Motivation in Learning English as a Foreign Language: The Case of Congolese Students

Ilunga Bwana Norbert


Motivation is a widely debated topic in Second Language Acquisition (SLA) or in Foreign Language (FL) learning. The interest in studying motivation is that it impacts positively or negatively the learning process. Most studies developed theories according to which learners of English as a foreign Language (EFL) have instrumental motivation; and only very few researches diverge from this view. Such research has not yet been conducted on EFL learners whose main subject is English be it literature or linguistics, and most importantly never in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where English is also taught as an FL. This in fact is the purpose of the present research paper, where both integrative and instrumental motivations have been found to be high almost at the same level in all the students whose major subject at college is English.


motivation, integrative, instrumental, EFL

Full Text:



Al Othman, F. H. M. & Shuqair, K. M. (2013). The Impact of motivation on English ‎language learning in the Gulf States. Retrieved June 06, 2019, from ‎‎

Bokula, M. (2005). Languages and Societies in Congo [Langues et Sociétés au Congo]. ‎Kisangani : BUTRAD- CRLCA, 14-25‎

De Smet, D. (2016). Motivation and second language acquisition: A study on the relation ‎between motivation and oral proficiency. Bachelor thesis, Universiteit Utrecht, ‎Netherlands. Retrieved May 25, 2019, from ‎‎%20BA%20Paper%20Django%20de%20Smet%20PDF.pdf?sequence=2&isAllow‎ed=y

Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1991). A motivational approach to self: integration in ‎personality. In: R. Dienstbier (Ed.), Nebraska symposium on motivation: Vol. 38. ‎Perspectives on motivation (pp 237-288). Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska ‎Press.‎

Doenyei, Z., & Ushioda, E. (2009). Motivation language and identity and the L2 Self : A ‎theoretical overview. In Z. Dörnyei & E. Ushioda (Eds.), Motivation, language ‎identity and the L2 self (pp. 1 – 8). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.‎

Gardner, R. C. (2006). Motivation and second language acquisition. Manuscript. ‎Retrieved July 18, 2019, from ‎ ‎

Gass, S. M., & Selinker, L. (2008). Second language acquisition An introductory course ‎‎(3rd ed.). New York: Routledge.‎

Hong, Y. C., & Ganapathy, M. (2017). To Investigate ESL students’ instrumental and ‎integrative motivation towards English language learning in a Chinese school in ‎Penang: Case Study. In English Language Teaching; 10 (9), 17 – 35.‎

Ilunga, N. L. (2010). Some linguistic and extra linguistic aspects of translations from ‎French into English: A contribution to translation practices (The case of ‘licence’ ‎students, English Department, University of Kisangani, 2007 -2008). Unpublished ‎doctoral thesis, University of Kisangani, Kisangani, Democratic Republic of Congo.‎

Keller, J.M. (2010). Motivational Design for Learning and Performance. New York: ‎Springer.‎

Krashen, S. (1981). Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning. Oxford: ‎Pergamon.‎

Molaee, Z., & Dortaj, J. (2014). Improving L2 learning: An ARCS instructional-‎motivational approach. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 171,1214 – 1222. ‎Retrieved on August 08, 2019, from ‎ /pii/S1877042815002645‎

Palma, H. L. (2008). Aspects of multilingualism in the Democratic Republic of the Congo ‎in Vergaro, Carla (ed), Dynamics of Language Contact in the Twenty-first Century. ‎Retrieved May 26, 2019, from ‎‎60a7a4f8eb5ea151a20addc4ac9.pdf‎

Pemberton, R., Sarah K., & Artha L. (2007). Developing learner motivation through ‎curriculum innovation, Kwo, Ora, Tim M. & John J(ed), in Developing Learning ‎Environments. Creativity, Motivation and collaboration in Higher Education. Hong ‎Kong: Hong Kong University Press.‎

Romando, R. (2007). Motivation Theory. Retrieved June 06, 2019, from ‎‎

Orio, S. F. (2013). Motivation and Second Language Acquisition. Universidad de la Rioja. ‎Retrieved June 15, 2019, from ‎ ‎

Yu, B., & Downing, K. (2012). Determinants of international students’ adaptation: ‎examining effects of integrative motivation, instrumental motivation and second ‎language proficiency. Educational Studies, 38 (4), 457-471.‎

Zanghar, A. (2012). Instrumental and integrative motivation among undergraduate ‎Libyan students of English as a foreign language. Master’s thesis, Colorado State ‎University, USA.‎


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2019 Journal of Applied Linguistics and Language Research