Vol. 15:2 (1992) ► pp.63–89
Why study French?
The importance of various factors acknowledged by first year students at the University of Melbourne
The following article gives an account of the results of a research project which looked, inter alia, at motivation among first year university students of French, both beginner stream and post school certificate students. While it is currently fashionable to underline the economic and social usefulness of language study, information is not freely available on why students who enrol for French actually do so. The extrinsic / intrinsic dichotomy of motivations was adopted as a working principle for classifying motivations. This dichotomy may be likened to the integrative / instrumental division used by Gardner and Lambert (1972) We observed that students were motivated by a wide variety of factors. Though motivations are sometimes hard to classify on a binary scale, there was nevertheless no clear preference for extrinsic or pragmatic reasons; if anything, personal or intrinsic reasons seemed to dominate.
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