Motivation of foreigners to learn the Lithuanian language [Leedu keele õppimise motivatsioon välismaalaste seas]

Jakub Kubś, Aleksandra Michałowska-Kubś


The article discusses the motivation of adults coming to Lithu­ania to learn Lithuanian as a foreign language. The motivational back­ground for learning “small” languages will be discussed. Lithuanian, spo­ken by approximately 3.5 million people worldwide, is an example of a less popular choice for foreign language learners. However, reindependence in 1991 and joining the European Union in 2004 created new opportunities for teaching Lithuanian as a foreign language. In this paper we wanted to examine the motivational factors driving foreign adults to come to Lithu­ania to learn its language. The theoretical framework was based on the motivation theories of Gardner and Lambert (1972) and Deci and Ryan (1985). The main tool used for the purpose of research was the Foreign Language Learning Motivation Questionnaire (Gonzales, Lopez 2016). We conducted quantitative research on a representative sample of 114 respon­dents who participated in different language courses in Lithuania. The results show that learning Lithuanian is strongly connected with internal and integrative motivation, rather than external and instrumental, while the autotelic value of Lithuanian language was also highly rated by the stu­dents. This confirms that learning “small” languages needs special moti­vation and instrumental factor plays a lesser role. The article ends with a discussion of the results within a wider context.

Keywords: motivation, Lithuanian, “small” language, foreign language, language learning

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Published by / Kirjastaja:

ISSN 2504-6616 (print/trükis)

ISSN 2504-6624 (online/võrguväljaanne)