L2 Motivation Profiling and the Role of Context: A Study in Exploratory Statistical Procedures

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

The University of Groningen, The Netherlands

Abstract

Two studies were carried out in order to create distinct motivational profiles of students, examine the way in which context had an effect on motivational styles, and attempt to collaborate these findings with the L2 Motivational Self-System. The research questions for this study were concerned with ascertaining whether or not it is possible to identify distinct learner types in terms of their motivational profiles; and to what extent different aspects of motivation contribute towards distinguishing different motivational profiles. The participants for the first study were 42 Dutch university students of English; and the participants for the second study were 26 adult learners of English at a language school in Sydney, Australia. In order to construct the motivational profiles, several exploratory statistical procedures were carried out, including principal components analysis and cluster analysis. The results found that the strength of the factors extracted in the principal components stage differed depending on the context of each study. In addition, the motivational profiles that were formed during the cluster analyses revealed distinct subgroups of learners which displayed varying levels of homogeneous characteristics. 

Keywords