IJLLL 2015 Vol.1(2): 98-105 ISSN: 2382-6282
DOI: 10.7763/IJLLL.2015.V1.20

A Review of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivations of ESL Learners

Chiew Fen Ng and Poh Kiat Ng
Abstract—Motivations, both intrinsic and extrinsic, are key factors in the success of learners at all stages of their education. The learners themselves and teachers or parents play a pivotal role in providing and encouraging that motivation in the learning and teaching environment. All learners are motivated differently and it takes time and a lot of effort to get learners to build their enthusiasm for learning, working hard and pushing themselves to excel. However, how do we know the learners are motivated? This review paper will answer the question accordingly by looking at some areas; 1) roles of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in second language learning, 2) describing teachers’ motivational practices and their learners’ motivation and 3) identifying other possible factors to enhance learners’ motivation in L2 learning. These areas covered in this paper are based on theories and findings discussed in previous studies on motivation of L2 learners. A brief discussion and some beneficial implications for teachers and learners are also included. This review concludes that L2 learners’ motivation (intrinsic motivation) and the effect of perceived levels of teachers’ commitment (extrinsic motivation) reconfirms that a teacher influences his/her learners’ motivation. Furthermore, the learners’ levels of proficiency may be an important factor which can determine the effectiveness of teaching strategies as a motivator for learners. This review also concludes that motivation is a crucial factor in learning the second language and is influenced by variables like personality and attitudes of learners, learning styles and power relationship between languages.

Index Terms—Intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, L2 learners, motivational strategies.

Chiew Fen Ng is with the Faculty of Modern Language and Communication, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia (e-mail: kilaga@gmail.com).
Poh Kiat Ng is with the Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Multimedia University, Jalan Ayer Keroh Lama, Bukit Beruang, 75450 Malacca, Malaysia (e-mail: pkng@mmu.edu.my).

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Cite:Chiew Fen Ng and Poh Kiat Ng, "A Review of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivations of ESL Learners," International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 98-105, 2015.

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