The Human Brain Does Not Need High Levels of Motivation to Learn a Foreign Language: Motivation Has Had its Day

Kieran Green


Language is nature in action and something humans do.  This literature review presents evidence from the literature that suggests that learning a foreign language in a classroom situation does not require high levels of student motivation.  It is instead suggested that high levels of motivation are needed to make progress when a teacher is using traditional teaching methods.  It is shown that all healthy human brains are excellent at learning and using language, and high levels of motivation to learn a foreign language are not required if teaching practices and materials replicate natural learning experiences, and class participation is ensured.  This work is of great importance to teachers as it demonstrates that teachers would help students more by investing their time in developing class materials than by worrying about student motivation.

Keywords:  foreign language, cognitive linguistics, language evolution, language learnability, language usability, motivation

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