In your own backyard: legitimising local communities as a way to increase language learning motivation

Marta Tecedor, Diego Pascual y Cabo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This study examines the impact of two types of culture instruction on students’ motivation —a traditional curriculum that pivots on Spanish-speaking countries and a redesigned curriculum focused on US Hispanic communities. Drawing on Gardner’s (1985. Social psychology and second language learning: The role of attitudes and motivation. London: Edward Arnold) socio-educational model, a survey was developed to measure participants’ (N = 869) integrative and instrumental motivation as well as their attitudes towards US Spanish. Confirmatory factor analysis and a mixed model linear regression were used to explore differences among groups after the intervention period. Findings indicate (i) a negative effect of traditional culture instruction on integrativeness and instrumental orientation, (ii) a positive impact of the one-semester redesign treatment on integrativeness, and (iii) a positive impact of the two-semester redesign treatment on integrativeness, instrumental orientation, and attitude towards US Spanish. These results suggest that instruction aimed at embracing rather than ignoring US Spanish communities benefit students and that traditional models of teaching culture hinder motivation and learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-450
Number of pages18
JournalLanguage, Culture and Curriculum
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • Culture curriculum
  • L2 learners
  • Spanish language teaching
  • Spanish-speaking communities of the US
  • heritage learners
  • motivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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