Anniversary article language motivation revisited

Bernard Spolsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


The addition of the concept of motivation to models of second language learning has been a major contribution of social psychologists, especially Wallace Lambert and Robert Gardner, and an illustration of the sometimes ignored fact that educational linguistics applies more than just linguistics. Returning to Lambert's original formulation of the notion, one finds that he postulated that integrative motivation affected advanced levels of phonology and semantics. The paper notes that this hypothesis has not been fully explored. It says also that Lambert himself seemed to have been open to the more discursive methods now favored by scholars not satisfied with using only questionnaires to gather data. It calls therefore for triangulation of methodology, using also hard sociolinguistic data and personal statements of second language learners, and provides some examples taken from studies of Palestinian Arabic and from studies of immigrants to Israel from the former Soviet Union learning Hebrew.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-169
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Linguistics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2000


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