University Students’ Demotivation in Learning Second Languages The case of Australian universities

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Giuseppe D'Orazzi


Prior studies report a tendency of university students in Australia to quit their beginner level second language (L2) courses at an early stage (Martín et al., 2016; Nettelbeck et al., 2007). Demotivational patterns are meta-analyzed to understand what hampers the interest in learning French, German, Italian and Spanish of continuing students, discontinuing students, and quitters over one year of studies at Australian universities. Such a distinction across categories of students is offered in line with Martín et al.’s (2016) research. Demotivators are structured on three levels of analysis drawing on Gruba et al.’s (2016) and The Douglas Fir Group’s (2016) frameworks, which encapsulate three levels of analysis, specifically micro, meso and macro. Findings suggest that beginner L2 students in Australia are demotivated by all three levels of analysis in very dynamic and interchangeable ways. Students were found to concurrently experience very different degrees of demotivation over time.


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