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Frontiers in Educational Research, 2021, 4(8); doi: 10.25236/FER.2021.040815.

Empowering Foreign Language Learners from the Perspective of Self-determination Theory


Xiaoping Mai, Tianzhu Liang

Corresponding Author:
Xiaoping Mai

School of Foreign Studies, Lingnan Normal University, Guangdong 524048, China


Creating classroom environments that are enjoyable to students and motivating their learning can be a challenging task for teachers. Self-determination theory holds that intrinsic motivation leads to students’ improvement of performance, engagement and well-being. How can language teachers ensure that their students develop a love of language and see it as a powerful tool for expression and change? From the perspective of self-determination theory, this paper puts forward corresponding strategies and suggestions on how to empower foreign language classes and stimulate students' intrinsic learning motivation, so as to meet students' basic psychological needs and improve students' learning efficiency and effect. Replicable activities and assessments are provided as well from the authors’ experience that empower students’ language learning.


Self-determination Theory, Empowerment, Intrinsic Motivation, Language Teaching

Cite This Paper

Xiaoping Mai, Tianzhu Liang. Empowering Foreign Language Learners from the Perspective of Self-determination Theory. Frontiers in Educational Research (2021) Vol. 4, Issue 8: 73-79. https://doi.org/10.25236/FER.2021.040815.


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