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Literature & Language
Research Paper
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Motivation to Learn a Second Language: L2 Proficiency (Research Paper Sample)


The research assignment consists of ‘assignment C1.1' in the attachment and you are asked to work out one of the four options in that assignment in detail. The research paper should be about 1000 words long (+/- 10%, excluding references).

For the following research topics, think about the possible methods of investigation. Which method would be the best in each case? Try to anticipate possible complications in setting up investigations on these issues.

  • The development of an individual’s proficiency in a third language (including language acquisition and language loss) over a period of 20 years, to investigate the stability of L3 proficiency.
  • An inventory of grammatical errors made in the written English of Vietnamese learners to investigate the role of the first language in SLA.
  • The judgement about the correctness of verbal expressions in a second language to investigate learners’ intuitions about second language idiomatic expressions. The relation between learners’ motivation to learn a second language and their eventual attainment of L2 proficiency.

Research Paper on The Relation between Learners' Motivation to Learn a Second Language and their Eventual Attainment of L2 Proficiency
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Research Paper on The Relation between Learners' Motivation to Learn a Second Language and their Eventual Attainment of L2 Proficiency
In order to understand the relation between learners' motivation to learn a second language and their eventual attainment of L2 proficiency, a unique research methodology must be applied. A combination of observation and longitudinal mixed-method approaches complement each other in ways that increase the probability of establishing the nature of the relationship between learners' motivation when learning a second language, as well as how, or if, said motivation contributes towards the attainment of L2 proficiency in the short, mid, or long-term.
Learning a language is often a daunting process for many individuals, and purposely so because of the myriad of challenges that learning a new language from scratch poses (Cohen, 2014). As such, it is often common for such individuals to either drop out of their language classes or fail in their efforts to gain proficiency in a second language. While this can easily be attributed to the fact that numerous factors can, and do, contribute towards the failure of many learners to attain L2 proficiency, it must also be exclusively noted that learner motivation plays a critical role in this respect.
Learning a new language is often a process of adventure and challenge, and one that can be extremely exciting if handled in the right manner (Gass & Mackey, 2012). In this sense, it is crucial that learners remain motivated for the majority of the time that they are pursuing L2 proficiency. This motivation not only pushes them to work harder at improving their proficiency in a second language, but also ensures that said learners can build and develop self-confidence not only in themselves but also in their ability to attain L2 proficiency (Yu & Shen, 2012). The research question addresses the crux of this matter by attempting to establish the relation, if any, between learners' motivations to learn a new second language and how this eventually affects their attainment of said L2 proficiency (Moskovsky, Alrabai, Paolini & Ratcheva, 2012).
Presently, it has emerged quite clearly that motivation is an influential factor and determinant in the ability of second language learners to attain proficiency in their language of choice (Kim & Kim, 2014). In order to attain L2 proficiency, consistent efforts to continually improve one's understanding and vocabulary of the language in question are crucial. However, it must also be noted that such motivation should develop intrinsically before being supported by external agents such as friends, family, and instructors (Wesely, 2012). Maintaining high levels of self-efficacy further stimulate and motivate learners to improve their L2 proficiency, which eventually results in the attainment of proficiency. While much research has established that motivation contributes significantly towards the attainment of L2 proficiency, it is yet to be conclusively established that the relationship between motivation and L2 proficiency attainment is indeed causative.
In order to effectively conduct such a study, a number of methodological approaches can be considered. While the methods can be either qualitative or quantitative in nature, it must also be noted that they should suit the core aim of the study as espoused by the research question (Dixon et al., 2012). In an attempt to address this issue, numerous peer-reviewed articles, as well as books, will prove to be quintessential. By sourcing for literature relevan...

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