Volume 127, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0019-0829
  • E-ISSN: 1783-1490
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


There are two fundamentally different views regarding which side of culture, i.e., target or base, foreign language learning materials should take. Approaches that emphasize the learner's assimilation into the target culture tend to advocate the use of learning materials which focus on the target side, while those that signify cross-cultural communication are inclined to emphasize the need for information-sending regarding the learner's own culture. From a constructivist perspective, content relevance of learning materials to the learner's existing knowledge is a key ingredient for intrinsic motivation. Acculturation theories, on the other hand, predict that those who are ready to be assimilated in the target culture will have more chance of success in foreign language learning, and therefore learning materials should focus on the target culture.

The author conducted a study investigating if the use of culture-bound proper nouns in materials for listening comprehension may influence the motivation towards foreign language learning, which could eventually make a difference in the use of general learning strategies. Japanese learners of English, subjects in this study, were divided into two groups : one which listened to listening materials using Japanese proper nouns such as Hanako, Sapporo, Judo, etc., and the other which listened to those using English counterparts such as Jane, Atlanta, basketball, etc. The other parts of the material were the same. Pre- and post-tests were conducted regarding motivation and strategy use before and after the ten-week-long listening practice.

The research results revealed that the expected tendency exists but that was not statistically significant. The researcher further investigated the effects of learning styles. The relationship among these variables is intricate, and foreign language learning appeared multidimensional. The results implies that learning materials do not have to reside on one-side of either base or target cultures. Further investigation is recommended to examine if other means of learning material personalization may affect motivation and strategy use.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


    (1964) : An Introduction Motivation. Princeton, N.J. : Van Nostrand.
  2. BANDURA, A.
    (1982) : Self-efficacy mechanism in human agency. American Psychologist37:469–512.
    [Google Scholar]
    (1991) : Motivation : Reopening the research agenda. Language Learning41:469–512.
    [Google Scholar]
    (1985) : Learning strategy research. InJ.W. Segal,D.F. Chipman, & R. Glaser (Eds.), Thinking and Learning Skills : Relating Learning to Basic Research, pp.209–240. Hillsdale, NJ : Erlbaum.
  5. DÖRNYEI, Z.
    (1994) : Motivation and motivating in the foreign language classroom. Modern Language Journal78:273–284.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. EHRMAN, M.E. & OXFORD, R.L.
    (1995) : Cognition plus : Correlates of language learning success. Modern Language Journal79:67–89.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. ELY, C.
    (1986) : Language learning motivation : A descriptive and causal analysis. Modern Language Journal70:28–35.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. GARDNER, R.C.
    (1979) : Social psychological aspects of second language acquisition. In H. Giles & R. St. Clair (Eds.) Language and Social Psychology, pp.193–220. Oxford : Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. (1985) : Social Psychology and Second Language Learning : The Role of Attitudes and Motivation. London, Ontario : Arnold.
  10. GARDNER, R.C. & LAMBERT , W.E.
    (1972) : Attitudes and Motivation in Second Language Learning. Rowley, MA : Newbury House.
  11. GOOD, T.L. & BROPHY , J.E.
    (1991) : Looking in Classrooms, 5th Edition. New York : Harper Collings.
  12. HADLEY, A.O.
    (1993) : Teaching Language in Context, 2nd Edition. Boston : Heinle & Heinle.
  13. IRAN-NEJAD, A.
    (1994) : Thematic organizer as a toll for teaching from a wholetheme perspective. Paper presented at the annual meeting of theMid-South Educational Research Association, Nashville, TN.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. JORDEN, E.H. & NODA, M.
    (1987) : Japanese : The Spoken Language. New Haven, CT : Yale University Press.
  15. LUKMANI, Y.
    (1972) : Motivation to learn and language proficiency. Language Learning22: 251–61
    [Google Scholar]
  16. MASLOW, A.H.
    (1970) : Motivation and Personality. New York : Harper & Row.
  17. MUCHNICK, A. & WOLFE, D.,
    (1982) : Attitudes and motivations of American students of Spanish. 262–81.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. O'MALLEY, J.M. , & CHAMOT, A.U.
    (1990) : Learning Strategies in Second Language Acquisition. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press.
  19. OKADA, M. , OXFORD, R.L. , & ABO, S.
    (1996): Not all alike : Motivation and learning strategies among students of Japanese and Spanish in an exploratory study, In R.L. Oxford (Ed.), Language Learning Motivation : Pathways to the New Century, pp.105–119. Honolulu : HA : University of Hawai Press.
  20. OXFORD, R.L.
    (1989) : Use of language learning strategies: A synthesis of studies with implications for strategy training. System17: 235–247.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. (1990) : Language Learning Strategies : What Every Teacher Should Know. New York : Newbury House/Harper & Row. [Japanese translation by SHISHIDO, M . & BAN, N (1994), Tokyon: Bonjinsha].
  22. OXFORD, R. , LAVINE , R. , & CROOKALL, D.
    (1989) : Language learning strategies, the communicative approach, and their classroom implications. Foreign Language Annals22(l):29–39.
    [Google Scholar]
    (1993) : Japanese by Satellite : Effects of Motivation, Language Learning Styles and Strategies, Gender, Course Level and Previous Language Learning Experience on Japanese Language Achievement, Foreign Language Annals, 26(3) 359–371.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. OXFORD, R.L. & SHEARIN, J.
    (1994): Language learning motivation : Expanding the theoretical framework. Modern Language Journal78: 12–28.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. RlGNEY, J.W.
    (1978) : Learning strategies : A theoretical perspective. In H.F. O'Neil, Jr . (Ed.), Learning Strategies, pp.165–205. New York : Academic Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. RUBIN, J. & THOMPSON, I.
    (1994) : How to be a More Successful Language Learner, 2nd, Edition. Boston : Heinle & Heinle.
  27. SCHUMANN, J.
    (1978) : The acculturation model for second language acquisition, In Gingras (Ed.) Second Language Acquisition and Foreign Language Teaching, pp.27–50. Arlington, VA : Center for Applied Linguistics.
  28. SKEHAN, P.
    (1989) : Individual Differences in Second-language Learning. London : Edward Arnold.
  29. UNGER, J.M. , LORISH, F.C. , NODA, M. , & WADA, Y.
    (1993) : A Framework for Introductory Japanese Language Curricula in American High Schools and Colleges. Washington, DC : National Foreign Language Center.
  30. USUKI, M.
    (1997) : Fostering learner awareness on autonomy : A case of learner training. Language Teacher21(10):41–49.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. VEROFF, J.
    (1969) : Social Comparison and the Development of Achievement Motivation. InC.P. Smith (Ed.), Achievement-Related Motivation in children, New York : Russell Sage, 46–101.
  32. WENDEN, A.L. & RUBIN , J.
    (1987) Learner Strategies in Language Learning. Englewood Cliffs, NJ : Prentice-Hall.
  • Article Type: Research Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error