UNIVERSITY STUDENTS' MOTIVATION IN STUDYING FOREIGN LANGUAGES AS A CONDITION OF PROFESSIONAL SELF-REALIZATION
The South African politician, president and philanthropist Nelson Mandela once said: "If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart" (). It is a widely held view that the knowledge of a foreign language plays an important role in young people's lives and their future career pathways. If an employee knows one or two foreign languages, then it increases his chances of being promoted and receiving a more attractive and lucrative job. Today in Russia there are a lot of opportunities to study different foreign languages (English, Spanish, French, German, Chinese, etc.). Private language schools and state universities provide multiple foreign language programs where young people can improve their second language skills and further apply them for specific business purposes. This research investigates the role of Russian university students' instrumental motivation in the foreign language acquisition as a part of their professional self-realization. Motivation or "a motive force" is a state of cognitive and emotional arousal, a state which leads to a conscious decision to act and gives rise to a period of sustained intellectual and/or physical effort (). Students with an instrumental motivation want to learn a foreign language for practical reasons such as passing exams, furthering their careers or getting social and economic reward through L2 learning. Special motivation questionnaires and surveys were designed and conducted to estimate the instrumental motivation level of Russian students in three higher education institutions: RUDN University, Moscow State Pedagogical University (Moscow); and Chelyabinsk State Pedagogical University (Chelyabinsk). University students' learning behaviors and learning outcomes were used as predictor and criterion variables in a series of quantitative and qualitative analyses. The findings introduce the correlation between university students' professional self-realization and their foreign language acquisition. The study also reinforces young individuals' instrumental motivation and attitudes in learning foreign languages for their business purposes in the modern world. Some recommendations are developed for foreign language teachers on how to manage the level of their students' motivation for better L2 acquisition results.