Factors that Motivate High School Students' Decisions to Study Spanish

Comfort Pratt, Mary Agnello, Sheryl Santos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article reports on an investigation of high-school students' motivations to study Spanish. An on-line Likert-scale questionnaire was administered to 631 students and 19 teachers. The most influential factors were determined and a principal axis factor analysis with Promax rotation was performed on the responses. The data indicated that the strongest influence for starting to study Spanish was career benefits, and the strongest influence for continuing to study Spanish was grades. The factor analysis results revealed that integrative, instrinsic, and instrumental factors accounted for 70.89% of the total item variance for the decision to begin studying Spanish, and extrinsic and integrative accoutned for 55.7% of th total item variance for the decison to continue studying Spanish. Significant differences between the students' responses and their teachers' perceptions indicated that the teachers misunderstood the students' motives for studyiing Spanish.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)800-813
StatePublished - Dec 2009


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