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South African Journal of Education

On-line version ISSN 2076-3433
Print version ISSN 0256-0100

S. Afr. j. educ. vol.39 n.1 Pretoria Feb. 2019 



Exploring motivational orientations of English as foreign language (EFL) learners: A case study in Indonesia



Ag. Bambang SetiyadiI; MahpulI; B. Anggit WicaksonoII

IDepartment of Language Education, Faculty of Education, University of Lampung, Indonesia,
IIDepartment of Physics Education, Faculty of Education, University of Lampung, Indonesia




Motivation, which refers to students' reasons for acting, has been well explored in language learning. However, studies on motivation in language learning in many countries have been predominantly inspired by theories of motivation in learning English developed in western countries. The current study serves to: i) identify the motivational orientations of EFL university students in Indonesia; and ii) to investigate whether the west-inspired theories of motivation are still relevant to the Indonesian EFL students. The subjects of the current study were 886 university students. With alphas .70, .53, and .77 for three motivational orientations, the data were then analysed by running Exploratory Factor Analysis with the varimax rotation. The results showed the existence of three reasonable motivational orientations of the EFL students in Indonesia and they are labelled as extrinsic, international and intrinsic orientation.

Keywords: EFL settings; Indonesian contexts; international orientations; motivational orientations; self-determination theory




Motivation in Learning English as a Foreign Language

The role of motivation in learning EFL has been well documented, but studies on motivational orientations of EFL learners in EFL settings are very rare. To mention a few, a study by Papi and Teimouri (2014), which examined motivational variables of EFL learners in Iran, show that different types of EFL learners based on the motivational variables result in different behaviours in learning English. A similar study, which also explored the role of motivation in learning the foreign language conducted by Tsuda and Nakata (2013) shows that different clusters of English learners in Japan exhibit different ways of using learning strategies.

Classifying motivation in language learning under intrinsic and extrinsic orientations is not new (Abrar-Ul-Hassan, 2014; Ngo, Spooner-Lane & Mergler, 2017). Nevertheless, the classification consisting of integrative and instrumental motivation has also been popular in the context of foreign language learning (Bernaus & Gardner, 2008; Chang & Liu, 2013). Classifying motivation in foreign/second language learning has been predominantly inspired by Gardner and Lambert (Dõrnyei, 1994). Gardner and Lambert (1959, 1972) made a distinction between two kinds of motivation in second language acquisition theories: integrative motivation, and instrumental motivation. Integrative motivation refers to learners' willingness and interest in interacting with members of the group of the second language (L2), while instrumental motivation is defined as the desire to achieve proficiency for practical reasons (Gardner, Tremblay & Masgoret, 1997; Masgoret & Gardner, 2003). Instrumental motivation is deemed equal to extrinsic motivation in other studies.

However, a study by Warden and Lin (2000), which was conducted with students in Taiwan, provided evidence that the integrative motivational group was notably absent in their study. They argued that the distinction between integrative and instrumental motivation was relevant to learners of English as a Second Language (ESL), while in Taiwan, students learn English as EFL learners. Au (1988) and Oller (1982) also point out that integrative orientation in relation to language learning was questionable and incapable of generating concrete empirical evidence concerning causal relationship. The distinction in Gardner's model is understandable, since degree of integratedness is regarded as being an issue of distinct concern in Quebec City, in which French and English constitute working languages between different communities.

Numerous studies on motivation in language learning in different countries have been inspired by the findings of the study by Gardner and Lambert (1972), which involved language learners in a western country (see also Gardner, 2000; Gardner & Tremblay, 1994). The findings of their studies could be culturally loaded and language learners from non-western countries may have different orientations in learning a foreign language (Hong & Ganapathy, 2017; Liu & Thompson, 2018). This requires a study responding to the issue of how learners from different cultural backgrounds and living in different countries have different motivational orientations in learning a foreign language.

