instigation force arises, initiates action, and persists aslong as no other force come into play to weaken it and thereby terminateaction, or until the planned outcome has been reached.
” Motivation is such acomplex phenomenon that in1981 Kleinginna and Kleinginna presented 102statements. (Gardner, 2007, P: 10) I t is not possible to give its simpledefinition. Infact, Motivated individual exhibits characterstics that arecognitive, affective and behavioural. Motivated individual is goal directed,expends effort, is persistent, is attentive, has desires, exhibits positiveaffect, is aroused, has expectancies, demonstrates self-confidence(self-efficacy), and has reasons (motives).” (Gardner, 2007, P: 10)AttainmentAttainment isactually learning or achievement.
Here it refers to proficiency insecond/foreign language. In the effort to learn L2 learners attempt to getproficiency in all the four language skills-listening, speaking, reading andwriting. And, this proficiency is not achieved at once. It is a long andtedious process and it is the learners’ motivation that keeps them persistentlyattentive. R.C.Gardner, in his work- Motivationand Second Language Acquisition defines attainment “in terms of performanceon the objective tests of grammar and aural comprehension, written production,reading comprehension, oral production and proficiency, grades in the languagecourse, etc” and he adds that” motivation is found to be implicated at allstages.” (Gardner, 2007)