The Role of Motivation and Attitude in Second Language Learning: A study of Arabic Language Learning among Foreign Female Nurses in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Bayan Ibrahim Al-Musnad


The present paper aims at studying the role of motivation and attitude in second language learning and investigates thoroughly foreign female nurses’ motivation and attitude toward Arabic in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The study focuses on the two important factors namely, motivation and attitude. The motivation factor is considered in terms of instrumental and integrative orientations. As for the attitude factor, the study investigates foreign nurses' orientation with reference to their attitude toward learning Arabic and toward native speakers of their host country. The sample of the study consisted of 109 foreign female nurses working in Dr. Sulaiman Al -Habib Hospital in Al-Takhassusi, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. A questionnaire based on Gardner's Attitude/Motivation Test Battery (AMTB) was used for data collection. The findings showed that the foreign nurses were moderately highly motivated in both instrumental and integrative orientation. The study also revealed that integrative orientation (social and cultural reasons) is higher compared to the instrumental orientation (utilitarian and academic reasons). Regarding the foreign nurses' attitude, the study demonstrated that the foreign nurses had comparatively positive attitudes to learning Arabic and a more or less neutral attitude toward Saudi people. The study concluded with some pedagogical recommendations that may help in directing the motivation and attitude of foreign workers in general and nurses in particular to learn the language of the host country. Further research was suggested to bridge the wide gap between foreign nurses' motivation and reflections in their behavior.


Second language learning, Motivation, Attitude, Arabic

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