Such criticisms
of the early concept of motivation resulted in the emergence of various models
of L2 motivation ( for example Deci & Ryan, 1985; Gardner, 1985). This
phase of motivational research has been called by Dornyei (2005) as the
Cognitive-situated Period. The cognitive-situated period is characterized by a.
a desire to catch up with advances in motivational psychology ( how one thinks
about one’s abilities, possibilities, potentials, limitations, and past
performance, as well as various aspects of the tasks to achieve or goals to
attain is a crucial aspect of motivation) and b. a desire to narrow down the
macroperspective of L2 motivation to a more fine-tuned and situated analysisof
motivation as it operates in actual learning situations characterized by a
microperspective.The most influential and dominant  theories of this period is Self-determined
theory developed by Edward Deci and Richard Ryan (1985, 2002) This theory
focuses on various types of intrinsic and extrinsic motives. (as cited in
Dornyei, 2005) Within SDT framework, personal choice and relevanceare thought
to give rise to intrinsic motivation and more self-determined behaviours;
compliance and lack of personal relevance are associated with extrinsic
motivation and controlled behaviours. The theory offers several advantages to
the field of SLA in terms of predicting student successes or failures in acquiring
a new language. The SDT framework however, has met some criticism in
literature.( this short work does not allow to address all such criticism here)
The cognitive-situated approach emerging in the 1990s soon drew attention to
another, rather neglected, aspect of motivation: its dynamic character. As
Dornyei argues, (Dornyei, 2000b, 2001c), “when motivation is examined in its
relationship to specific learner behaviors and classroom processes, there is a
need to adopt a process-oriented approach.This period is characterized by an
interest in motivational change, initiated by the work of Dornyei, Ushioda, and
their colleagues in Europe. (Dornyei, 2005) Process can account for the daily
ups and downs of motivation to learn, that is, the ongoing changes of motivation
over time. Even during a single L2 class one can notice that language-learning
motivation shows a certain amount of changeability, and in the context of
learning a language for several months or years, or over a lifetime, motivation
is expected to go through rather diverse phases.

4.3.  L2
Motivational Self System ( Dornyei, 2005)

In his book The
Psychology of the Language Learner, Dornyei (2005) proposes a new, broad
construct of L2 learning called the L2 Motivational Self System. The L2
Motivational Self System represents a major reformation of previous
motivational thinking by its explicit utilisation of psychological theories of
the self. ( Dornyei and Ushioda, 2009) This construct is composed of three
dimensions: the ideal L2 self, the ought-to self, and the L2 learning
experience. The ideal L2 self refers to the vision of one’s own future self.
Ushioda’s (2001) study of Irish learners of French describes their visions of
travelling to France and speaking the French language with people they hope to
meet. ( as cited in Dornyei and Ushioda, 2009) 
This visioning of a future time can sustain motivation during difficult
times. Ushioda (2001) notes that even students who were not experiencing
success still felt motivated by the ideal L2 self. The ought-to self is focused
on duties and obligations imposed by external authorities, drawing upon various
types of extrinsic (Noels, 2001) and instrumental (Gardner & MacIntyre,
1991) motives. The third dimension, L2 learning experience, is actually the
motivational inspiration that one gets from his/her prior learning
experiences.The tendency for prior success to promote future success is a basic
tenet of motivation theory generally (Reeve, 2005) ( as cited in Maclyntyre,
Mackinnon, & Clement, 2009 – in Dornyei, & Ushioda, 2009)

The theory and
research of Dornyei’s model/approach advocates its utility. First,this approach
shifts the focus from the particular and fixed attributes of the target
language group to the changing personal attributes of the learner. Hence, this
approach seems to be educator/teacher-friendly since, it proposes to explore
new and feasible attributes of language learner to change their view of self.
Hence, the techniques for changing possible selves could be of practical value
to educators.(Crookes & Schmidt, 1991; but see Clement et al., 1994) (
cited in Maclntyre et al., 2009) Secondly, this approach is not confined with
some particular context but is applicable to any of the contexts across the
world. Possible selves focus on hopes, aspirations and fears of the L2 learners
instead of their integration into an existing L2 community. Thirdly, “The self,
like motivation, is multifaceted and constantly changing (Greenwald &
Pratkanis, 1984; Markus & Wurf, 1987) and the open-ended format typically
utilised in possible selves research (for an example, see Oyserman, 2004)
allows researchers to examine a wide variety of motivational and identity-based
qualities. Such an approach may best be seen as a complement to, rather than a
replacement for, the more domain specific analysis provided by the integrative
motive.” (cited in Maclntyre et al., 2009)

possible selves framework is also not without limitations. The use of a
possible selves approach brings diverse and inconsistent measurement methods.
“Typically, the research on possible selves takes a distinct qualitative bent,
often asking participants to spontaneously generate possible selves in
open-ended surveys (Carver & Sakina, 1994; Leondari et al., 1998; Norman
& Aron, 2003). As with much qualitative research, both the data collection
and analysis methods vary greatly from one study to the next.” Few well
established scales have been developed by different researchers such as
Oyserman &Markus, (1990); Maclntyre et al.,(2009) Another problem is
cearted by a number of different views/ self-related concepts present in
literature. There also are various culture-bound definitions of self that may
impact on the motivational properties of possible selves. Thus variations in
approach to possible selves are found in the works of Markus and Higgin. “The
variations in approach to possible selves shown in Higgins’s and Markus’s work
should be kept in mind as the concept of possible selves is studied in the
language learning domain.” (Maclntyre, et al., 2009)  On the other hand,the phenomenological
quality of the possible selves seems likely to change significantly over time.
It might also be possible for elements of the possible self vision to become
unrealistic or impossible as time goes by (Pizzolato, 2007).( cited in
Maclntyre et al., 2009, Chap: 3) As such researchers shave to be very careful
while dealing with this approach.