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Frontiers in Educational Research, 2021, 4(14); doi: 10.25236/FER.2021.041415.

The Role of Motivation in Second Language Acquisition --- A View from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs of Second Language Acquisition for Chinese ESL Learners


Chen Zhao

Corresponding Author:
Chen Zhao

Xi'an Jiaotong Liverpool University, Jiangsu, Suzhou, 215000, China


Motivation is considered a crucial factor in second language learning. This present study aimed to study Chinese ESL learners’ motivation through the lens of conceptual framework of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Adopting a mixed-method approach, this study gave questionnaire and observation of the Chinese students learning ESL in every lesson. The participants were 100 undergraduate students. The results were that Chinese ESL students are strongly lacking their self-esteem. And to achieve the self-esteem and self-actualization, it suggests that teachers need to provide the love and belonging in the classroom to reinforce positive learner behaviours. The findings also suggest that teachers should improve their own abilities to grow Chinese students’ L2 motivation. 


motivation, ESL, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, self-esteem, self-actualization, love and belonging

Cite This Paper

Chen Zhao. The Role of Motivation in Second Language Acquisition --- A View from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs of Second Language Acquisition for Chinese ESL Learners. Frontiers in Educational Research (2021) Vol. 4, Issue 14: 84-90. https://doi.org/10.25236/FER.2021.041415.


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