• Abdul Karim Bin Madasa Fakulti Pengajian Bahasa Utama, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia Nilai
  • Ramiaida Bt Darmi Fakulti Pengajian Bahasa Utama, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia Nilai
  • Hazleena Bt Baharun Fakulti Pengajian Bahasa Utama, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia Nilai
Keywords: Self-determination theory, motivation, amotivation, autonomous, controlled, ESL, HEIs, IDs.


The prominent role of the English language has led to the teaching of the language as a second language worldwide at tertiary level as a requirement to be assured of better prospects in a student’s life. English language teaching (ELT)has been a never-ending topic as it is seen as an uphill task for teachers due to the motivation factor in the acquisition of the language among the learners.Hence, one of the most valuable concepts used in relation to the success and failure in second language acquisition is motivation. It is apparently one of the most important constructs of individual differences (IDs).

As the theories on motivation are countless, this paper is limited to its focus on review of relevant literature and investigation on the broad self-determination theory (SDT) that embodies three different types of motivation: (i) autonomous regulation, (ii) controlled regulation, and (iii) amotivation, and its relationship with the acquisition of English as a second language (ESL). It is concluded that the SDT plays a vital role in second language acquisition (SLA) with particular reference to ESL; its implications could have a positive effect on the implementation ofELT in the higher education institutions (HEIs).This paper is mainly aimed at establishing the motivational factors related to the SDT and its important role in the teaching and learning of ESL in the HEIs.


1) Abbas, P. G., M. L. Lai & B.S Narjes. (2012). A Study on the Role of Motivation in ForeignLanguage Learning and Teaching. I.J. Modern Education and Computer Science. Vol.7. p.9-16.

2) Aliakbari, M., & Alhossein, I. (2015). On the Role of Attitudes and Motivation in Students’Performance in Iranian University Entrance Examination. CumhuriyetUniversity of Science Journal (CSJ), Vol.36, No.3 Special Issue (2015).

3) Dornyei, Z. (1998). Motivation in Second and Foreign Language Learrning. Language Teaching. Vol. 31. p. 117-135 https://doi.org/10.1017/S026144480001315X

4) Dornyei, Z. (2007). Research Methods in Applied Linguistics: Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methodologies. Oxford University Press.

5) Ellis, Rod. (2008). The Study of Second Language Acquisition. Oxford, UK: Oxford UniversityPress.

6) Gardner, R. C. (2007). Motivation and Second Language Acquisition. PORTA LINGUARIUM, No.8, junio 2007.

7) Gholamreza Zareian & Hojat Jodaei. (2015). Motivation in Second Language Acquisition: S State of the Art Article. International J. Soc. Sci. & Education. Vol.5 (2) p. 295.

8) Huitt, W. (2011). Motivation to learn: An overview. Educational Psychology Interactive.Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University. Retrieved from: http://www.edpsycinteractive.org/topics/motivation/motivate.html

9) Iaccarino, A. R. (2012). The Role of Motivation and Controversial Conceptual Material in Foreign Language Classrooms. ISSN 1798-4769 Journal of Language Teaching and Research, Vol. 3. (3). May. p. 430-438.

10) Koestner, R., N. Otis, T.A. Powers, L. Pelletier & H.Gagnon. (2008). Autonomous Motivation, Controlled Motivation, Goal Progress. Journal of Personality. 76:5. October. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6494.2008.00519.xWiley Periodicals, Inc.

11) Kleinginna, P.R. & A.M. Kleinginna. (1981). A Categorized List of Motivation Definitions, with a Suggestion for a Consensual Definition. Motivation and Emotion, Vol.5. (3). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00992553,

12) Lee, M. C. (2008). Learning English Language: Experiences, Perceptions, Beliefs, and Motivation of Adult English Language Learners in an ESL Program. ProQuest LLC, 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P>O>Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106 – 1346.

13) Ma, Jee Hyun. (2009). University of Hawai’i at Mano, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing. 3380512.

14) Masoud Zoghi & Elham Malmeer.(2013). The Effect of Dynamic Assessment on EFL Learners’ Intrinsic Motivation

15) Ming,T.S., Ling, T.S. & Nurjanah, M.J. (2001). Attitudes and Motivation of Secondary Students towards learning English as a Second Language: a Case Study. 3L: The Southeast AsianJournal of English Language studies. 17(1), 40-54.

16) Noels, K. A. (2003). “Learning Spanish as a second language: learners’ Orientations and Perceptions of their Teachers’ Communication Style”.Language Learning. 53. p. 97-136.https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9922.53225

17) Pulvermuller, F., Schumann, J.H. (1994). Neurobiological Mechanism of Language Acquisition. Language Learning, 44, 581-734.

18) Rattelle, C.F., F.Guay & R.J. Vallerand. (2007). “Autonomous, Controlled, and AmotivatedTypes ofAcademic Motivation: A Person-Oriented Analysis”.Journal of Educational Psychology. Vol. 99. (4). p. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0663.99.4.734734-746.

19) Ryan, R. M. & E.L. Deci. (2000). Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivations: Classic Definitions and New Directions. Contemporary Educational Psychology. 25. p. 54-67.https://doi.org/10.1006/ceps.1999.1020

20) Sapmaz F., T. Doğana, S. Sapmaz, S. Temizel & F.D. Tel. (2012) . “Examining Predictive Role of Psychological Need Satisfaction on Happiness in terms of Self-Determination Theory”.Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences. 55. p.861 – 868.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.09.573

21) Smith, A.F.V. & G. Strong. (Eds.). (2009). Adult Language Learners: Context and Innovation.Adult Learning. Vol.23. (4). November 2012.Alexandria, VA: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). 175 pp. ISBN 978-1931185615 (paperback).https://doi.org/10.1177/104515950902000309

22) Smith, M. K. (2002). “Malcolm Knowles, Informal Adult Education, Self-direction and Andragogy”. The encyclopedia of informal education,www.infed.org/thinkers/et-knowl.htm

23) Vallerand, R.J., L.G. Pelletier, M.R. Blais, N.M. Hreiere, C. Senecal & E.F. Vallieres. (1992). The Academic Motivation Scale: A Measure of Intrinsic, Extrinsic, and Amotivation in Education. Educational and Psychological Measurement. 52.https://doi.org/10.1177/0013164492052004025

24) Vygotsky, L. (1978). Interaction between Learning and Development. From: Mind and Society (pp.79 – 91). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
How to Cite
Bin Madasa, A. K., Darmi, R. B., & Baharun, H. B. (2016). EXPLORING MOTIVATIONAL FACTORS IN TESL THROUGH THE LENS OF THE SELF-DETERMINATION THEORY. Humanities & Social Sciences Reviews, 5(1), 46-52. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.18510/hssr.2017.514
Original Research