LINGUIST List 31.1737

Fri May 22 2020

Review: Applied Linguistics: Al-Hoorie, MacIntyre (2019)

Editor for this issue: Jeremy Coburn <>

Date: 14-Mar-2020
From: Jelena Vuksanovic <>
Subject: Contemporary Language Motivation Theory
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Book announced at

EDITOR: Ali H. Al-Hoorie
EDITOR: Peter D. MacIntyre
TITLE: Contemporary Language Motivation Theory
SUBTITLE: 60 Years Since Gardner and Lambert (1959)
SERIES TITLE: Psychology of Language Learning and Teaching
PUBLISHER: Multilingual Matters
YEAR: 2019

REVIEWER: Jelena Vuksanovic, University of Houston


The foreword is written by Zoltan Dornyei, a renowned researcher in the field of language learning motivation who ‘grew up’ on Robert Gardner’s work. Following that, the editors provide a quick overview of the significant ways Gardner’s work impacted the field and also include a note on the review process. Finally, Robert Gardner himself dedicates in total eight pages in the chapter titled “Looking Back and Looking Forward” to the overview of his and colleagues’ research, which examined the role of attitudes and motivation in second language acquisition (SLA).

Chapter 1: Extending Gardner’s Socio-Educational Model to Learner Well-Being: Research Propositions Linking Integrative Motivation and the PERMA Framework, by Tammy Gregersen, Peter D. MacIntyre, and Jessica Ross

The first chapter of Part 1: Second Language development/Applied Linguistics examines the relationship between positive psychology and Gardner’s socio-educational model. The authors incorporate a theory from positive psychology, which has recently reached the SLA field and connect it to Gardner’s integrative motivation. An overview is provided of Seligman’s PERMA (positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, accomplishments) framework of well-being. This is followed by a discussion on specific shared attributes between PERMA and integrative motivation, and explicit connections are made between the three concepts of integrative motivation (integrativeness, attitudes toward the learning situation, motivation) and PERMA. The authors end the chapter by examining three research propositions.

Chapter 2: Teachers’ and Learners’ Motivation in Multilingual Classrooms, by Merce Bernaus

The second chapter aims to make a connection between language classroom motivation and Gardner’s conceptualization of motivation as described in the socio-educational model. While the author provides a short discussion on learners’ motivation and attitudes toward languages in multilingual education in Catalonia and the Basque Country, the primary focus of the chapter is on the interplay between teachers’ affective characteristics and students’ motivation. The author also examines teachers’ use of strategies and the effect on learners’ attitudes and motivation.

Chapter 3: The Emotional Underpinnings of Gardner’s Attitudes and Motivation Test Battery, by Peter D. MacIntyre, Jean-Marc Dewaele, Nicole Macmillan, and Chengchen Li

The third chapter examines the connection between attitudes and emotions as contributors to motivated behavior. Using two empirical studies, the authors provide a rich discussion on the affective dimensions of the socio-educational model and the Attitude/Motivation Test Battery (AMTB). The AMTB is compared in many respects to a measure of positive and negative emotions called PANAS. Results of the two studies show that multiple connections exist between the emotions measured by the PANAS and the constructs in the socio-educational model. A significant result is that integrative motivation is supported by positive emotions, not only attitudes. The chapter is concluded with pedagogical implications indicting that fostering positive emotions in the classroom can reduce learners’ negative emotions.

Chapter 4: Perezhivanie: The Cognitive-Emotional Dialectic within the Social Situation of Development, by James P. Lantolf and Merrill Swain

The fourth chapter, while not explicitly focusing on Gardner’s research, also addresses affective dimensions of motivation by providing a discussion on Vygotsky’s concept of perezhivanie, or lived experiences, in L2 development and L2 teacher development. The authors examine existing literature that draws on Vygotsky’s theory of emotion and provides a discussion on how his theory informs language instruction.

Chapter 5: Identity, Adaptation and Social Harmony: A Legacy of the Socio-Educational Model, by Sarah Rubenfeld and Richard Celement

The fifth chapter introduces the second part of the book “Social Psychology/Sociology” and provides a summary of much of Gardner’s research. The chapter firstly provides an overview of research that has focused the social aspect of L2 development. Secondly, the chapter discusses implications of such research in language learning beyond the classroom. The authors exemplify that the chapter’s contribution is to the continuation of Gardner’s program on non-linguistic aspects of L2 development.

Chapter 6: What’s in a Name? Motivations for Baby-Naming in Multicultural Contexts, by Jorida Cila and Richard N. Lalonde

The sixth chapter focuses on motivational factors that relate to acculturation and identity formation by examining baby-naming using Gardner and Lambert’s framework of second language acquisition. Specifically, integrative and instrumental motives are examined in choosing baby names among bicultural individuals in Canada.

Chapter 7: Motivation, Identity and Investment: A Journey with Robert Gardner, by Bonny Norton

Chapter 7 also addresses the social aspect of the Gardner’s socio-educational model. The author’s focus is on motivation and identity. A brief description of Gardner, his research, and the SE model is given before moving into a deeper discussion on the notions of investment and power and motivation in and outside of the classroom.

Chapter 8: Snapshots in Time: Time in Gardner’s Theory and Gardner’s Theory across Time, by Rebecca L. Oxford

The 8th chapter introduces Part 3 of the book, “Historical/Methodological Issues.” This chapter focuses on the theme of time as related to Gardner’s examination of time in the motivation process. The author uses seven snapshots to tell a story of the SE model. The first snapshot reviews Gardner’s use of terminology. The second, third, and fourth snapshots focus on the individual learner’s affect and cognition, while the fifth and sixth snapshots focus on the broader ‘macro-perspective’ context. Finally, the seventh snapshot takes on a more personal perspective as the author examines the use of the SE model in her experience as a teacher educator.

