The relation of social attitudes and language study motivation with English ability among immigrant high school Spanish speaking students



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The purpose of this study was to delineate the configuration of attitudinal and motivational variables that complements successful second language learning for Hispanic adolescent immigrants relocating in the southwestern United States. Specifically, the study attempted to determine if the second language learning dynamics for non-dominant group Hispanic immigrant learners differ from that of dominant group language learners. The study tested the applicability of the prevailing social psychological language learning paradigm for a population in a distinct cultural setting. Procedures. A sample of 62 adolescent immigrants attending a public high school in a large industrial area of Texas responded to a battery of measures tapping their social attitudes, language study motives, and their English performance. The data collected was analyzed using two statistical procedures. A Pearson Product-Moment Correlation was computed among each independent variable (measured attitudes and motives) and each dependent variable (measured by language instruments). A Multiple Regression analysis was performed based on the independent variables and a total dependent variable, a composite language score. Conclusions. This study produced one major finding and four minor findings. The major finding showed that instrumentally motivated students demonstrated higher total English competence. Other minor yet significant findings were discovered in relationships between students' views and individual measures of English competence. [...]



English language--Study and teaching--Spanish speakers, Bilingualism, Spanish Americans--Education--Language arts