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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton May 17, 2017

Korean L2 speakers’ regulatory focus and oral task performance

Yeji Han and Kim McDonough


The L2 motivation self system posits that motivation emerges from the dynamic interactions among a learner’s ideal L2 self, ought-to L2 self, and situated learning experience. Only a few studies to date have investigated the individual and combined impact of trait-based and task-induced motivation (i. e., situational motivation related to the immediate learning environment) on L2 performance. Therefore, the current study explored whether Korean L2 speakers’ trait-based and task-induced regulatory focus impacted their oral task performance. Vietnamese university students (N=62) studying Korean as a foreign language completed a questionnaire to assess their L2 instrumentality as being oriented toward prevention or promotion. They were randomly assigned to promotion or prevention task-induced conditions, and then carried out an oral task. The results indicated that whereas the participants’ general motivational tendencies did not impact their task performance, the task-induced prevention condition facilitated faster speech rate (i. e., fluency) and lower error rate (i. e., accuracy) than the promotion condition. Implications for further studies are discussed.

Correction note

Correction added after online publication 17 May 2017: Mistakenly some nouns were dropped in the text and were infixed. Also the caption of table 1 was changed and the first sentence of section 7 showed wrong values of n so and were replaced.


Questionnaire items with Cronbach’s alpha and corrected item-total correlation (English version)

Promotion-orientation (Cronbach’s alpha=0.26, N=62)

  1. Studying Korean is important because I will be able to make a lot of money if I have a high level of Korean proficiency. [0.01]

  2. Studying Korean is important because I would like to live in Korea for a while. [0.34]

  3. Studying Korean is important because it will give me more opportunities to get the kind of job I want. [0.35]

  4. Studying Korean is important to me because it offers a new challenge in my life. [−0.03]

  5. Studying Korean is important for learning more about Korean culture. [0.04]

Prevention-orientation (Cronbach’s alpha=0.62, N=62)

  1. Studying Korean is important; otherwise my parents will be disappointed. [0.22]

  2. Studying Korean is necessary for me because I don’t want to get a poor score on a Korean proficiency test. [0.51]

  3. I have to study Korean because I cannot graduate without passing the Korean test. [0.28]

  4. Studying Korean is important; otherwise, I will not be able to have a good income. [0.49]

  5. I have to study Korean; otherwise, I think I will not be successful in my future career. [42]


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Published Online: 2017-5-17
Published in Print: 2018-5-25

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