Senior High School EFL Students’ L2 Motivational Configurations and Learning Outcomes: A Person-centered Approach

Su-ching Wu, Shan-mao Chang


This study utilized a person-centered approach to explore senior high school EFL students’ motivations and their learning outcomes. Cluster analysis extracted four second language (L2) motivational configurations among the 922 participants: 1) the High Motive group which is characterized by high amount of L2 motivation, 2) the Performance-focused group which is characterized by low intrinsic motivation and a focus on examination scores, 3) the Socioculture-focused group characterized by low intrinsic motivation but an interest in the L2 culture, 4) and the Low Motive group characterized by low motivation. It was found that a good quality group was absent from this particular EFL context. The High Motive group and the Performance-focused group outperformed the other two groups in terms of the L2 learning outcomes. Integrative motivation emerged from the person-centered approach. Contextual factors such as the economic situation and influence of Confucianism were discussed in relation to the results.

Keywords: Second language learning motivation, Motivational configuration, English as a foreign language, Learning outcomes, Person-centered approach

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