Exploring Motivational Profiles in Public Elementary School English Classes

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W. L. Quint Oga-Baldwin, Waseda University; Luke K. Fryer, University of Hong Kong

We conducted a pilot study investigating elementary school students’ motivational profiles in Japan. These profiles may be used to develop person-centered models of students’ growth and development. We framed our inquiry within the self-determination theory literature on autonomous and controlled motivation. Students in their 5th year (N = 100) completed surveys regarding their motivation to learn English. We calculated person-centered motivational profiles based on their responses using k-means clustering. Three profiles showed the best fit for the data: a high quantity motivation profile, a good quality motivation profile, and a poor quality motivation profile. These profiles successfully predicted students’ engagement 6 months later. Implications for theory and practice are also discussed.