Lesson 2: Motivation

Integrative Motivation

Some learners have a personal affinity for the people who speak a particular language. This is the second type of language learning motivation described by Gardner and Lambert and is called integrative motivation.

Learners who are integratively motivated want to learn the language because they want to get to know the people who speak that language. They are also interested in the culture associated with that language. Integratively motivated learners may have significant others such as a boyfriend or girlfriend or family members who speak the language, and heritage language learners typically have a particularly strong integrative motivation for language learning. Several studies have found that language learners who are integratively motivated are more successful than those who are instrumentally motivated; it is likely that integratively motivated language learners are more successful because their motivation is stronger than that of instrumentally motivated students especially in North America.

The beginning teachers in this video offer various examples of integrative motivations for language learning. The teacher at the end of the clip notes how her motivation increased when her family moved to the U.S.

Think about your own motivation(s) for language learning. Was your motivation primarily integrative or instrumental?

Play

Responses to the question: "What motivated you?"

Duration: 04:10

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