What motivates Finnish-speaking high-school students in learning Swedish?

Enikő Marton, Magdolna Kovács

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


The present study explores the motivational background of learning Swedish among Finnish-speaking upper secondary students (N = 254) in Finland. More specifically, we address how the availability of the L2 in the social context in which the SLA is embedded influences the interrelationships between the concepts of ideal L2 self (Dörnyei, 2005), integrativeness (Gardner, 1985) and promotional orientation (Dörnyei, 2005) in learning Swedish as an L2. We collected our data in two municipalities, in a bilingual Finnish-Swedish and a monolingual Finnish-speaking one. We formulated four hypotheses about the motivational processes underlying the participants’ SLA; the hypotheses were tested by mediational analysis. Ideal L2 self emerged as a significant predictor of L2 efforts in both the monolingual Finnish-speaking and the Finnish-Swedish bilingual setting. With regard to the role of promotional orientation and integrativeness, we found substantial difference among students learning Swedish in a monolingual vs. bilingual context. In the monolingual Finnish-speaking setting, both promotional orientation and integrativeness had a significant effect on ideal L2 self. In the Finnish-Swedish bilingual context, ideal L2 self was predicted by integrativeness but not by promotional orientation. Furthermore, in the bilingual context integrativeness also had a significant direct effect on L2 efforts. The findings support the notion that SLA unfolds differently in contexts offering different levels of exposure to the L2. This finding is discussed in relation to what research has established about the motivational background of learning English in different settings.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)101-116
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 6121 Languages

Cite this