This longitudinal study investigates whether Japanese high school students’ L2-motivational changes over the high school years predict achievement in English and overall subjects at the end of high school. A questionnaire was developed drawing on the Attitude/Motivation Test Battery (Gardner, 1985), the self-determination-theory scale (Noels, Pelletier, Clément, & Vallerand, 2000), and the willingness to communicate scale (McCroskey, 1992), and administered to 190 students 3 times at yearly intervals. Twelve constructs were identified. Achievement was measured using the school’s final achievement tests given 5 months before graduation. The effects of motivational change on achievement were analyzed with latent growth curve modeling. The results showed that higher achievement in English was predicted by the growth of motivational intensity, attitudes toward learning English, and intrinsic motivation and the decline of amotivation. Achievement in overall subjects was predicted by the changes in all these constructs except amotivation and in 2 other constructs. The changes in the remaining 6 constructs did not predict achievement in English or overall subjects. The results suggested that the effects of motivational intensity, attitudes toward learning English, and intrinsic motivation are not language-specific and that teachers may be encouraged to focus on these constructs for tangible outcomes.
Michinobu Watanabe, Toin Gakuen High School, Japan
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