Traditional Concepts of Motivation

A traditional dichotomy of motivation as intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation (Hidi, 2000; Lepper, Keavney & Drake, 1996) has been widely accepted in general education. Dodeen, Abdelfattah and Alshumrani (2014) use this classification to measure motivation in learning mathematics. Dõrnyei (1994) also makes a distinction between extrinsically motivated behaviours and intrinsically motivated behaviours in language learning. He states that extrinsically motivated behaviours are those that the individual performs to receive some extrinsic reward e.g., good scores; while intrinsically motivated behaviours are behaviours whose rewards are internal e.g., the joy of doing a particular activity. Dõrnyei (2003) claims that Gardner and Lambert's concept of motivation has no obvious parallels in any area of motivational psychology; its exact nature is difficult to define. Dõrnyei' s concept of motivation in language learning is in line with study by Noels, Pelletier, Clement and Vallerand (2003), which have also classified motivational orientations in language learning under intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

Referring to the original concept of motivation in general education, there are four approaches to motivation i.e., behavioural, humanistic, cognitive, and socio-cultural (Woolfolk, 2004). Woolfolk further points out that, based on these approaches, the sources of motivation will result in different motivational orientations, and the result of the motivational orientation will only be grouped under extrinsic and intrinsic categories. The other three approaches will also be useful in interpreting the motives that can be classified under intrinsic and extrinsic motivation (Woolfolk, 2004).

Integrative motivation, which refers to openness to identify, at least in part, with another language community in Gardner's model (Masgoret & Gardner, 2003), is similar to a motive to learn the values and practices of the community to keep one's identity as a community member (Woolfolk, 2004). In the current study, this type of motive is classified under intrinsic motivation while instrumental motivation is similar to extrinsic orientation (Reiss, 2012). Extrinsic motivation includes a group of factors concerned with motivation arising from external goals (Muñoz & Ramirez, 2015). In a language class, because motivation is an internal or attitudinal characteristic of an individual, it is subject to variation and the variation of learners' motivation is often classified under degree or intensity of motivation (Abrar-Ul-Hassan, 2014). Therefore, besides classifying students based on their motivation under two types: those with intrinsic and those with extrinsic motivation, it is also reasonable to group students according to the degree of their motivation: low, medium, and high motivation.

Theoretical Considerations

Different approaches of psychological theories have inspired researchers on language motivation. Self-Determination Theory (SDT) is one of the most current theories of motivation, which has the concept of intention at its core, and classifies human behaviours in the continuum between controlled and self-determined types of intentional responding (Noels et al., 2003; Vallerand, Pelletier & Koestner, 2008). Under the SDT, different reasons or goals that give rise to an action are grouped under extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. RM Ryan and Deci (2000a, 2000b) elaborate the concept of self-determined behaviour in a continuum of relative autonomy. At the far left hand of the continuum is 'amotivation,' and at the far right is intrinsic motivation (Ryan, RM & Deci, 2000a). In the SDT, amotivation refers to the absence of self-determination (Levesque, Copeland & Sutcliffe, 2008). RM Ryan and Deci (2000a) assume that the far left represents the least self-determined behaviour, while the right left represents the most self-determined behaviour. They also state that between the two extremes lies extrinsic motivation, which is defined as doing an activity to attain some separable outcomes. They argue that amotivated people do not act at all or act without intent; they may act, but their behaviour lacks intentionality. Levesque et al. (2008) explain that between amotivation and extrinsic motivation lie four types of extrinsic motivation: externally regulated, introjected, identified, and integrated motivation. The four types vary in the extent to which the behaviours are self-determined. They also believe that people with intrinsic motivation do an activity for its inherent satisfactions from the activity. They assume that more self-motivated behaviours of extrinsic motivation may be similar to intrinsic motivation, in the sense that both of them represent autonomous learning. The SDT has been developed in a number of studies in a variety of life contexts. The findings of research conducted under the principles of the theory suggest that the theory operate in a similar fashion across areas of research (Vallerand et al., 2008). In language learning contexts, the SDT has been developed in a study conducted by Noels et al. (2003). The findings of their study indicate that motivational constructs in second language learning may parallel motivational principles of the SDT.-

