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Understanding how the global spread of English affects motivation to learn languages in the 21st century


Research focus

  • What impact does the global spread of English have on (a) the motivational experiences of learners of English, and (b) people’s motivations to learn languages other than English?
  • What implications do these findings have for educational policy, classroom practice, and teacher education?


Qualitative explorations of language learners’ motivational experiences, aspirations and trajectories, and of language teachers’ perceptions and practices, in a variety of educational contexts.

Key findings

  • The dominant status of English as a global language is contributing to an instrumentalist motivational rationale for learning English.
  • The global spread of English is a significant influence in the motivational choices people make to learn (or not learn) other languages.

To find out more

Ushioda, E. (2017). The impact of global English on motivation to learn other languages: Towards an ideal multilingual self. Modern Language Journal, 101(3), 479–482.

Ushioda, E., & Dörnyei, Z. (2017). Beyond global English: Motivation to learn languages in a multicultural world: Introduction to the special issue. Modern Language Journal, 101(3), 451–454.