Chapter 9: Researching L2 Motivation: Re-evaluating the Role of Qualitative Inquiry, or the ‘Wine and Conversation’ Approach, by Ema Ushioda.

Chapter 9 evaluates the role of qualitative inquiry in the L2 motivation field. The author examines this through the historical context by reevaluating her own research journey which started three decades ago and was influenced by the work of Robert Gardner and associates.

Chapter 10: Quantitative Methods in Second Language Learning Motivation Research: Gardner’s Contributions and Some New Developments, by Paul F. Tremblay

Chapter 10 examines quantitative methods in L2 motivation research, giving specific focus to structural equation modeling used to test the SE model in various language contexts. The author focuses on Gardner’s contribution to quantitative methods and the impact this has had on Gardner’s research and the field in general. Lastly, the author discusses a newer statistical procedure (e.g., multilevel modeling and latent profile analysis) from which the future L2 motivation research could benefit.

Chapter 11: Identification with External and Internal Referents: Integrativeness and the Ideal L2 Self, by Jennifer Claro

This chapter addresses a claim made by Dornyei that integrativeness, the central component of the SE model, should be replaced by the ideal L2 self, a conceptualization of one’s idealized model of oneself as a language learner. The author makes arguments—using statistical data and previous research—as to why the ideal L2 self cannot place integrativeness and illustrates the advantages and disadvantages of Dornyei and Csizer’s version of integrativeness (e.g., Integrativeness D&C). Finally, the author presents a model of identification that incorporates aspects of both the ideal L2 self and integrativeness as a way to move forward and incorporate the value of both integrativeness and the ideal L2 self.

Chapter 12: History, Philosophy and the Social Psychology of Language, by John Edwards

The 12th chapter focuses on the historical and philosophical context in the broader sense of situating social psychology within that context. Focus is placed on concepts of belief, attitude, and value as the author addresses the role Gardner and colleagues had on placing social psychology of language as a vital element in the research of identity.

Chapter 13: Motivation: It is a Relational System, by Phil Hiver and Dianne Larsen-Freeman

The authors of this chapter provide a theoretical contribution of this anthology via the lens of complex dynamic systems theory (CDST). The authors creatively accomplish this by citing the book’s contributors and respective chapters that allude to the principles of CDST. The chapter is concluded by examining how CDST could contribute to the future L2 motivation research.

Chapter 14: How Robert C. Gardner’s Pioneering Social-Psychological Research Raised New Applied Questions about Second Language Acquisition, by Elaine K. Horwitz

The final chapter examines Gardner’s contributions from the viewpoint of second language acquisition research. The author explores various SLA research questions arising as a result of Gardner’s research. The author also examines how Gardner’s research has impacted language teachers in finding out why students were motivated and how to motivate them if they were not.


The examined anthology achieved what it set out to do: provide relevant research that was influenced by the works (spanning 60 years) of Robert Gardner and colleagues. The significance of Gardner’s research on applied linguistics and SLA is undeniable. The contributors to this text successfully combine their respective views of Gardner’s contribution to L2 motivation research to create a book that effectively takes a step in moving the field forward. Possibly the biggest merit of this edited book is the collection of works by renowned researchers in the field who bring different perspectives into the light. All of the chapters in some respect – directly or indirectly – connect to Robert Gardner or his research. While most of the chapters clearly make a connection to Robert Gardner and his research, some fail to do so and the reader is left wondering about the place of that chapter in this anthology. The topics are vast—from positive psychology and emotions to motivations for baby-naming to methodologies (of past, present, and future) in the field. It can be said that the book has a little bit of everything to keep the reader engaged. More importantly, many of the topics explored with regard to L2 motivation are considered significant as evident by the newly introduced empirical research that explores topics such as positive psychology and emotions, and identity, and examines their relationship to L2 motivation. The inclusion of complex dynamic systems theory (CDST), and its tenets, is yet another testament of the vision of the book. A theoretical perspective such as this one has the potential to really move the research forward, and as noted in the book by MacIntyre et al. (2015) “adopting complex, dynamic system principles…cannot remain optional” (p. 421).

The book is quite theoretical (as the name suggests) and dense, and while the classroom teacher might find it beneficial – and interesting–, the theoretical language in some respects lacks practical applications. On the other hand, this is a book that would be quite beneficial to any graduate student interested in L2 motivation research; however, it is tailored more toward those who are experienced with the existing literature because the chapters do not provide an extensive history of the research on language motivation, but they do provide a solid foundation that any student interested in the topic should have. The field of L2 motivation keeps growing with new theories and paradigms. Fortunately, the book provides new research avenues to explore, including a focus on different theories and methodological approaches that researchers could adapt. This book is highly recommended for anyone interested in learning more about Robert Gardner himself and his personal relationship with some of the renowned authors in this book as well as the significant ways Gardner has made an impact in their personal and professional lives. It is my opinion that this book has the potential to push the field of language learning motivation forward.


Jelena Vuksanovic is a lecturer at the University of Houston with an interest in applied linguistics and TESOL. Her primary area of focus is on the relationship between language learning motivation and the emotional aspects of personality.

Page Updated: 22-May-2020