Rigby, Deci, Patrick and Ryan (1992) argue that people with intrinsically motivated behaviours decrease their activities of extrinsic motivation and this is often interpreted that extrinsic motivation will undermine self-determination. The interpretation seems to support the concept that the types of motivational orientations lie in a continuum. However, they also argue that some studies have provided empirical evidence that extrinsic motivation is not necessarily detrimental to intrinsic motivation and indeed the extrinsic motivation can increase intrinsic motivation. That the types of motivation lie on a continuum seems to be debatable. The conflicting findings may be understood that in some contexts both categories, extrinsic and intrinsic motivations are antagonistic while in some other contexts, they may complement each other. Whether in the contexts of language learning, especially in EFL settings in non-western countries, extrinsic and intrinsic motivations lie in a continuum, or they are antagonistic role needs further research.

In the current study, which involved EFL learners in Indonesia, motivation refers to the students' reasons for acting and the location of the cause for the action is inside (intrinsic) or outside (extrinsic) the person. The learners may have different reasons for their learning another language. Their reasons of learning the target language in the current study are classified under two motivational orientations, namely extrinsic and intrinsic motivational orientations. The classification of these orientations is based on the concept of the SDT. Extrinsic motivational orientations refer to the reasons of learning a target language in order to receive some extrinsic rewards e.g., good scores; and intrinsic motivational orientations deal with behaviours whose rewards are internal e.g., the joy of doing a particular activity. Integrative motivation, which refers to learners' willingness to and interest in interacting with members of the L2 group (Gardner & Lambert, 1972), is grouped under the category of international orientation. This motivation includes reasons not only related to interacting with members of the L2 groups as suggested in Gardner and Lambert (1972), but also getting along with other speakers of English from non-L2 groups.

The classifications were assumed to exist among EFL learners in Indonesia. These potential classifications would be validated based on the empirical data collected from language learners in an Indonesian EFL setting.

Therefore, the objective of the current study is to explore the motivational orientations of Indonesian EFL students. For this purpose, the research questions in this study are:

1. what are the motivational orientations of EFL university students in Indonesia; and

2. are western-inspired theories of motivation in learning English relevant to EFL learners in Indonesia?

Identifying the motivational orientation of EFL learners will enable curriculum and textbook writers, English teachers, and test developers to have a better picture of the Indonesian EFL learners' need in terms of learning English and provide them with appropriate materials to learn, learning processes to experience, and tests to evaluate, which in turn facilitate them to improve their English proficiency.




A non-probability sampling was used for data collection. The target population of the current study were new students of a university in Indonesia who studied English at different faculties. The students came from different levels of social economic status and different ethnic groups. In Indonesia, the students were generally classified under two main groups, according to their concentrations i.e., social studies and sciences. The participants of the social studies in the current study represent those from education faculty, economic and business faculty, law faculty, and faculty of social sciences and politics, as well as those of sciences include agriculture faculty, engineering faculty, medical faculty and faculty of sciences.

Approximately one week prior to the start of the first semester, the new students need to take an English Entrance Test (EET) as a part of the educational process in the university. Before the students worked on the English test, they were briefed on the nature of the questionnaire and confidentiality was confirmed. All of the students were provided with the questionnaire and were given explanation on the purpose of the study. They were also advised that their participation in this study was not obligatory. Nine hundred students participated in the study and submitted the filled questionnaire, but 886 students completed the questionnaires and formed the sample for this study. They were allowed as much time as they needed to complete the questionnaire. The reason of choosing the participants was that the students had sufficient English proficiency since they had studied English long enough and experienced in learning English since elementary schools. The current study, which is meant to investigate a contemporary phenomenon within the real life of EFL learners (Nunan, 1992:76), is a case study in an Indonesian context.


