Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Previous research has suggested that advanced Second Language (L2) learners are more intrinsically motivated than beginning L2 learners (e.g., Rivers, 1996), and that Third Language (L3) learners are more intrinsically motivated than L2 learners (Schütz, 2007). However, Chomsky (1975) believes that children have to be creative to learn their first language, and others (e.g., Fraser, 2007; Heath & Wolf, 2005) believe that children are creative even when learning a second language. In this research, 67 L2 learners and 38 L3 learners were recruited. They completed a survey including a language achievement scale, an intrinsic motivation scale, and a creativity scale. The results showed that L2 or L3 learners who perceived their foreign language achievement to be fluent or experienced scored higher on both the intrinsic motivation and the creativity scales than beginners, and that L3 learners scored significantly higher on the intrinsic motivation scale than L2 learners. Follow-up tests found that the factor of intrinsic motivation indeed was more important for language achievement for beginner to medium-level foreign language learners just as for the entire sample taken as a whole. However, this relationship disappeared for the very advanced learners. For these more advanced “expert” learners, there was no relationship between intrinsic motivation and language achievement but the creativity scale was positively correlated with the language achievement scale.


Dr. Stephen Kitzis

Date of Award

Summer 2010

Document Type



© 2010 XiXi Du


For questions contact

Included in

Psychology Commons