Systematic motivation work in the language classroom - An action research study from southern Norway

  • May Olaug Horverak Birkenes Learning Centre
  • Mariette Aanensen UiA
  • Langeland Gerd Martina Møglestu upper secondary school
  • Inger Olsbu UiA
  • Thorsten Päplow UiA
Keywords: motivation, language learning, self-regulated learning, self-determination theory


This study set out to investigate how teachers can support students in developing a metacognitive language-learning strategy that increases intrinsic motivation to learn. To do so, we carried out an intervention where we applied a motivation model in eight language groups in various upper secondary schools. This method focused on identifying goals, success factors, obstacles, as well as making an action plan to succeed with reaching individual goals. Our findings show that the students studying English were more concerned with mastering skills, in particular speaking, whereas the foreign language students were more concerned with performance-based objectives, such as learning grammar and getting good grades. Also, we saw that many of the English students found the approach useful and motivating, whereas most of the foreign language students were somewhat negative to it. As this study involved a limited number of groups, it could be regarded a pilot study. Despite this limitation, we conclude that the method applied in this study may provide a useful tool for developing self-regulated learners, but this needs to be tested in further studies.

Author Biographies

May Olaug Horverak, Birkenes Learning Centre
Mariette Aanensen, UiA
Assistant professor
Langeland Gerd Martina, Møglestu upper secondary school
Inger Olsbu, UiA
Associate professor
Thorsten Päplow, UiA
Associate professor
Section A