Research Project: Motivation i Modern Languages

Project leader
Jonas Granfeldt, Lunds universitet
Project Members
Céline Rocher Hahlin
Alastair Henry, Lunds universitet
Joost van de Weijer, Lunds universitet
Project Period
Project Status
Foreign language learning demands extensive personal investment over long periods.
While research into foreign language learning has demonstrated the importance of
motivation, and the importance of teachers, it is not currently clear if and how
motivation can be generated through teaching.
As a school subject, Modern Languages faces many challenges, the situation being
described as a ‘language crisis’. Teachers have consistently reported how they
experience modern languages as having a low status, and that it is hard to generate
motivation in classroom activities.
Against this background, and in a collaborative researcher–teacher undertaking, the
project will investigate the possibilities to create, enhance and maintain motivation to
learn French, German and Spanish in upper secondary school. Working at 2 upper
secondary schools, focusing on 3 languages, drawing on theoretical principals, and
paying close attention to contextual factors, the aim is (i) to co-design, carry out, and
evaluate 6 coordinated and methodologically rigorous interventions, and (ii) based on
the results, to develop materials that can be used in other schools and at other
educational levels to generate and enhance students’ motivation. Participating schools
have been selected based on possibilities to work with a randomized control design.
Findings will address the question of the extent to which research-based teaching
practice can create, enhance and maintain motivation for foreign language learning.
Motivation, främmande språk, moderna språk, skolforskning, Motivation, foreign languages
Research Profile
Education and Learning