Research Article

The Psychology of a Language Learner: The Out-turn of Self-motivation on a Learner’s Linguistic Self-competence


  • Nadine Nasef English Applied Linguistics Department, Cairo University


People always quote, “We are all the same.” Is this really the case? For us human beings, are we really the same with no slight difference? When we say “same”, it is about the way we communicate, our etiquette, our lifestyle, and our emotions as well. This quote is just flawed in a specific perspective, especially when we examine our way of learning language and how we get motivated and most importantly, motivate ourselves; we are the opposite of the same! For this purpose, it becomes a major essentiality to inspect or investigate the theoretical anatomy of “motivation” in second language acquisition and learning. This paper offers to throw light on the essence of motivation and mainly „self-motivation‟ as a catalyst to reach linguistic self- confidence and therefore self-competence in linguistic communication. This quantitative research scenario examined the contribution of Egyptian EFL learners‟ motivation, self- motivation, and linguistic self-confidence in their proficiency, as well as language-use anxiety to their willingness to communicate (WTC) level, along with a minor possible impact of age and gender on the learners‟ reported L2 WTC. 50 university students – 25 freshman students vs. 25 graduating senior students – were randomly selected to fill in a questionnaire for this study. Results indicated that L2 self-motivation and self-confidence made a remarkable contribution to the prediction of L2 WTC. Furthermore, it was found that the learners‟ age and gender did not make a statistical difference to their WTC, since the learners were freshmen vs. graduating seniors. The findings could contribute to the ongoing debates on the theory and practice of WTC and feed into further research that is germane to second language pedagogy and learners‟ self- motivation to be willing to communicate in their second language.

Article information


International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation

Volume (Issue)

3 (4)





How to Cite

Nasef, N. . (2020). The Psychology of a Language Learner: The Out-turn of Self-motivation on a Learner’s Linguistic Self-competence. International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation, 3(4), 33–38. Retrieved from



Language Acquisition, Language Learning, Willingness to Communicate, WTC, Motivation, Self-motivation, L2 Self-confidence, L2 Self-competence, Linguistic Motivation