In the current study, positivism paradigm was followed in the sense that students' behaviours were predicted by using a measurement to collect quantitative data. The research instrument for motivation was a self-report questionnaire (see Appendix A). The questionnaire was adapted from Abrar-Ul-Hassan (2014) and Gardner et al. (1997). Items 1 to 4 were adapted from Gardner's measurement to identify the existence of integration issue in learning English as a foreign language in the Indonesian context. Items 5 to 12 were developed from Abrar-Ul-Hassan (2014) to classify learners' motivation under extrinsic (items 5 to 8) and intrinsic orientation (items 9 to 12). The items developed in the current study were based on the hypothesis that language learners' motivation is context-dependent (Belmechri & Hummel, 1998), not exclusively intrinsic or intrinsic. The questionnaire measures motivational orientations taking the forms of multiple choices, ranging from "never true of me" to "always true of me" and the scores range from 1 to 5. The students' native language (Indonesian) was used in the questionnaire to prevent the participants from misunderstanding the questions.

Data Analysis

The collected data were recorded in Predictive Analytics Software (PASW) or Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) 18.0. They were analysed to measure the internal consistency of hypothesised scales by using item-to scale coefficient. This was done to obtain an indicator of the scales' unidimensionality by determining whether the responses to a particular item reflected the pattern of responses on other items (De Vaus, 1985). In general, the results of the internal consistency of the questionnaire used in the current study cannot be regarded as being high but lower Cronbach alpha scores are often considered as being acceptable when scales for measuring attitude or motivation in language learning contain only a few items. Dõrnyei and Csizér (2002) considered their questionnaire acceptable for the analysis to explore motivation in learning target languages. The validity of the questionnaire was assessed by correlating each item with its construct.

The alphas of the motivational orientations are .70, .53, and .77 for extrinsic orientation, intrinsic orientation, and international orientation respectively (see Table 1). The empirical evidence showed that the items had a high correlation with their constructs. This suggests that the items developed in the current study were valid (see Table 2). To identify their motivational orientations, the data were analysed by running factor analyses and then the mean scores of the sub-scales were computed to identify the degrees of the orientations. Since there has been no previous research on EFL motivational orientations in Indonesia and the questionnaire used in the current study was newly developed, it seems appropriate to use exploratory factor analysis (EFA) in order to identify the constructs of the questionnaire, not to confirm or disprove the underlying structure of the measure (Karami, 2015:3). In the current study, intercorrelations among components were not the main concerns so that the varimax rotation was used in running the EFA. The varimax rotation was also used in order to minimise the number of indicators, which were highly loaded on each factor.






Three Motivational Orientations of EFL University Students in Indonesia Table 3 provides data that three items were highly cross-loaded. The first highly cross-loaded item I want to improve my English because it will enable me to better understand the cultures of native speakers of English was loaded on Factor 2 (loading = .50) and Factor 3 (loading = .45). The second was I want to improve my English because mastering English makes me confident was loaded on Factor 1 (loading = .32) and Factor 3 (loading = .53). The last was I want to improve my English for travelling was loaded in Factor 2 (loading = .33) and factor 3 (loading = .45). The cross-loaded items were decided to load on the factors, of which loadings were higher.

As shown in Table 4, Factor 1 received appreciable loadings from 4 items and accounted for 19.75% of the common variance, Factor 2 with 4 items accounted for 17.04%, and Factor 3 with 4 items accounted for 13.62 percent. The initial statistics also indicated that according to the Scree test of the motivation items developed in this study were best explained by a three-factor solution accounting for 50.42% of the common variance. Factor 1 comprises four items with factor loadings ranging from .60 to .74. The items loaded on factor 1 are: 1) I want to improve my English because in the era of globalization I need English; 2) I want to improve my English because it will allow me to have access to information written in English; 3) I want to improve my English because it will allow me to get a good job; and 4) I want to improve my English because it will allow me to get good scores of English in school.

Factor 2 was defined by positive loadings on 4 items and accounted for 17.04% of the common variance. The four items loadings ranged from .50 to .75 and the items are: 1) I want to improve my English because it will allow me to meet with more native speakers of English; 2) I want to improve my English because it will allow me to participate more freely in the activities of native speakers of English; 3) I want to improve my English because it will allow me to gain good friends more easily among native speakers of English; and 4) I want to improve my English because it will enable me to better understand the cultures of native speakers of English.

