Critically evaluate Gardner and Lambert’s theory of instrumental and integrative motivation as a key influencing factor in Second Language Acquisition During the process of studying second language, Gardner and Lambert’s theory about instrumental and integrative motivation has a significant impact on different learners. As Falk (2000; cited in Norris-Holt, 2001) states that if learners aim to develop relationship with foreign friends or comprehend lyrics in popular song, which means that these learners are vastly encouraged by integrative motivation for learning second language.
In addition, Hudson (2000; cited in Norris-Holt, 2001) argues that when learners intend to have more opportunities to apply for a decent job or avoid punishment from teacher. These actions and reactions are attributed to instrumental motivation. If intended to evaluate this theory, it is essential by forcing on the validity, theoretical scope and other evaluation criteria. It has some validity about explaining successful learning second language. However, this essay also will introduce some evidences to evaluate that their thought included in some of controversial aspects and disadvantages.
An increasing number of critics begin to put forward creative views against Gardner and Lambert’s opinion, such as teacher role in studying, learners’ attitude and other influential motivation model also play a necessary role in second language acquisition. It is generally acknowledged that their theory has a significant impact on second language acquisition and as today some of critics hold a positive view on their theory of motivation. Dornyei (2007) demonstrates that these learning motivations for Gardner and Lambert play a vital role in building the learners’ confidence in putting up with some of difficulties.
It is can promote and provide clear explanation of learners’ second language studying. At the same time, Gardner and Lambert’s theory biased on a great deal of research and be proved successful in reality from the 20th century to now. As Dailey (2009) reports, the strength of Gardner and Lambert’s theory is that it established by empirically testing and supported by strong evidence from a wide range of investigation. In addition, Gardner and Lambert argued that integrative motivation is more significant than instrumental motivation for learner acquirement of second language.
It is can be given a description of Warden and Lin (2008), if learners have a compulsive purpose for learning second language and enjoy themselves, instead of pursuing a decent job or avoiding punishment. This behavior will obtain more contributions and goals than others with instrumental motivation. There are some evidences making sure that their theory exists in some of advantages in academic filed from a large amount of research. Nevertheless, there is undoubted that their theory also possesses some of shortcomings for many different areas and aspects.
Therefore, it is gradually clear and obviously that a majority of research from Gardener and Lambert was carrying out a social psychological framework in Canada. It means that it is difficult to appropriate for other situation and all of nations. For instance, Dornyei (1994b:520) states that although there is empirically evident to practice this theory, the primary drawback with it is that the research was solely tested on the SL (second language) learners and cannot be applied to the FL (foreign language) learners.
In addition to this point, not only integrative and instrumental motivation can affect second language learners, Matsuzaki Carreira (2006) has put forward intrinsic and extrinsic motivation theory in order to extent Gardner and Lambert’s theory by adding creative opinions. A further illustration of this is that extrinsic motivation provide a demonstration of certain of reasons from outside, for example intending to gain praise or reward by participating in some active activities.
On the contrary, intrinsic motivation focuses on inside and individual. With the sense of satisfaction and enthusiasm in completing a task is a case in point. Furthermore, students will gradually lost intrinsic motivation and nature interest in the process of receiving education from primary schools to university. The additional major controversial criticism of Gardner and Lambert’s theory is teacher role in studying second language. Excellent teacher plays a vital important role in the process of studying second language.
As a consequence, if working as a responsible and fascinating teacher, it cannot be denied that this is beneficial to generate students’ creativity and curiosity. Yau and Hay-yiu (2010) explicitly points out that a responsible and affable teacher not only can urge and guide learners, but also an increasing number of students can begin to realize that having a command of second language is becoming a must. In addition, it has been reported by Oxford and Shearin (1994) that teachers are considered as a part of external reasons for studying L2 (second language) motivation.
It is gradually explicitly from more empirical research that teachers can provide students with a variety of advantages for student’s expectable career in future, the development and construction of mental and even do beneficial to the peace of world. From the point of view, by looking at the theoretical scope and appropriateness, it is not appropriate to absolutely evaluate Gardner and Lambert’s theory can be the solely and fundamental factors for learners second language studying.
Even though this theory of Gardner and Lambert already made a breakthrough in their academic areas, built an example to later researchers and precise explained how integrative and instrumental motivation encourage people studying second language. (McDonough, 2007) On the contrary, there is clear from above evidences presented that to some extent it is not true of all nations and not completely enough to explain second language learning motivation.
For instance, teachers’ motivation in role, individual attitude differences for studying and other common types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. This means that it exists in some of obviously shortages with the rapid development of technology and society. In fact, if this theory wants to obtain further famous progress and apply better to the education system in realistic society. It is necessary that a great deal of research about motivation’s effects cannot be limited by Gardner and Lambert’s influential theory. Word count: 994.