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New themes and approaches in second language motivation research

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 April 2002

Zoltán Dörnyei
Centre for Research in Applied Linguistics, University of Nottingham


The study of L2 motivation has reached an exciting turning point in the 1990s, with a variety of new models and approaches proposed in the literature, resulting in what Gardner and Tremblay (1994) have called a ‘motivational renaissance.’ In this chapter I provide an overview of some of the current themes and research directions that I find particularly novel or forward-looking. The summary is divided into three sections: theoretical advances, new approaches in research methodology, and emerging new motivational themes. I argue that the initial research inspiration and standard-setting empirical work on L2 motivation originating from Canada has borne fruit by ‘educating’ a new generation of international scholars who, together with the pioneers of the field, have applied their expertise in diverse contexts and in creative ways, thereby creating a colorful mixture of approaches comparable to the multi-faceted arena of mainstream motivational psychology.

© 2001 Cambridge University Press

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