Directed Motivational Currents and Language Education Exploring Implications for Pedagogy Author: Christine Muir

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30 Sep 2020
Psychology of Language Learning and Teaching
Multilingual Matters
234 x 156


Directed motivational currents (DMCs) are goal-directed motivational surges in pursuit of a much-desired personal outcome. This book introduces the reader to cutting-edge theory and research in second language learner motivation and presents empirical research which investigates DMCs in the context of language learning. The studies explore the wider relevance of DMC theory from participants recruited worldwide, answering questions such as how many (and which) participants reported having experienced DMCs and what emerged as common triggers initiating such experiences. The studies also discuss the pedagogical implications of DMC theory, investigating whether it is possible to design and implement a project (specifically, a project ‘with DMC potential’) in such a way that it may be able to purposefully facilitate a group-DMC with learners in a second language classroom. The book’s accessible writing style makes it suitable for researchers and students who are interested in second language learning as well as for teachers and trainee teachers who are looking for classroom inspiration.


Motivational currents are intriguing phenomena – once you’ve experienced one you’ll never forget it. This book shows how these surges of motivational energy can be harnessed in the language classroom to boost learning. The author’s findings leave no doubt about the potential value of DMCs in the language learning process. This is SLA research at its most scholarly and most applied!

- Zoltán Dörnyei, University of Nottingham, UK

Amidst an emergent trend towards complex understandings of L2 learner psychology, this anticipated work not only suggests that DMCs are a widespread phenomenon, but that inclusion of student and teacher voices furnishes animated insight into their dynamic experience. In particular, Muir’s focus on such intense motivation in the context of group projects will be highly valued by researchers and educational practitioners alike.

- Richard J. Sampson, Rikkyo University, Japan

The DMC is one of those genuinely original concepts which makes intuitive good sense and one wonders ‘why didn’t I think of that?’ As Muir argues in this compelling book, it now deserves the focused attention of language educators, so it can be further validated through research, engendered in teaching and perhaps even personally experienced.

- Martin Lamb, University of Leeds, UK

Author Biography:

Christine Muir is an Assistant Professor in Second Language Acquisition at the University of Nottingham, UK. Her research interests include language learner motivation, the self in language learning, language learner psychology, language learner narratives and narrative identity.

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Research / Professional, Undergraduate

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