Cultural Motivation and Its Impact on Foreign Language Learning in Globalizing World

Document Type: Research Paper

Author

Islamic Azad University, Ardestan Branch, Isfahan, Iran

Abstract

The study aims at focusing on the relationship between motivation, culture, and success in foreign language learning in globalizing world. Many studies have been done to examine the relationship between them. The studies showed that culture can play a motivating role in language learning success. Considering Gardner's instrumental and integrative motivation, a learner with a high degree of integrative motivation is likely to make more efforts to form bonds with people of the target culture. To conduct the survey 48 students of Ardestan Azad University were chosen. Some activities and techniques were taken to promote their multicultural competence. In the first session a brief explanation was given to the students along with some questionnaires regarding cultural issues to answer. During 16 weeks of the semester students were taught and monitored through class discussions, essay writings etc. The goal of the activities was to encourage and estimate their respect, tolerance and empathy to people of different cultures. In the last session a questionnaire designed by the researcher was used to collect data. It was composed of three sections: 1) 11 statements about cultural issues to be rated with a likert scale of agreement (based on the Bennett's intercultural communicative model). 2) 10 rating questions (considering Byram& Risager's multidimensional model of ICC).  3) 5 open questions about their belief and behavior to elaborate on. The results showed that respect for others, adaptation and integration with people of target culture were the highest rated among others. An unexpected result was that there was no significant relationship between students' lesson scores and their attitude toward foreign language culture. This can be justified by globalization process by which "people of the world are incorporated into a single world society, global society". Therefore learners who belong to a global English-speaking culture are ready to suspend disbelief about others and adopt new cultural aspects while respecting and maintaining their own culture.

Keywords


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