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Research on Motivation in Foreign Language Learning from a New Perspective

Ling Xiao

Motivation has long been a concern in the context of second/foreign language (SL/FL) acquisition. Motivational research has shown that motivation affects a variety of aspects related to language learning. For example, it affects the use of SL/FL learning strategies – a major aspect of self-regulated learning, the effort that learners are willing to invest, their achievement in course-related assessments, the proficiency level they eventually achieve, and the likelihood of their continuing to develop competency in the target language (i.e. the SL/FL being learned) after they complete formal classroom study of the language (Ely, 1986; Gardner, et al, 1992; Noels, et al, 2000).

Theories employed in earlier motivational research in the SL/FL context prior to the 1990s have been primarily relied onGardner’s Socio-Educational Model. This model focuses on individuals’ desire to integrate with the people who speak the target language and their attitudes towards them. The theory is based solely on social psychology, thus limiting its explanatory power. Some more recent motivational research incorporated theories of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation and investigated the effects of motivational factors on student achievement-related aspects in learning Chinese (Wen, 1997) and French (Keuneman & Sagona, 1992) as foreign languages.

The motivational theories employed in SL/FL research seem to be limited compared to what has been done outside the SL/FL context. Outside the SL/FL context, motivational research has extensively employed theories and concepts from general psychology, educational psychology and industrial psychology. Goal theory is an example of these theories. Goal theory claims that different goal orientations of individuals activate different cognition (e.g. thoughts, beliefs), emotions, and behavioral patterns in achievement settings (Dweck, 1986). Social cognitive theory is another popular theory employed in the motivational research. Perceived competence, or self-efficacy, is a concept derived from social cognitive theory. Perceived competence refers to individuals’ judgments of their capabilities for a particular type of task (Bandura, 1986). Research has shown that perceived competence influences achievement-related aspects such as the goals individuals set, and their perseverance in the face of difficulty and performance. Research has also indicated that goal orientations and perceived competence affect cognitive engagement, self-regulatory activities, task choice, task performance and persistence in times of difficulty (Elliot & Dweck, 1988). Goal theory predicted and laboratory research has indicated that there is also an interaction effect of the goal orientations and perceived competence. However, the findings have been inconsistent.

Self-regulated learning is a concept frequently examined in the motivational research outside the context of SL/FL learning (Zimmerman, 1990; Zimmerman & Martinez-Pons, 1986). The definition of self-regulated learning varies depending on from what theoretical perspective it is defined. For instance, from the perspective of behaviorism, it refers to forgoing existent behavior and acquiring new ones (Zimmerman, 2001). In the present study, this concept is adopted from the perspective of Social Cognitive Theory. It refers to a cyclical process that involves self-generated thoughts, feelings, and actions that are systematically directed towards achieving personal goals (Zimmerman, 1989).

The above definition indicates a close relationship between goals and self-regulation. Research has …

Preschool online: The best kangaroo kids-kkblr

If you are wondering about free online preschool games, you came to the right place. What are the advantages you may ask? The first advantage is that it gives you a child a headstart on what he/she will face in school soon. It also gives them extra practice in learning basil reading skills such as sounds and recognition of letters that they will definitely need as a base to learn how to read and how to read well. The best thing to do when starting these free online preschool games with your preschooler is to actually take the time and sit down with them and go through the programs with them. They will love the attention and the fact that you took the time to show them, even if you can’t tell this by their reaction. They will be so excited about the game, but they will remember who showed them the games and come to you for help.

Children’s early learning activities should be carefully chosen. Toddlers are on a huge learning curve and possess many skills which should be developed with proper attention and training. Playing is as essential aspect of their learning which helps them develop their physical skills and confidence.

Online Games and Learning:

Online games and activities are a wonderful way of spending quality time with parents. Different set of activities are programmed for infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Online learning and games generally aim at improving hand-eye coordination, problem solving, and recognition, social and interactive skills. Early learning fun games introduce your toddler to the delights of shapes, colors, alphabets and numbers. Online games and activities such as art attack, BBC online, Benny smart, counting chickens, fun school, have fun with spot, preschool rainbow, alphabet lessons, Fisher price, Elephants memory game entertain and educate children. They get a whole range of games and fun filled activities just sitting in front their computer.

Preschools:

Online Preschools help parents in imparting step by step training and lesson which are specifically aimed at improving their exposure, skills, creativity and knowledge at the comfort of their home. Their teaching programs consist of Online Learning, childhood development, early learning ideas and teaching activities for children that are easy for parents and teachers to teach kids at home.

Montessori:

Online Montessori program is designed for parents and teachers who wish to incorporate Montessori into their daily day care activities. Consulting services such as how to set up a Montessori environment, how to make your materials and activities, where to buy affordable materials, what to buy for children and when to buy, dealing with issues such as potty training, sleeping, throwing tantrums, working with sibling, discipline, and behavioral issues.

Preschool Online Games Bring An Edge

Many people feel that online learning gives their children an “edge” that gets them started early on to prepare them for preschool or kindergarten. There are some absolutely wonderful new resources online if you are a parent of a toddler or preschooler looking for educational games.

The …

Pros and Cons of Elearning

As obvious, the term “online education” or “distance learning” simply means what it implies. Through eLearning or distance education programs, students have the capability to enroll in classes that are carried out completely over the internet. Classes are conducted from online colleges and universities across the world, and all that is needed is a bit of motivation from the student’s side to acquire his/her degree online.

In the past couple of years, online education has gained much popularity, as traditional along with online-only colleges began offering distance learning courses after realizing that there are individuals out there who have trouble attending regular classes due to hectic lifestyles. There are numerous reasons why one should opt for eLearning, while on the other hand there are reasons why institutions providing online education are not all that well-reputed.

