Motivation and identity go hand in hand in educational contexts. Language learning motivation is shaped by factors internal and external to the Self. Internal factors include cognition, attitudes and affective factors (e.g. enjoyment, anxiety), and individual characteristics (e.g. gender, age, personality). External factors, on the other hand, are complex social, cultural and contextual influences, e.g. teachers, peers, classroom tasks and materials, and cultural values and beliefs. Motivation thus emerges through complicated processes of interacton between the Self and context.

One’s sense of competence and autonomy seem to be particularly important for the development of intrinsic forms of motivation; being in control of your own learning is thus important. Remember that your language learning motivation can also be influenced by reasons fluctuating on a daily basis: your health, the weather, your mood, work and personal conflicts, that is, your very own ecological realities in life: we are all different flesh and blood human beings with our commitments and duties!

Student’s voices:

I’m only studying languages because I have to

I like to get to know people from other countries

Being good at languages is one way to be sure of getting a good job


I love to travel and meet people

I’ve never been a good language learner

I haven’t time

I won’t need languages in my future job