Imagination, Senses and Motivation: How are Sensory Styles, Imagery Capacity and Gender Related to Motivational Attributes of Iranian EFL Learners?

Document Type: Research Paper

Author

Department of English, Chalous Branch, Islamic Azad University, Chalous, Iran

10.22054/ilt.2020.48725.457

Abstract

Recent research on second language (L2) motivation emphasizes the significant role of personal vision and future-oriented self images on L2 learners’ motivation. This role is even more important in EFL contexts where learners have scarce access to authentic communicative situations. Therefore, EFL learners’ capacity to form vivid images can have an essential role in enhancing their motivation to learn. This article reports on a research study that investigated the potential links among Iranian EFL learners’ imagery capacity, sensory styles, gender and future L2 self-guides (ideal L2 self and ought-to L2 self). A total of 311 adult Iranian EFL learners responded to a self-report questionnaire. Several correlation, multiple regression and t-tests were performed to analyze the data. The results revealed a significant association between EFL learners’ imagery capacity and their future L2 self-guides. The findings show that higher ability at generating mental images is strongly related to improved future L2 self-guides and increased motivation. Also, the results demonstrate that both visual and auditory sensory styles are involved in forming imagery and vision, and are both positively associated with EFL learners’ capability for imagining their future L2 self-guides. However, the analyses failed to find any significant connection between kinesthetic style and imagery capacity or L2 self-guides. Additionally, it was shown that self-guides, sensory styles and imagery capacity are not affected by gender. The results indicate the multisensory nature of vision and imply the potential benefits of visualization and imagery training in the language classroom.

Keywords

Main Subjects