Pros of Online Education
There are numerous benefits of acquiring online degree, and those already enrolled in distance education programs know the true worth of the education they receive. The most prominent benefit of studying online is that neither the student nor the teacher has to travel long distances to attend classes at a particular location as eLearning can be conducted from just about anywhere in the world. The courses and online degree programs are carried out over the internet, through online learning management systems, internet char, real-time lectures, webinars etc.

The second benefit is that online students have the capability to study at their own pace. In a traditional setting, students need to finish their given assignments within a particular period of time, while through online education they can study whenever they are free. The online faculty assigns projects with a deadline and students can finish their projects at whatever time they find feasible within that particular deadline.

This leads us to the third benefit of online education, which is that those enrolled in an online college or university can easily balance work, family and their studies, thereby fulfilling all commitments. Instead of being away at a traditional college for about 8 hours a day, they can easily spend time with their family or even carry out work-related tasks while studying online.

Cons of eLearning
Just like anything else in life, eLearning has its disadvantages as well. First of all, there is the downside of there being no face-to-face interaction between the student and the professors. Even though they CAN meet outside the World Wide Web once in a blue moon, but it just does substitute for the entire social interaction that takes place in normal settings. Professors and students just do not get to know each other the way they do in a traditional classroom. Another con to the entire eLearning experience is that the college or university individual’s enroll in might not be properly accredited.

There are numerous benefits of proper accreditation, but it is of utmost importance for those who are willing to seek employment upon graduation. Not all online colleges and universities are accredited and you need to make sure …

Online Education – The Changing Face of Education

Opportunities in education today would have been impossible even a few decades back. With the popularity of the Internet, easy accessibility to computers and the World Wide Web, higher education has been transformed into a new dynamic entity. With technology progressing at a rapid pace and demands changing almost daily, our lives are only becoming busier. The world around us is left with no option but to change and move along with the times to accommodate to our new schedules and requirements. This is more than apparent in the field of education. As times change, fewer and fewer students rely on the traditional method of attending classes at a college campus. The ‘brick and mortar’ type of education still exists but now side by side with the option of graduating from an online degree program as well.

As the number of people who look for ways to complete their education or improve their skills becomes too large, it is inevitable that a large number of colleges and universities take the necessary steps towards filling that need. But jobs, childcare and other family obligations limit the amount of time people can devote to their education, and thus, alternative arrangements are created. Online education has started gaining popularity and has now completely changed the way we approach education today.

Online degrees are now widely accepted and recognized as authentic educational qualifications. As long as the institution offering the degree is accredited by an accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, there should be no problem in the degree being accepted and acknowledged anywhere. Fully accredited online degree programs are now available in nearly every field. From management to medicine, law to accounting, there is a wide variety of choices on offer. Even obscure subjects and fields of study have found their place on the Internet. With degrees such as healthcare, students are even given the option of combining the practical aspect of their training at local hospitals or clinics along with virtual classes and studying online.

The flexibility of online education has opened up the doors of education to people from all walks of life. Stay at home moms and dads can now study from their own houses and employees can complete their assignments around their work schedules. There is 24 hour accessibility to the study material allowing for all night study sessions as well as the possibility of returning to subject matter again and again if necessary. And as universities continue to expand their options, the flexibility of online education will only increase. Students will be offered more options with the possibility of a custom created curriculum that suits their individual requirements and interests.

Distance learning also allows people hundreds of miles away to graduate with degrees from the college of their choice. Without spending a penny on gas or transport, students can make the most of a world class education with resources and faculty from all over the world. Through pre-recorded lectures, worksheets, assignments, e-classes, online forums, and …

Benefits Of A Musical Education On Children

Article from: My Family UK

Music education classes can enrich the life of an adult or child in many ways. Children who learn a musical instrument or sing usually perform better on test scores at school.

Music and the family


Learning a musical instrument is a great way to help focus your child’s mind, and start unlocking new channels of creativity. The whole family can benefit from this sort of musical education, as you will watch your child learn and develop, but also be there to encourage them and help them practice. If you’re still unsure, read the following explanations, and see if you feel differently.

1) Self-confidence

For those who have music education classes in school, learning an instrument and playing in a band can be lots of fun. Children as young as eight or nine can be taught how to play a variety of instruments. Bands usually have concerts on a regular basis where the children can play for their parents and others in the school. Interaction during classes and a performance in front of an audience allows the child to build their social skills, and be rewarded with praise for their efforts.


2) Quick thinking

Learning about the value of notes, time signatures, and exits and entrances helps develop the rapid response system of the brain. Translating the notes into hand positions and the beats into seconds will also improve focus, add to mathematical skills, and improve the brain’s analytical faculty.

3) Stress Reduction

Music has widely been regarded as an effective mean to reduce stress. In fact, this is one of the reasons that make music education so popular. Many people actually feel calmer and cheerful when playing music, including children. However, heavy metal or rock music tends to have the reverse effect on many people and it is generally not suitable as a mean for stress reduction.


4) Independence

If there is no music education program offered at a child’s school, their parents can opt to send the child to private lessons. This are just as beneficial, but in a different way. Instead of being part of a band, the child will have to learn to rely on themself when it comes to getting notes right, timing, and the discipline of practising. Of course, their parent can play a large role in this particular area.

Further Information

For further information, and for more great ways to have fun with your family, log on to www.myfamilyuk.com. With a huge collection of articles covering everything from child safety to rainy day activities, you’ll find all the help, guidance and entertainment you need to be a great parent. Go now!…