How Motivation as Quality Influence ESL Learners’ Attitudes toward English Pronunciation Learning

Yang Zhou


The current study attempted to examine ESL learners’ attitudes toward L2 pronunciation learning and meanwhile, to
investigate how these learners’ qualitative motivation explain their attitudes toward pronunciation learning. A total of
124 ESL learners participated in the survey in which several questionnaires were included regarding L2 self
representations (Papi et al., 2018), chronic regulatory focus (Higgins et al., 2001) and L2 learners attitudes toward
pronunciation learning (Elliot, 1995a; Gardner, 1985). An exploratory factor analysis was performed on all
pronunciation items and the results revealed a threefold-factor solution: importance of pronunciation, learning
pronunciation for communicative purpose and preference for native accent. The data analysis suggested that
promotion-focused orientation, ideal L2 self own, ought-to L2 self own and ought-to L2 self other were respectively
correlated with ESL learners’ attitudes toward all three factors of pronunciation learning. Particularly, ideal L2 self
own was found to predict more positive attitude toward the importance of pronunciation learning and toward the
preference for native accent than ought-to L2 self own, while the former one also predicted more negative attitude
toward learning pronunciation for communicative purpose. The study has yielded significant implications for
researchers regarding the understanding of motivation from its qualitative perspective which delineates individual’s
inclination to different goals and to specific strategies for attaining these goals (Papi, 2018), as well as for ESL
instructors concerning the improvement of L2 pronunciation pedagogy and the selection of motivational approaches
for L2 pronunciation instruction.

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International Journal of English Language Teaching ISSN 2329-7913 (Print) ISSN 2329-7921 (Online)

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