Abstract

Studies on motivation in learning Italian in Australia have mostly shed light on students’ creation of an ideal Italian self (e.g., Caruso and Fraschini). In doing so, they appear mainly to explore students’ psychological reactions to the Italian learning process. Our study aims to complement previous research through the use of a three-level model (D'Orazzi, Motivation) that incorporates the analysis of psychological and cognitive components at the micro level, pedagogical dynamics at the meso level, and social context at the macro level. While taking a strongly quantitative approach, its results also build on and potentially contrast with those of a recent qualitative study undertaken by D'Orazzi and Hajek on university students’ motivation when learning Italian in an English-speaking country such as Australia. In this article, we analyze survey data collected among students of Italian enrolled at a selection of Australian universities. Two online questionnaires were sent to students who answered fifty-one Likert scale questions addressing their learning experience as beginner students over one year of Italian studies. Our results point to the multidimensional and dynamic nature of second language learning motivation over time (Oakes and Howard), also following Danesi's argument that pedagogical factors need to be considered in studies on L2 learning motivation.

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