Fulbright scholar explores motivation
Andreas Schwab, a Fulbright scholarship student from Austria, is conducting a survey for his research on the motivation for students to learn a foreign language.
Schwab, a graduate student from the University of Innsbruck in Innsbruck, Austria, is attempting to determine how and why students at multiple colleges are successful at learning foreign languages.
“As a teacher of languages, you need to tackle this issue,” Schwab said. “You can tell them all sorts of reasons why they should learn it, but they have to have some kind of intrinsic motivation if they are going to learn.”
Schwab said he has received support from professors and administrators in the modern languages department. As of May 18, 115 students had responded to survey requests sent out by Schwab and Jeff Mackay, associate dean of students and director of Residence Life.
The survey is intended to gain feedback from students who speak English as their first language and are studying or have previously studied another language.
One of the questions Schwab hopes to answer is how language use outside of the classroom helps the students.
“You have language clubs, foreign language tables and foreign exchange students,” Schwab said. “This isn’t like my college, where you need to hunt down the few native speakers of the language you are studying.”
Schwab works as an adjunct in Linfield’s modern languages department.
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