Public Schools and Private Language Institutes: Any Differences in Students’ L2 Motivational Self System?

Document Type : Original Article


Department of English, College of Humanities, Semnan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Semnan, Iran


To enrich our understanding of the attitudinal/motivational basis of foreign language learning at junior high school level, this study investigated the students’ status of L2 motivation, the relationship between motivational factors, and the possibility of predicting their motivated learning behavior in light of Dörnyei’s (2005, 2009) theory of L2 Motivational Self System. To this end, 1462 junior high school students classified as private language institute-goers and non-goers filled in the Persian version of L2 Motivational Self System questionnaire. After applying independent samples t-test, correlation, and regression analyses, it was found that all students enjoyed positive attitudinal and motivational dispositions although to a different extent, attitude toward learning English was the main predictor of their motivated learning behavior, and Ideal L2 Self was particularly stronger in the institute goers, while Ought-to L2 Self was rather the same for both groups.