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Keywords:

  • elementary school;
  • immersion education;
  • middle school;
  • motivation;
  • qualitative study
  • French

Abstract: This interpretive multiple case study examines the motivation to learn a second language among sixth grade students who attended a French immersion school for grades K–5. Parent surveys, student surveys based on Gardner's Attitude/Motivation Test Battery, and individual and group interviews with students were the data sources used to identify students' second language (L2) learning motivating factors. Survey data indicated that the students shared home background characteristics and had high motivation and similar motivational orientations. Cross-case theme analyses of interviews suggested that, although students appeared to be motivated by both instrumental and integrative factors, relationships with teachers and peers were also influential. Consideration of individual cases indicated that other theories in motivation and second language acquisition could shed more light on L2 learning motivation.