Academic Leadership: The Online Journal


The marked increase in the amount of research on foreign language learning motivation in the last 30 years is due to the widespread recognition of the vital importance of motivation to language learning achievement (Chambers 1999; Dörnyei 2001; Ushioda 2006). The complexity of motivation as such adds to the variety and range of research most of which is heavily influenced by the socio-educational model of second language acquisition formulated by Gardner (1985). His distinction between integrative orientation (when a learner wishes to communicate with people from the target culture) and instrumental orientation (when a learner wishes to learn the language because of external goals such as getting a certain grade in the subject or gaining career opportunities) is still the basis of many scales and subscales produced by other researchers. One very important practical implication of Gardnerian integrative-instrumental dichotomy is that it helps to differentiate the stability of a learner’s goals. Instrumental motivation is very unstable as it is influenced by many external variables such as economy, technology, etc. (Long 2001, p.7) while the strength of integrative motivation which is the most elaborate and researched aspect of Gardner’s motivation theory (Dörnyei 2001, p. 49) is the stability of its goals.