Motivation and Language Learning Narratives: A Case Study of Indonesian Students

Author: Biaz Dea Nabilla, Arizona State University, USA

Citation: Nabilla, B. D. (2023). Motivation and Language Learning Narratives: A Case Study of Indonesian Students. IAFOR Journal of Education11(3).


Motivation is a foremost aspect in language learning and has been extensively studied in the field of SLA due to its important contribution to pedagogical implications. However, SLA scholars/researchers have overwhelmingly preoccupied specifically with Asian students such as Japanese and/or Chinese (Gong et al, 2020; Kikuchi, 2019). This ignores the unique individual differences that Indonesian students have which contribute to their learning trajectories. The present study investigated the factors of individual differences influencing their motivation in learning English as foreign language and how the ideal L2 self is expressed through their language learning narratives. A total of two Indonesian students studying abroad in one of the research-integrated universities in the US participated in this study during the Fall semester. Through three stages of open-ended interviews and the researcher's observations, the data were collected and analyzed using narrative analysis and the L2 Motivational Self System (L2MSS) proposed by Dörnyei (2009) as framework. The analysis revealed that factors such as family background and socioeconomic status, education system inequality, and access to the target language contribute to their perception of their ideal L2 self. Additionally, this study contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of Asian immigrant students as a whole and helps to avoid stereotypical identities of Asian students based on previous research.


L2MSS, motivation, narratives, individual differences, Asian immigrant students