Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Applied Linguistics

Committee Chair

Teresa Dalle

Committee Member

Emily Thrush

Committee Member

Angela Thevenot

Committee Member

Sage Graham


L2 motivation, as it has been defined in Robert Gardner's composite construct of the integrative motive, has been determined to be essential in the acquisition of a second language. Though some modern researchers have reconceptualized the construct, they have nonetheless reaffirmed its critical components through their own studies. This study explored the phenomenological orientation of the perception of the importance of L2 motivation as understood my 20 ESL teachers with at least three years of teaching experience through four questions: 1. How important to student language learning success (proficiency) do experienced ESL teachers consider motivation to be? 2. What are some teacher perceptions of their students' motivation to learn a second language and how do these perceptions compare with the full composite construct of the integrative motive, an established construct for testing the presence of L2 motivation? 3. What strategies do teachers use, in any, to support L2 motivation development? 4. What conditions do teachers provide in their classrooms to promote L2 motivation? A mixed-methods study design was deemed most appropriate. Operating in the nonexperimental, exploratory-interpretive paradigm the chief aim of the study was to assess the correlation of the relative importance of teachers' perceptions of L2 motivation with the established constructs of the integrative motive as tested for by Gardner's Attitude Motivation Test Battery. The quantitative survey revealed that teachers overall seem to be aware that motivation and promoting it is important, but may be unaware of the necessity to provide the full panoply of elements that make up the full array of the aggregate construct of the integrative motive. The qualitative open-ended response questions revealed teaching approaches and classroom procedures that may be influenced by the teacher's own view of L2 motivation. Correlations between the two major facets of the study affirmed this. Additionally, unanticipated themes emerged from the data. These results contribute to an understanding of teachers' understanding of L2 motivation and raised further questions about the role of motivation in second language acquisition and how teachers, students, and the public can benefit from that. Limitations of the study and suggestions for further research were identified.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.