Factor 3 was determined by appreciable loadings from four items and accounted for 13.62% of the common variance. The four items are: 1) I want to improve my English because I want to master a foreign language; 2) I want to improve my English because I enjoy learning a foreign language; 3) I want to improve my English because mastering English makes me confident; and 4) I want to improve my English for travelling. The four item loadings range from .45 to .65.

An analysis of reliability was carried out to examine the cohesion of the items of the motivational measurement. With a relatively high level of Cronbach's alpha of 0.73 (see Table 1), the scale was internally consistent; therefore, the criteria on internal consistency of the scale were met in this analysis.

Attention was then directed towards intensifying the extent of factorial support for the hypothesised constructs of the motivational scale. The data were analysed by means of a principal component analysis, with varimax rotation with Kaiser Normalisation. It was found that Barlett's Test of Sphericity was significant (p = 0.000) and KMO (Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin) Test was 0.81, exceeding the recommended value of .6; therefore, the data are suitable for factor analysis. In reference to the eigenvalues, three factors would be extracted because they have Eigenvalues greater than 1.00. A varimax rotation was then run in order to aid in the interpretation of the three factors. All loadings greater than 0.3 were considered; this was meant to determine the interpretation and labelling of the factors as well. In general, all items loading on Factor 1 have the highest means, followed by the items loading on Factor 2, and all items loading on Factor 3 have the lowest means. As shown in Table 5, the mean scores of all items loading on Factor 1 is 3.60, the mean score of the loading on Factor 2 is 3.13 and the mean score of the items loading on Factor 3 is 2.76.

As shown in Table 1, the Cronbach's alpha of the items loading in Factor 1 is .70 and that of the items loading in Factor 2 is .77. Even though the Cronbach's alpha of the items loading in Factor 3 is very low (.53), the items loading on this factor are maintained. In motivational studies, a factor with low Cronbach's alpha may be considered in an analysis, especially in a questionnaire with few items (Dõrnyei & Csizér, 2002; Henry & Apelgren, 2008).

Initially, the items developed in the questionnaire were hypothesised to relate to two motivational orientations: intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. However, the factor analysis of motivational data provides empirical evidence that motivational orientations in learning English in EFL setting in the current study has three meaningful sub-components. Consequently, the questionnaire, which had been expected to have two constructs, were reinterpreted and renamed accordingly. Empirically, the reasons of learning English as a foreign language in the Indonesian context has three sub-components of motivation.

Factor 1 seems to reflect the reasons of learning English in order to arrive at some instrumental end, viz. extrinsic motivation. Factor 2 corresponds to international orientation because it loaded appreciably on four items dealing with reasons for learning English to integrate with people from other countries. Consequently, Factor 2 was labelled international orientation. The last factor (Factor 3) was called intrinsic motivation since all items loading on this factor were concerned with the ideas that the students learned English voluntarily and they learn the language for fun. Their reasons of learning English are internal to themselves.

Even though the items: I want to improve my English because it will enable me to better understand the cultures of speakers of English and I want to improve my English for travelling loaded highly in more than one factor, namely Factor 2 and Factor 3, these two items in the present study were grouped under Factor 2 and 3, respectively. This grouping was based on the consideration that the behaviour expressed in the first item refers to international orientation (Factor 2) and the second item to behaviour whose rewards are intrinsically motivated of Dõrnyei (1994) belongs to Factor 3.

