A Study of Motivation in Japanese Language Learners at College
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For English speakers, Japanese is regarded as one of the most difficult languages. Thus, someone who decided to learn Japanese over other options, such as French, German, and Spanish, are considered to be motivated learners. However, the attrition rate is not small. What kinds of factors affect their motivations while they are learning? This study aimed to examine students’ motivation in Japanese learning. In order to grasp fluid motivational movements this research featured qualitative study from questionnaire and interviews. The results of the research presented students’ motivational changes, evolving constantly under the various internal and external influences. The study showed that students’ experiences in Japan do not correlate with their positive motivational status. On the contrary, the students who have never been to Japan may also increase their motivation through discovering and experiencing the usefulness of the Japanese they learned. Significantly, students’ appreciation towards peers, their perception towards their improvement, their interests in culture, and their perception of usefulness of learning were observed. The finding also demonstrated those factors did not exist discretely but continuously. On the other hand, the finding also showed demotivating factors. The results from both the questionnaire and interviews demonstrated that the most significant demotivating factors came from beyond the L2 (Second Language) context. Some findings showed multi-facets of one factor of motivation.
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