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Contexts of possibility in simultaneous language learning: using the L2 Motivational Self System to assess the impact of global English
University West, Department of Social and Behavioural Studies, Division for Educational Science and Languages.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7789-9032
2010 (English)In: Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, ISSN 0143-4632, E-ISSN 1747-7557, Vol. 31, no 2, 149-162 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Motivation in simultaneous L2 learning situations is an area of research largely overlooked and studies from contexts where people are engaged in learning more than one L2 are rare. In their large-scale Hungarian research, Dornyei, Csizer and Nemeth found that pupils' positive attitudes to one L2 could cause interferences with attitudes to others, with English being the greatest source of such interference. In this article it is suggested that, as an alternative to interference, Markus and Nurius' theory of the working self-concept may offer a theoretically more coherent explanation for between-language effects in situations of simultaneous learning. Using a specially designed instrument, three hypotheses were tested for a sample of Swedish pupils actively engaged in learning two L2s. First, it was hypothesised that learners would have separate L2 self-concepts as speakers of different L2s, secondly, that FL self-concepts would be interpreted negatively in relation to English self-concepts and, finally, that a high degree of FL-to-English negative self-concept referencing would be associated with low FL motivation. Whilst tentative support was found for all three hypotheses, with negative effects of English being most noticeable among boys, the results need to be followed up by further research employing more exacting methodologies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 31, no 2, 149-162 p.
Keyword [en]
L2 motivation, L2 Motivational Self System, simultaneous L2 learning, global English, possible selves, gender, foreign-language, attitudes, French
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
HUMANITIES, English
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-2457DOI: 10.1080/01434630903471439OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-2457DiVA: diva2:318111
Available from: 2010-05-06 Created: 2010-05-06 Last updated: 2016-01-19Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. L3 Motivation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>L3 Motivation
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this thesis was to study secondary school students' motivation to learn a second foreign language in addition to English. In addition to the empirical investigation of L3 motivation over a program of study and the testing of the widely-held assumption that L2 English impacts negatively on L3 motivation, the aim was also to contribute to the conceptual development of self-based motivation theory by examining the evolution and development of language-speaking/using selves, and by addressing the issue of interference between different self-guides.  In Studies I and II the L3 motivational trajectories of two samples of secondary school students (n=532, n=169) were mapped across grades 4 – 6 (Study I) and grades 6 – 9 (Study II), with a particular focus on differences in the trajectories of girls' and boys' ideal language-speaking/using selves. The results of Studies I and II revealed a pattern where initial gender differences, although remaining stable after a year of learning, thereafter follow different developmental paths. While boys' ideal L3 selves declined by the end of grade 9, girls' ideal L3 selves became stronger. Although a similar pattern was found for L2 English selves, the gender gap here was not as marked.  In Study III the hypothesis that, as a result of negative cross-referencing between ideal L2 and ideal L3 selves, L2 English would have a negative effect on L3 motivation was tested in a sample of 9th grade students (n= 101). Analysis of the data indicates that students are aware of the ideal L2 English self in L3 learning situations and support was found for the hypothesised negative effect on L3 motivation, with the impact being stronger among boys. In Study IV the hypothesised processes of negative cross-referencing were examined in a series of in-depth interviews with four participants selected using a maximum variation sampling strategy. Analysis of the data revealed that when cross-referencing takes place, some students seem to invoke counteracting resources. In the discussion of the findings it is suggested that, rather than interference, competition may provide a conceptually more coherent descriptor of the processes of cognition that take place in the working self-concept when more than one possible language self is active. The implications of the findings for theoretical development are discussed in relation to both qualitative applications of the L2 Motivational Self System (Dörnyei, 2005), and the proposed ID component in the Dynamic Model of Multilingualism (Herdina & Jessner, 2002). Finally, the educational implications of the findings are discussed and a series of proposals for classroom interventions are put forward

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborg: Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis, 2012. 255 p.
Series
Gothenburg Studies in Education, ISSN 0436-1121 ; 319
Keyword
L3 Motivation; foreign languages; L2 Motivational Self System
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
SOCIAL SCIENCE, Pedagogics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-4817 (URN)978-91-7346-719-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-03-16, 13:30 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-11-26 Created: 2012-11-23 Last updated: 2016-01-19Bibliographically approved

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