The Relevance of West Inspired Theories of Motivation to EFL Indonesian Learners

Once the final three factors were decided, the correlation analysis was conducted to identify how the items loading on the factors were correlated one another. As shown in Table 6 that the sub-scales of motivation were significantly correlated. To the degree that they correlate, the subscales share variance, and the magnitude of r2 indicates the amount of variance that is interrelated (Hatch & Lazaraton, 1991). Since the correlation between extrinsic motivation and international orientation is .38, it indicates that the two sub-scales overlap to the extent of r2(or 14%). This suggests that the overlap of the two sub-scales is 14%, or 14% of the variance in extrinsic motivation can be accounted for by the variance of international orientation and vice versa. The variance of international orientation and intrinsic motivation that overlap is 16% (r =.40) while extrinsic and intrinsic motivation overlap to the extent of 9% (r = .30). Their international orientation in learning English is closer to intrinsic motivation (r = .40) than their extrinsic motivation (r =. 30). It may imply that intrinsic motivation has a closer relationship with integrative orientation than those among the other motivational orientations while intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation are the least correlated among the three sub-scales of motivation. This evidences that EFL learners in this study do not have a single sub-scale only but they have the three sub-scales of motivational orientation, with different degrees of motivation. The inter-correlation among the three sub-scales may imply that the learners had a combination of the motivational orientations in learning English in the Indonesian EFL setting and the motivational orientations of learning English: international orientation, extrinsic orientation and intrinsic orientation are not mutually exclusive.



Three Types of Motivation of EFL University Students in Indonesia

The international orientation yielded in the factor analysis in the current study seems to respond an issue that in the context of globalisation motivation in learning a foreign language needs redesigning. As S Ryan (2006) indicates that the majority of learners of English in the world expend extraordinary effort to learn the language without holding immediate prospect rewards. S Ryan (2006) also suggests that language-learning motivation should be reconceptualised in order to provide the growing majority of English learners who need English as a means of communication in the context of globalisation. The emergence of the international orientation in the current study supports the finding of a study conducted by Kim and Kim (2016), which involved Korean high school students studying English as a foreign language. The data of their study, which were also collected through a questionnaire and analysed through exploratory factor analysis, provides evidence that international posture is one of the nine motivational orientations in the Korean context.

The finding of the current study is in line with the finding of a study in the same context by Lamb (2004) in another province in Indonesia. The findings of his study indicate that integration with Anglophone countries was not relevant to Indonesian learners. That EFL learners are interested in learning English as a part of the globalisation processes and not a part of integration with people from Anglophone countries is a common orientation in Indonesia. A study by Setiyadi and Sukirlan (2016) also indicates that Islamic school students in Indonesia consider English as a necessary language in the era of globalization without being interested in integrating with the native speakers of English. It seems that English has become a global language - not only in Asian countries - but indeed also in other parts of the world. A study by Nel and Müller (2010) as well as a study by Du Plessis and Louw (2008), which were conducted in South African settings, also suggest that English has been a global language for the nation among the speakers of local languages such as Sulu and Sepedi. EFL learners do not necessarily have integrative motivation in learning English and many studies have provided no evidence that an integrative orientation existed in language learning (Belmechri & Hummel, 1998; Warden & Lin, 2000; Zhao, 2012). A study by Ming, Ling and Jaafar (2011), which involved Malaysian students, may support the finding in the current study that EFL students tend to be more extrinsically motivated in learning English and the students do not seem to be interested in the integration into L2 community. However, a study which was conducted with students in Philippines (Ditual, 2012) provides evidence that they were both instrumentally and integratively motivated. That the students in Philippines were integratively motivated was understood, since the motivational orientations of the English learners in this study were measured by using Gardner's Attitude and Motivation Battery Test, which is meant to identify integrative orientation in learning English. It is worth challenging to explore whether the different motivational orientations of EFL learners in different EFL settings such as Indonesia or African countries are culturally loaded, and whether they need motivational measurements specifically developed for the context of EFL learners from different regions. This needs to call for further research.

The current study seems to indicate that the integrative motivation, which has been developed in ESL settings and in which the integration becomes an issue in the community, is not relevant to Indonesian EFL learners in the era of globalisation. The EFL learners in the current study have "integrative" international orientation, but they need to integrate with people from other countries by using English as a lingua franca.

