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Female students in Saudi Arabia who learn English as a foreign language (EFL) are increasing, and they may learn English for various purposes. These purposes may be broadly defined as integrative (focusing on understanding and affiliating with English-speakers) and instrumental (focusing on gaining pragmatic rewards, such as being accepted for university or getting a better job). Targeting 3rd year Intermediate (9th grade) and 3rd year Secondary (12th grade) female students, this study examined the relationship between these motivational constructs and effort, EFL anxiety, and differences between grades. Survey data from female students from two schools in Riyadh (N=200) were analysed using 2 (grade: 9th, 12th) x 2 (school) ANOVA. Results indicated that 12th graders were higher than 9th graders in instrumental motivation and effort, but lower in integrative motivation and anxiety. Differences between schools were small. Effort was positively correlated with integrative but not instrumental motivation for 9th graders, and was positively correlated with instrumental but negatively correlated with integrative motivation for 12th graders. Educators and curriculum designers should consider students' developmental needs to capitalize on their motivations in learning EFL.


Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

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Journal Article

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