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Abdul Karim Bin Madasa
Ramiaida Bt Darmi
Hazleena Bt Baharun


Self-determination theory, motivation, amotivation, autonomous, controlled, ESL, HEIs, IDs.


The prominent role of the English language has led to the teaching of the language as a second language worldwide at tertiary level as a requirement to be assured of better prospects in a student’s life. English language teaching (ELT)has been a never-ending topic as it is seen as an uphill task for teachers due to the motivation factor in the acquisition of the language among the learners.Hence, one of the most valuable concepts used in relation to the success and failure in second language acquisition is motivation. It is apparently one of the most important constructs of individual differences (IDs).

As the theories on motivation are countless, this paper is limited to its focus on review of relevant literature and investigation on the broad self-determination theory (SDT) that embodies three different types of motivation: (i) autonomous regulation, (ii) controlled regulation, and (iii) amotivation, and its relationship with the acquisition of English as a second language (ESL). It is concluded that the SDT plays a vital role in second language acquisition (SLA) with particular reference to ESL; its implications could have a positive effect on the implementation ofELT in the higher education institutions (HEIs).This paper is mainly aimed at establishing the motivational factors related to the SDT and its important role in the teaching and learning of ESL in the HEIs.


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