Contrasting Motivational Characteristics of University Students With and Without Study-Abroad Interests: A Profile Analysis

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Chika Kojima Takahashi, Faculty of Law and Letters, Ehime University

This study investigated motivational profiles of university students’ interests/disinterests in study abroad within the frameworks of self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985) and the L2 Motivational Self System (Dörnyei, 2009). Although much has been investigated regarding study abroad and L2 motivation, it has remained unclear as to what the motivational characteristics are among students who study abroad or who are interested in doing so before taking on the journey. In order to investigate the difference between the two groups, a questionnaire was administered to 77 university students, and the data were analyzed using profile and correlational instruments. The results indicated that those interested in study abroad had significantly high intrinsic motivation and a strong image of their ideal L2 selves. Furthermore, it was a specific and elaborate type of ideal L2 self that correlated highly with intended learning effort regardless of the groups. Based on the results, pedagogical implications are discussed.