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Linguistic and intercultural
contact effects on foreign
language learning motivation.
Rosa Cortés Hernández
Supervisor: Gabriela Casillas Navarro
Importance of English language learning.
According to Gardner and Wallace (1972), the motivation to learn
the language of the other target language community is a primary
force responsible for enhancing or hindering intercultural
communication and affiliation. Playa del Carmen, the setting of this
research study, has the characteristics of a multicultural and
multilingual setting, since different ethnolinguistic communities
converge and interact in the same geographically localized
Students from the Universidad Tecnólogica de la Riviera
Maya (UTRM) studying Tourism have the need to learn
English not only for academic but for professional purposes.
However, English Language Learning represents a difficult
goal to achieve since they do not seem to be genuinely
interested in learning this language. This lack of interest
leads in turn to low academic progress, failure and in some
cases scholar dropouts.
The purpose of this research is to explore how
linguistic and intercultural contact with speak English-speaking
tourists who visit Playa del Carmen affects
the motivation and attitude of UTRM Tourism students
to learn English.
To identify motivational factors of English language
learners, focusing specially on attitude and motivation.
To determine the possible relationship between the
linguistic and intercultural contact and English language
learning academic progress in the UTRM Tourism
If linguistic and intercultural contact is a major factor
contributing to motivation in learning the L2 and
enhance the desire for further intercultural
communication (Dörnyei, 2005), language learners in
Playa del Carmen will show high motivation levels
Dörnyei and Csizér (2002)
Dörnyei and Csizér (2005)
1)Contact hypothesis (Allport, 1954)
2)The socio-educational model of second language
acquisition (Gardner, 2001)
Csizer, K. and Dörnyei, Z. (2005). “The internal structure of language learning motivation and its
relationship with language choice and learning effort.” The Modern Language Journal 19-36. Prentice-
Hall, Inc. (112)
Csizer, K. and Dörnyei, Z. (2005). “The effects of intercultural contact and tourism on language
attitudes and language learning motivation”. Journal of Language and Social Psychology (2005); 24;
Dörnyei, Z. (2005) The psychology of the language learner individual differences in second language
acquisition. University of Nottingham.