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Reductionism, activity theory, and L2 motivation research: Toward new concepts and definitions

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Authors
Kim, Tae-Young
Issue Date
2010
Publisher
서울대학교 교육종합연구원
Citation
SNU Journal of Education Research, Vol.19, pp. 87-118
Keywords
second language motivationactivity theorysociocultural theorymotivedemotivationgoalparticipation
Description
2010
Abstract
This paper focuses on the theoretical foundation of second language

(L2) learning motivation from a Vygotskian Activity Theory (AT)

perspective. In general, previous L2 motivation research adopted either

psychometric or sociological approaches, which have not fully considered

the mediational process between individual learners and their

meaningful environments. Since L2 motivation reflects learners

histories and sociocultural contexts, it is crucial to approach this from

an AT perspective. After critiquing current L2 motivation research

using Valsiner and van der Veers (2000) argument of

downward/upward reductionism, I introduce the notion of L2

motivation as social mediation and discuss the applicability of AT to

motivation research. L2 learning motivation is defined as an L2

learners realization of the personal significance of an L2–related

activity. It is argued that a learners L2 learning motive can be

transformed into motivation when the learners initial motive to learn

an L2 integrates with specific goal(s) and physical or imaginary

participation.
ISSN
1225-5335
Language
English
URI
https://hdl.handle.net/10371/73001
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College of Education (사범대학)Center for Educational Research (교육종합연구원)SNU Journal of Education Research (SJER)SNU Journal of Education Research vol.19 (2010)
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