ERIC Number: ED184355
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Reference Count: N/A
Motivational Factors and Student Retention in School Foreign Language Programs.
Myers, Pamela J.
A Foreign Language Enrollment Motivation Inventory was administered to 400 secondary school foreign language students in Minnesota. The following considerations were found to be influences on decisions by students to continue or not to continue language study: (1) language classroom activities, (2) interest in speaking the target language, (3) interest in the music of the second culture, (4) interest in other peoples, (5) interest in language learning for its own sake, (6) school faculty, and (7) peer influence. Family heritage, influence of family members, college language requirements, and career goals were found in general not to influence student decisions. Students planning to continue tended to be influenced by travel and a desire to speak the language, whereas those not planning to continue were more motivated by family heritage. Senior high students were influenced by interest in reading the target language, while junior high students acknowledged career motivations. Students of German reported more influence from family heritage than did students of French or Spanish. Factor analysis revealed an internal factor based on successful individual student experience, as well as a factor based on external considerations such as parental influence. The internal factor indicates that interest in foreign language study will continue, and suggests a direction for curriculum development. (JB)
Descriptors: Attitude Measures, Educational Research, Factor Structure, Language Attitudes, Questionnaires, Second Language Instruction, Second Language Learning, Second Language Programs, Secondary Education, Student Attitudes, Student Interests, Student Motivation
Not available separately; See FL 011 156.
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (Minneapolis, MN, April 19-21, 1979).