Learning English as an L2 in the global context : changing English, changing motivation

Chit Cheung Matthew SUNG

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


As the English language has become a global lingua franca today, it is not surprising that changes in attitudes and perceptions towards learning English in the international context have taken place at the same time. In this paper, I critically examine the notion of ‘integrative motivation’ in the literature of second language (L2) learning with respect to the changing role of the English language in the global context. In particular, this paper attempts to re-conceptualise the notion of integrative motivation by considering the results of recent empirical research on L2 motivation. It is argued that the predominant motivation of learning English among most L2 learners is no longer concerned with ‘integration’ in the target native English-speaking culture, but with the construction of a ‘bi-cultural’ or ‘world citizen’ identity, as well as identification with the international community. The paper ends by suggesting new ways of understanding the concept of motivation in L2 learning in today’s global context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-387
Number of pages11
JournalChanging English
Issue number4
Early online date11 Dec 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • motivation
  • English as a global language
  • language learning
  • integrative motivation


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