Edited by Zhisheng (Edward) Wen and Mohammad Javad Ahmadian
[Task-Based Language Teaching 13] 2019
► pp. 53–66
Chapter 3. Task motivation
What makes an L2 task engaging?
Any cognitive benefit from an instructional activity requires that the participants engage with the learning process, and yet the study of ‘task motivation’ has not been a featured theme in research on either L2 motivation or on L2 tasks. This chapter begins with a discussion of the possible causes of this limited interest in the topic, followed by an overview of past theorizing on how motivation unfolds in specific behavioural segments such as learning tasks. It is then argued that recent research on ‘directed motivational currents’ (DMCs) offers a new angle for the understanding of task engagement, as it considers in a unified construct a person’s initial motivation (goal/vision) and its manifestation in the individual’s actual action, that is, in task participation. This integration of a motive and the ensuing task behaviour is believed to offer a fruitful framework to explore task motivation afresh, and the chapter concludes by addressing the question of what makes an L2 task engaging.