Achievement Goal Theory: A Perspective on Foreign-Language-Learners' Motivation

  • Leyla Tercanlioglu
Keywords: Language education


It has long been recognized that varying achievement goals elicit varying motivational patterns with varying behavioral consequences. Several sets of contrasting goal orientations have been proposed to explain differences in language students' achievement behaviors. A total of 135 third-year (n = 54 male; n = 81 female) students in a preservice English teacher education program participated in this study of goal orientation. The proposed goal orientations were measured by adapting the Goal Orientation Scale developed by Skaaalvik (1997) for the L2 learning domain, and students' language achievement was measured by a TOEFL test. Results indicated that students placed most emphasis on task mastery goals and that this was related to language achievement. Task mastery goals are negatively correlated with work-avoidance. Self-defeating ego orientation is positively correlated with both work-avoidance and self-enhancing ego orientation. The analysis also suggested that male students had a stronger tendency to avoid work.
How to Cite
Tercanlioglu, L. (2004). Achievement Goal Theory: A Perspective on Foreign-Language-Learners’ Motivation . TESL Canada Journal, 21(2), 34 - 49.