The Motivation of University Students of International Relations to Learn English
This article reports on the findings of a study investigating the motivation of Bulgarian undergraduates of International Relations to learn English as a second language (L2). First, we consider language learning motivation in the context of three influential theoretical developments in research on motivation. Then, we report on a small-scale survey aiming to define the motivational profile of students of International Relations through the lens of the L2 Motivational Self System. The analysis of the survey data reveals similarities with findings of previous research as regards the favourable attitude towards English language learning, the prominent role of the ideal L2 self in the motivational pattern, and some doubt over the relation between the ought-to L2 self and the intended learning effort. The study results also indicate relations between travel orientation and the ought-to L2 self, and between the two types of instrumental motivation which have not been reported in previous research. These motivation peculiarities are explained through the specifics of the surveyed group that refer to students’ aspirations and potential careers in international relations.
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