How do virtual interactions with French speakers affect the motivation of young learners in a Scottish primary classroom?

James Innes, Alan Huang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This study seeks to provide an innovative way of implementing Scotland’s new 1+2 policy for language learning. While previous research has demonstrated the motivating capacity of computer-mediated communications with similar-aged first language (L1) speakers upon university and high school students, little research has involved primary-aged language learners as participants. In this quasi-experimental study, two classes of Primary 3 (P3) learners (6-8 year-olds) in the same Scottish school were exposed to the same French lessons, with one class exchanging video recordings and a videoconference call with a class (7-8 year-olds) in Paris. Pre-test and post-test questionnaire data were analysed with analysis of variance, while the video recordings and videoconference were coded thematically for language development over time. Grounded in sociocultural theory and motivation theories, this study proposes that the virtual interactions generated a moderate increase in learners’ intrinsic motivation, especially with regards to enjoyment, competence and autonomy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLanguage Learning in Anglophone Ccountries
Subtitle of host publicationChallenges, Practices, Ways Forward
EditorsUrsula Lanvers, Amy S. Thompson, Martin East
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9783030566548
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2021


  • language learning
  • motivation
  • sociocultural theory
  • digital technologies
  • primary education

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