The Relevance of West Inspired Theories of Motivation to EFL Indonesian Learners With reference to the principles of the SDT, Rigby et al. (1992) argue that motivational orientations of students may either be antagonistic or complementary. The closer correlation between the international orientation and intrinsic motivation may suggest that the reasons of the EFL learners, which are grouped under the international orientation are closely linked with the intrinsic orientation. Their reasons, which are grouped under the international orientation in the current study, may be distinguished from the reasons to learn the target language in order to arrive at some instrumental end, which are grouped under extrinsic motivation.

Even though their international orientation may be considered as a means for them to go international (external reasons), the reasons may be understood as a self-determined behaviour of extrinsic motivation. Referring to the SDT, the EFL learners in the current study are believed to be self-determined behaviour. This may suggest that at this point the EFL learners invest energy in an activity because of its importance for achieving a valued goal, which may refer to identified regulation of extrinsic motivation in the SDT (Noels at al., 2003). This is similar to intrinsic motivation (internal reason) in the sense that both of them represent autonomous learning. The finding of the current study may support, to some extent, the notion of the SDT that there are four types of extrinsic motivation with different degrees to which the behaviours are self-determined. In many studies it has been indicated that the four types of motivation lie between one end (amotivation) and the other end (intrinsic motivation) in a continuum of motivational orientations (Noels et al., 2003; Ryan, RM & Deci, 2000b; Vallerand et al., 2008).

However, the empirical data in the current study may indicate that international orientation in EFL learning, which belongs to extrinsic motivation, is closely linked with self-regulated behaviour of intrinsic motivation. Even though the finding seems to be in line with the SDT, the finding may not support the notion of SDT that motivation lies in a continuum. The close relation between the international orientation (external reason) and intrinsic motivation (internal reason) may indicate that motivational orientations do not lie in a continuum. The EFL learners in the current study have orientations that are considered external and internal to the activity at the same time. Language learners may have more than just one reason when they engage in one activity over time (Vallerand et al., 2008).

In sum, the findings in the current study suggest that the integrative motivation is not relevant to Indonesian EFL learners in the era of globalisation. The EFL learners in Indonesia need to integrate with people from other countries by using English as a lingua franca. The findings also support that motivational orientations of EFL learners can be explained by referring to the self-determination theory. The emergence of the international orientation in learning a foreign language may be a new paradigm of English as a lingua franca in Indonesia. That the international orientation is closely linked to intrinsic motivation may support the concept that extrinsically motivated learners with more self-determination is similar to intrinsically motivated ones in the sense that both types of language learners perform autonomous learning.

Limitations of the Study

The conclusion of the current study needs to be considered with caution because not all sub-scales of motivation have a very high internal consistency, especially the sub-scale of intrinsic motivation. It seems worth exploring motivational orientations with more types of motivation, as indicated in the SDT. More items for each type need to be developed in order to have more trustable findings on motivational orientations in EFL. It may be the subject of further research to explore similarities and differences on language motivation between ESL and EFL contexts related to the SDT.

This article has presented motivational orientations in an EFL setting from an Indonesian context. It may be possible to explore more samples from different contexts and different cultural backgrounds. This can provide a more reliable picture of the reasons for learning English as EFL and identify the motivational development, if any, in response to the status of English as a lingua franca in the era of globalisation.



We would like to thank the students for helping to collect the data. We would like to thank the reviewers for their insightful comments on the earlier versions of this paper. This work was financially supported by Lampung University, Indonesia under grant # 806/UN26.21/PP/2017.


Authors' Contributions

ABS wrote the manuscript and analysed the data, M collected data, and BAW helped analysing and interpreting data. All authors reviewed the final manuscript.



i. International orientation of motivation is associated with developing a global identity that gives students a sense of belonging to a worldwide culture.

ii. Published under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence.



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Received: 3 April 2017
Revised: 7 August 2018
Accepted: 20 December 2018
Published: 28 February 2019



Appendix A: Motivational Orientations of Learning English as a Foreign language


You will find some statements about your reasons in learning English. On this questionnaire, please write your response (1, 2, 3, 4, or 5) that tells how true of you the statement is.


Click to enlarge

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