Arab World English Journal: Special Issue: Application of Global ELT Practices in Saudi Arabia September 2019     Pp. 18-33

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  Motivation, Investment and Social-Interdependence of Second Language Learners


Hussein Assalahi
English Language Institute, King Abdulaziz University
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia


Abstract :
This qualitative case study aimed to explore the experiences and perceptions of Saudi adult learners of English as a second language (ESL) about what motivates them to learn English at a language school in the United Kingdom (UK). Motivation is widely considered to be an influential factor in second language acquisition (SLA), and it still draws increasing attention from theorists and practitioners. Despite significant contributions from psychological, sociopsychological and recent trends of process-oriented research there is still a marked lack of knowledge about the complexity of the context of learning and its impact on motivating students to learn English.  Building on a tripartite theoretical lens grounded in Gardner’s (1981) socio-educational model, Nortons’ (2001) concept of investment and social interdependence theory, this research study aimed to bridge this gap and contribute more broadly to deepening our understanding about the socially constructed nature of motivation to learn a second language (L2). The findings revealed four interrelated factors that shape learners’ motivation to learn English in an L2 context. These are the second language learner, the school community, the social milieu, and other macro-context factors. Implications for language learners and language schools in the UK and elsewhere and future motivation research were explored.
Keywords: Motivation, integrativeness, investment, social-interdependence

Cite as:  Assalahi, H. (2019). Motivation, Investment and Social-Interdependence of Second Language Learners. Arab World English Journal, Special Issue 1: Application of Global ELT Practices in Saudi Arabia .18-33.DOI:


Dr. Hussein Assalahi is an assistant professor of TESOL at the English Language Institute, King
Abdulaziz University. Dr. Assalahi was awarded the Doctor of Education in TESOL from the
University of Exeter in the UK in 2016. Dr. Assalahi is particularly interested in research about
Second Language Teacher Education, language teacher professional development,
professionalism, second Language acquisition, and critical pedagogy.