L2 Motivation

The Relationship Between Past Attributions, the L2MSS, and Intended Effort


  • Anna Martinović University of Zadar, Department of English, Croatia
  • Irena Burić University of Zadar, Department of Psychology, Croatia




L2 motivation, past attributions, L2MSS, intended effort, non-language university majors


Globalization has led to the spread of English, which has become the world’s international language. As a result of its importance in social, economic, and political spheres, many countries have introduced English language learning in their school curricula. However, despite its importance many learners still seem to struggle with English second language (L2) motivation, which is an important element of L2 learning success. The aim of this study was to analyse the relationship between several phases of learners’ motivation, including learners’ attributions of past English L2 learning success, current motivational characteristics, and motivation to learn English in the future. Using the L2 Motivational Self System (L2MSS) as a framework, it was found that past learning experiences did not have a significant effect on current learner motivational dispositions. However, elements of the L2MSS had an effect on learners’ intentions to exert effort into future English language learning. In other words, Croatian university students’ L2 motivation was based on their visions for the future rather than on past learning experiences. Moreover, it appears that the ideal L2 self plays a much stronger role in learners’ motivation compared to the ought-to L2 self, and this motivation is tied to utilitarian motives for learning English. In addition, the results showed that other motivational components, such as interest, as well as L2 anxiety, are important elements of learners’ motivation, suggesting cognitive as well as affective aspects in this motivational profile. The complexity of motivation as shown in this study suggests the need for further investigations in various contexts.


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How to Cite

Martinović, A., & Burić, I. (2021). L2 Motivation: The Relationship Between Past Attributions, the L2MSS, and Intended Effort. Journal for Foreign Languages, 13(1), 409–426. https://doi.org/10.4312/vestnik.13.409-426