This study examines the role of students' Basic Psychological Needs (BPN) in the context of Self-determination Theory (SDT) and achievement in second language (L2) learning. We hypothesized that students' satisfaction of BPN, which is operationalized by three constructs, i.e., autonomy, competence and relatedness, would be antecedents of the motivational orientations of the SDT, which in turn would predict learners' effort and ultimately, L2 achievement. The hypothesized model was evaluated using a Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) approach. Survey data was collected from Saudi students living in Australia to learn English at Australian institutes of language centres (N = 375). Results showed that BPN are directly linked to L2 achievement as well as indirectly through the motivational orientations and learning effort. Students' needs satisfaction positively predicted internal forms of motivation, which in turn, positively predicted effort, and then L2 achievement. Overall, the model explained about 44% of the variance in L2 achievement. This study contributes to the theoretical accounts of SDT by demonstrating that sufficient levels of students' needs satisfaction would be required to form internally oriented motivation, promote learning effort and ultimately the achievement of the language learning.
Abdullah Alamer, UNSW, Australia
Jihyun Lee, UNSW, Australia
Lorenzo Vigentini, UNSW, Australia
Paper Information Conference: ECLL2018
Added on Friday, August 17th, 2018
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