Demotivation in Second Language Acquisition

This August we published Demotivation in Second Language Acquisition by Keita Kikuchi which explores the issue of why students become demotivated while learning a second language. In this post, Keita tells us a bit more about the cover image of his book and why he chose it.

Demotivation in Second Language AcquisitionYou may be wondering why you find a picture of the cherry blossom, sakura, on the cover page of this book about demotivation in the language learning. When you look at the photo of the cherry blossom petals dancing in the wind like this, what do you see? Do you see it as enjoyable or rather depressing, since their season for the full bloom is over? In Japan, you see the cherry blossom trees as seen in this photo everywhere in spring. When I looked for a graphic for this book on demotivation, I thought this graphic would be a good illustration of my conceptualization of the focus of the book. I see demotivation as the tentative process of lowering motivation in learning languages, and it can be often situational. Also, the way language learners perceive demotivators, what may demotivate them, may be different.

People enjoy having parties and watching cherry blossoms in full bloom at the beginning of spring. In the same way, students are usually excited about their language learning when they start. After a while, however, many of them do not keep studying with the same passion that they had before. Some of them give up. Here, demotivation comes in. Only those who handle demotivation well can succeed in language learning. It’s a time-consuming task. Even though they may not see great outcomes during the process, learners must be persistent in their studies.

Sakura must survive the hot summer and the cold winter throughout the year. Finally, they are in full bloom only for a short time in spring. This whole process reminded me of the long difficult process of language learning. What is demotivation in language learning? What are possible demotivators during the process? Using studies conducted both inside and outside of Japan, I hope this book helps answer these questions.

Language Learning Motivation in JapanFor more information about this book please see our website. You might also be interested in some of our other books on the topic of motivation: Language Learning Motivation in Japan edited by Matthew T. Apple et al and Motivational Dynamics in Language Learning edited by Zoltán Dörnyei et al.

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