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Attitude and Motivation for SLs in Primary Schools

A Survey in South Tyrol

Barbara Gross    Libera Università di Bolzano, Italia    



This study surveyed primary school children’s attitudes and motivation toward second language learning in South Tyrol, Italy. Differences concerning the attended school system, the gender and the schools’ territorial position were studied by means of a modified 22-item attitude and motivation test battery with 398 grade-four students from German- and Italian-language primary schools. The significance of differences between means was analysed using Two-Sample T-tests in SPSS 24. The findings of the research reveal differences in the observed Italian and German school systems whereby children attending Italian-language primary schools turned out to score higher on motivation, attitudes and parents’ encouragement. Moreover, females show a higher motivation and more positive attitudes than male pupils. Significant results were found for nearly all observed dimensions regarding differences due to the territorial position of the primary schools (rural and urban). Students attending an urban primary school are more motivated, show more positive attitudes, desire to integrate with the target language and culture and perceive a higher parental encouragement.

April 22, 2020
Sept. 28, 2019
Feb. 19, 2019

Keywords: MotivationAttitudesSecond language acquisitionGenderSchool systemsScholastic environment

Copyright: © 2019 Barbara Gross. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.