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Chapter 4. An examination of the effects of input, aptitude, and motivation on the language proficiency of missionaries mearning Japanese as a second language

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Abstract

This study examines the language proficiency, aptitude and motivation of 44 English-speaking missionary learners of Japanese as a second language. Proficiency was tested using an oral proficiency interview and elicited imitation. Motivational data were collected through questionnaires and analyzed using Dörnyei’s (2005) system. Aptitude tests included the MLAT4, Meara’s (2005) Llama B and Llama F, and French’s (2003) non-word repetition test. Proficiency was found to be most heavily dependent on time spent in country up to 11 months. In regression analyses, input was found to play the largest role in explaining variance on the proficiency measures (30–40%), while motivational factors of the L2 experience and the ideal L2 self along with aptitude were roughly equally important (explaining 9–16% of the variance).

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