Tracking Changes in EFL Learners’ Motivation: A Study on The Components of L2 Self-System


L2 motivation, proficiency, gender, ideal L2 self, positive changes

How to Cite

Üstünbaş, Z., & Üstünbaş, Ümran. (2022). Tracking Changes in EFL Learners’ Motivation: A Study on The Components of L2 Self-System. Journal of Language Teaching and Learning, 12(1), 1-15. Retrieved from


This paper presents a concurrent study adopting a mixed method research design and was conducted to investigate components of broadly defined L2 motivational self - system (L2MSS); particularly l earning experience and changes of the future L2 self - image thro ugh several background factors such as gender and proficiency. For this purpose, data were gathered from 125 EFL learners studying at the School of Foreign Languages of a state university in Turkey. Also, 13 semi - structured interviews were held in order to get a deeper understanding into the emerging results. To this end, the results indicated that the participants’ main source of L2 motivation was ideal L2 self, which means they are intrinsically motivated to learn and have a positive future image in terms of learning English. Also, female students were found to have a higher ideal L2 self than male students. Finally, the findings showed that the participants, particularly the ones with a low level of language proficiency experienced positive changes in the ir future L2 self - image at the preparatory program of the school compared to their previous language learning experiences, thus, possibly suggesting that there might be discrepancies among levels of educational system in Turkey, which needs to be handled a s an implication in the future research as well.