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This investigation will be focus on what motivates a high school student and why. High school
foreign language students motivation has been a highlighted subject in recent researches
(Edvalda A. L et al, 2013), however, exists several differences among results. Some researchers
have shown that a High school student may be motivated for intrinsic reasons (Ruth Wong,
2010), while others state that reasons could come from emotions and teachers attitude (Mariza
G. Mndez, 2014). On the other hand, research expose that high school students are not
motivated towards English (Claudia. S. S, 2009) which debates the previous notions. Through the
answers of the questions of this study, this research has as main goal to contribute to the creation
of a shared conclusion. In addition, this investigation will be useful for education professionals,
especially for Chilean teachers who teach high school students. Similarly, this investigation could
be a guide for teachers who do not know how to motivate their students or who have problems to
do so.
Literature review
Motivation: definition
Motivation has been a fundamental concept for the history of language teaching which shows a
variety of definitions (Roco E. R, et al, 2015). According to Cambridge dictionaries (2015),
motivation is the need or reason for doing something, or the enthusiasm of doing
something. Additionally, Oxford dictionaries (2015) defines motivation as the reason why
somebody does something or behaves in a particular way i.e, when a person is willing to do
something due to his/ her personal interest. Likewise, Collins dictionaries (2015), motivation is
desire to do something.
Types of motivation
Ruth Wong (2010) points out intrinsic motivation, which is motivation that comes from the
enjoyment that an activity evokes. Likewise, she points out extrinsic motivation that refers to
achieve goals in order to obtain some rewards. According to Wong, Females usually are
intrinsically motivated, while males tend to be extrinsically motivated. Besides, Gardner (2001),

states that integrativeness is another form of motivation. For him, an integrative motivated person
is who reflects genuine interest in learning the L2 in order to be closed to the other language
community. He also states that exists the instrumental motivation, which is learn a language for
practical purposes. On the other hand, Gardner (2007) make a distinction between language
learning motivation and classroom learning motivation. By language motivation, he means
motivation to learn (and acquire) a second language, which is a general characteristic of the
person who applies to any opportunity to learn the language. By classroom learning motivation,
he refers to the motivation in the classroom situation, or in any specific situation. While Wong
and Gardner talk about motivated people, Mojtaba Mohammadi (2009), brings to public view
two different types of motivation : demotivation and amotivation. According to Mohammadi,
based on Drnyei (2001), demotivation is when specific external forces reduce motivational basis
of an intention. Conversely, amotivation is when someone suffers lack of motivation that is not
caused by lack of initial engagement, but rather by feelings of incompetence.
Factors that affect motivation
According to Sergio A. D, et al (2008), emotions and feeling can have tremendous impact on
students motivation. The teachers attitude and the classroom environment are two elements that
can affect the attitude of the student towards English. Mariza G. M (2014) proposed that
emotions may have a positive or negative effect on motivation, all depends on English teachers.
Her findings suggest that teachers interpersonal skill, non - verbal communication and feedback
approach may have a positive effect on students motivation. Otherwise, Ana A. C, at al (2013)
says that desirable goals due to this is related to the value of learning English i.e, students realize
that learning English is useful. In the same way, Fadi Maher Al-Khasawneh et al (2015)
postulates that motivation can be affected by the value that students give to English classes, i.e,
the more useful, the better. On the other hand, Ruth Wong (2010) proposes that both external
(social) and internal (personal) factors may affect how motivated students are. Some students are
more motivated towards learning English because it is an activity that they enjoy, while others are
motivated because of academic reasons. In addition, Wong (2010) proposes that teachers and
parents also play a significant role in affecting students motivation towards English.

How motivation affects language learning

In one of his studies, Drnyei (1998) states that motivation is one of the key factors that
influences the rate and success of second language classes. Gardner, R. C. (2001) , points out that
students attitude towards the specific language group influence how successful they will be in
incorporating that language. He also points out that individuals that express the desire to succeed
and motivation, will strive to achieve success and goals. In addition, Gardner (2001) states that
motivated students have goals, proximate and distal, and this kind of students tend to achieve
success in their learning language process.
Motivation in high school students towards English around the world
In one of their studies, Sergio. A. D et al (2008) discovered that 80% of their target group, which
is a group of the Foreign Languages Department at Universidad Nacional de Colombia (Bogot),
is instrumentally motivated. In the same way, Fadi Maher Al-Khasawneh et al (2015) exposed in
his study, which include include 51 EFL high school students from King Abdullah School, that
Jordanian students were deeply instrumentally motivated towards learning English language.
Apparently, because students are aware of the importance of English, they desire learn more
about this language. According to this, students are higher instrumentally motivated than
integrative motivated, this also agree with other researches results. One possible explanation for
these results is related to culture, and for several practical reasons such as get a better job or
higher studies. Similarly, Ana A. C, et al (2013) says in her study with 396 Brazilian adolescents
that they are motivated because of extrinsic reasons. In her study, she identifies that Brazilian
adolescents are motivated because of learning objectives, i.e to achieve a desirable goal.
Likewise, Ruth Wong (2010) in her study with Hong Kong secondary school students, reveals
that Chinese high school students have stronger extrinsic motivation towards English than
intrinsic motivation.
What motivates a high school student towards English in Chile
According to British council, most Chileans were likely to learn English at school. They asked
500 people, and 70% of respondents had learned English in secondary school. According to the
same institution, 61% of respondents studied English just because it was mandatory during high

school, i.e they were obligated to do it presenting lack of interest. Likewise, Claudia S. S (2009)
revealed in her study that Chilean students tend to be low-motivated to learn English even if it
will be useful for them in the future. Consequently, The British council exposed that just the 24%
of respondents studied English because of personal reasons and real interest. On the other hand,
Judit Kormos, et al (2013) ensured that how motivated Chileans students towards L2 are, depends
on their social class. Kormos in her study revealed that parental encouragement and pressure
highly motivates students from high social class and upper - middle class. Regarding to intrinsic
motivation, students who come from upper-middle class scored higher than participants from
other social class.
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