ERIC Number: EJ1094323
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 36
Motivational Diversity among Adult Minority Language Learners: Are Current Theoretical Constructs Adequate?
Flynn, Colin J.; Harris, John
Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, v37 n4 p371-384 2016
The sociolinguistic context of Irish, a minority language which is also the first official language of the Republic of Ireland, presents a multitude of issues for consideration in relation to Irish language teaching and learning. This article reports a small-scale (n?=?12) exploratory qualitative study of the range of motivations to be observed among adult learners of Irish in Ireland. It examines the extent to which current theoretical formulations are adequate to explain these motivations. It is argued that certain types of adult learners of Irish are likely to be motivated by affective factors such as identity, linguistic heritage and cultural connections which are distinct from the integrative/instrumental formulations of the Gardner et al. model. The motivation of other learners, however, may more closely approximate these traditional constructs. The study involved a ground-up categorisation of the self-expressed motivations of 12 adult learners of Irish from diverse backgrounds. It reveals five potential categories of learner motivations with most learners having multiple motivations. Results are discussed in terms of the relevance of current formulations of motivation in the research literature to the context of adult minority language learning. Pedagogical implications for the improvement of adult Irish language learning are also outlined.
Descriptors: Language Minorities, Learning Motivation, Sociolinguistics, Irish, Official Languages, Second Language Learning, Second Language Instruction, Qualitative Research, Adult Students, Self Concept, Cultural Background, Heritage Education, Foreign Countries, Teaching Methods, Classification, Focus Groups, Semi Structured Interviews, Goal Orientation, Family Relationship
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ireland (Dublin)