The relationship between attitudes and achievemet in SL ( a case study of students at the University of Qatar)
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Attitudes and motivation are considered important factors in Language Acquisition (LA). Learners' attitudes towards speakers ofTarget Language (TL) and the TLitselfhave been the subject of intensive research in applied linguistics and related disciplines. However, the results are not clear. Spolsky (1969), Gardner and Lambert (1972)1 ,De-klerk and Bosch (1193) and Abu-Rabia (1995) have found that integrative attitude is positively related to achievement in language proficiency. An integrative motive is employed when learners wish to integrate themselves within the culture of the second language group, to identify themselves with and become a part ofthat society. The conclusion we may draw from the studies noted above is that integrative attitudes may indeed be an important requirement for successful language learning. Moreover, some teachers and researchers have even gone so far as to claim that integrative attitude is absolutely essential for successful SLL. However, Oller et al (1977) find instrumental attitude to be the best predicator of language of proficiency in an SL setting. Lukmani (1972), and Gardner (1991) suggest that there are conditions under which instrumental motivation leads to more successful SLL than integrative motivation does. Gardner and Lambert have introduced the concept of instrumental motivation in which the learner is motivated to learn an L2 for utilitarian purposes, (e.g. furthering a career, improving social status or meeting an educational requirement). More research on the interrelationships of these factors seems to be needed.
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