Motivation in language learning

You would think that people living in places where English is not spoken, like Japan or Taiwan or Finland, for example, would not be motivated to learn. You would think that new immigrants to Canada would be very motivated to learn.

In fact that is not always the case. I have found very motivated people in foreign countries and some very unmotivated people among immigrants. Yet you would think it is the latter who really need to improve. So there is no rule. It all really depends on the individual.

I can imagine that in some countries, despite the pressure on people to learn English for their careers, in fact it can seem a rather futile thing to do if one does not have a chance to speak English. The ideal circumstance is a motivated learner in an ideal learning environment. Yet I am always impressed with how how well motivated learners can do even when they are living in an environment where the language is not used.

Any comments on this subject?

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