Journal Article Validating Self-Determination Theory in the Japanese EFL context: Relationship between innate needs and motivation. context: Relationship between innate needs and motivation.

AGAWA, Toshie  ,  TAKEUCHI, Osamu

18pp.7 - 33 , 2016-03 , Asian EFL Journal Press
The purpose of this study is to verify self-determination theory (SDT) (Deci & Ryan, 2002) in the Japanese EFL context, particularly focusing on the relationships between the innate psychological needs and motivation. In this study, 317 Japanese students responded to a questionnaire on their basic needs fulfillment and L2 motivation. As preliminary analyses, parallel analysis and factor analysis were run on the obtained data, the results suggested some modifications to the factor structure of the scale. Using the amended factor structure, structural equation modeling (SEM) was applied to evaluate the fit between the theoretical expectation and actual data. The SEM model demonstrated that (1) the fulfillment of competence needs has considerable, positive influence on Japanese EFL learners’ motivation; (2) the sufficiency of relatedness needs might have a similar, albeit weaker, influence on learner motivation; but (3) autonomy needs fulfillment has a negative impact on both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation of Japanese L2 learners, and, furthermore, might even demotivate them. Drawing on previous studies as well as the findings of this study, the authors suggest a review of the current definitions of autonomy and relatedness adopted in the questionnaire and further investigation into the motivational processes of Japanese EFL learners.

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