Innovations and Challenges in Language Learning Motivation  book cover
1st Edition

Innovations and Challenges in Language Learning Motivation

ISBN 9781138599161
Published February 28, 2020 by Routledge
186 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
SAVE $8.99
was $44.95
USD $35.96

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Innovations and Challenges in Language Learning Motivation provides a cutting-edge perspective on the latest challenges and innovations in language learning motivation, incorporating numerous examples and cases in mainstream psychology and in the field of second language acquisition. Drawing on over three decades of research experience as well as an extensive review of the latest psychological and SLA literature, Dörnyei provides an accessible overview of these cutting-edge areas and covers novel topics that have not yet been addressed in L2 motivation research, such as:

• fundamental theoretical questions such as mental time travel, ego depletion, psychological momentum and passion, and how the temporal dimension of motivation can be made consistent with a learner attribute;

• key challenges concerning the notion of L2 motivation, ranging from issues about the nature of motivation (e.g. trait, state or a process?) and questions surrounding unconscious versus conscious motivation, the motivational capacity of vision, and long-term motivation and persistence;

• highly practical classroom-specific challenges such as how technological advances could be better integrated in teachers’ repertoires of motivational strategies.

This distinctive book from one of the key voices in the field will be essential reading for students in the field of TESOL and Applied Linguistics, as well as language teachers and teacher educators.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction: The ever-changing landscape of language learning motivation research

1. Fundamental challenges I: The conceptualisation of ‘motivation’

Challenge 1: What is motivation: a trait, a state or a process?

Innovation 1: McAdams’s ‘New Big Five’ theory of personality

Innovation 2: Motivational implications of the New Big Five model

Challenge 2: How can we conceptualise motivation in a process-oriented manner?

Innovation 1: Process models of motivation

Innovation 2: Other theoretical attempts to ‘capture time’

Challenge 3: Is it possible to distinguish motivation from affect and cognition?

Innovation: A phenomenological account

Challenge 4: Conscious versus unconscious motivation

2. Fundamental challenges II: Motivational dynamics

Challenge 5: How to account for the context of motivation

Innovation 1: The systematic characterisations of context

Innovation 2: The rise of ‘social motivation’

Innovation 3: The rise of qualitative research

Innovation 4: Gardner’s fusion of personality and social psychology

Innovation 5: Person-in-context approaches

Challenge 6: The issue of different timescales

Innovation 1: The idiodynamic method

Innovation 2: Appropriate time window and timescale

Innovation 3: ‘Proximal subgoals’

Challenge 7: The interference of multiple parallel goals

Innovation 1: From process models to a dynamic conception

Innovation 2: Goal configurations and temporal structuring

Innovation 3: Principles of goal prioritisation

Challenge 8: How to handle the dynamic complexity of motivation

Innovation 1: Applying the principles of complex dynamic systems theory

Innovation 2: Placing the agent in the centre of a complex motivational system

3. Fundamental challenges III: Motivation applied

Challenge 9: Motivation and SLA

Innovation 1: Taking a ‘small lens’ approach

Innovation 2: Task-based motivation

Challenge 10: How to enhance motivation meaningfully, without carrots and sticks

Innovation 1: Applying motivational strategies

Innovation 2: Focusing on ‘student engagement’

Innovation 3: Capitalising on role modelling

Innovation 4: Preventing demotivation and fostering remotivation

Innovation 5: Applying technology

Challenge 11: How can we measure a dynamic concept such as motivation?

Innovation 1: Conducting qualitative, longitudinal and intervention studies

Innovation 2: Conducting mixed methods research

Innovation 3: Retrodictive qualitative modelling

Innovation 4: Identifying motivational conglomerates

4. Research frontiers I: Unconscious motivation

Conscious agency and its unconscious limits

The case for unconscious motivation

The case for conscious motivation

Unconscious goal setting and goal pursuit

Automatized and chronic goals

Dual-process theories and the interaction of the conscious and the unconscious mind

Researching unconscious motivation


Traditional assessment of implicit motivation through projective tests

Modern assessment procedures

The relationship between explicit and implicit motivational measures: Research implications

Unconscious motivation in SLA


5. Research frontiers II: Vision

What is vision?

The neuropsychology of vision

Vision and human mental functioning: Dual coding theory and working memory

The absence of vision: Aphantasia

Envisioning the future: Mental time travelling and possible selves

Applications of vision in the social sciences

Vision in psychology

Vision and sport performance

Vision and business management

How does vision motivate?

Possible future selves and self-discrepancy theory

Mental contrasting and process imagery

Vision and hope

Vision and emotions

Vision and unconscious motivation

Vision and L2 motivation


6. Research frontiers III: Long-term motivation and persistence

High-octane motivational fuel: ‘Self-concordant vision’

Limiting energy depletion through energy saving

Ego depletion

Conserving motivational energy through habits and behavioural routines

Regenerating energy 1: Lessons from ‘Directed Motivational Currents’

Directed motivational currents (DMCs)

Subgoals and progress checks

Affirmative feedback and social support

Regenerating energy 2: Lessons from ‘psychological momentum’

Adler’s original conception of momentum

Modern conceptualisations of momentum

Lessons offered by momentum research for the understanding of long-term motivation

Augmenting energy with positive emotionality

The notion of passion in psychology

Motivational breakdown cover: Persistence and self-control

Overlapping theoretical constructs

Lessons emerging from the persistence literature




Subject index

Author index

View More



Zoltán Dörnyei is Professor of Psycholinguistics at the School of English, University of Nottingham, UK. He has published extensively on various aspects of language learner characteristics and second language acquisition, and he is the (co-)author of over 90 academic papers and 25 books.


'Zoltán Dörnyei has produced a masterful account of key challenges and innovations in contemporary language learning motivation research, drawing on a wide literature base extending into many areas of mainstream psychology. Through his impressive breadth of scholarship, insightful analysis and sheer enthusiasm for the subject, he succeeds admirably in showing why the topic of language learning motivation continues to fascinate and to challenge us, and how much more we have yet to explore. This book will be of interest to all those engaged in researching or promoting motivation in language learning.'

Professor Ema Ushioda, Director of the Centre for Applied Linguistics, University of Warwick, UK