A Study of Motivational Facet of Language Use in the Light of Dornyei’s L2 Motivational Self-system

Maryam Rajabpour, Afsaneh Ghanizadeh, Behzad Ghonsooly


A plethora of recent studies in foreign language learning pivots around the interplay among individual difference factors, such as attitudes, motivation, anxiety, and emotional state, Although many studies deemed motivational variables as predictors of L2 proficiency, there is a dearth of research on the interface among these variables as the causes of L2 use among Iranian university students. In this study, willingness to communicate in second language (WTC in L2) is explored in association with a number of motivational factors: Ideal L2 self, attitudes to learning English, and L2 anxiety. This study seeks to study these factors in a single framework in the light of Dornyei’s model of L2 motivation. Our study was based on a sample of 180 Iranian EFL university students.  Structural equation modeling (SEM) was selected for data analysis. The results demonstrated that ideal L2 self and attitudes to English learning were positive and significant predictors of WTC. In contrast, it was found that L2 anxiety negatively and significantly predicted WTC. A cross- comparison of the findings revealed that among these three predictors (ideal L2 self, L2 attitudes, and L2 anxiety), L2 anxiety had the highest role in WTC. The results demonstrated the positive and significant impact of L2 attitudes on ideal L2 self and the negative association between L2 attitudes and L2 anxiety. The present study also explored the association between the four subscales of WTC (WTC in reading, writing, listening, and speaking) and the three motivational variables which led to mixed results.


Attitudes to L2 learning, Ideal L2 self, L2 anxiety, Willingness to communicate

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