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  • 1.
    Henry, Alastair
    University West, Department of Social and Behavioural Studies, Division for Educational Science and Languages.
    L2 Motivation and Multilingual Identities2017In: The Modern language journal, ISSN 0026-7902, E-ISSN 1540-4781, Vol. 101, no 3, p. 548-565Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    By tradition, L2 motivation research has a monolingual bias – the motivational systems of a learner’s different languages conceptualized as separate entities rather than as cognitively interconnected. At a time when multilingualism has become a new world order (Douglas Fir Group, ) and where there is evidence of powerful identity experiences connected to speaking several languages (Pavlenko, ) this is unfortunate. In alignment with the multilingual and dynamic turns in SLA (de Bot, ; May, ), and adopting a complexity thought modeling approach (Larsen–Freeman & Cameron, ), this article explores multilingual learners’ L2 motivation. It is suggested that the motivational systems of a multilingual learner’s different languages can be understood as constituting a higher-level multilingual motivational self system that is part of an ecology of interconnected and interpenetrating systems. This system contains multilingual self guides, one of which is the ideal multilingual self. Drawing on construal-level theory (Trope & Liberman, ), the manner and effects of mental representations of an ideal multilingual self are assessed. Finally, it is suggested that motivation deriving from a broader identity that encompasses but, in important ways, transcends a multilingual person’s language-specific identities has a central role to play in multilingual education.

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  • 2.
    Henry, Alastair
    University West, Department of Social and Behavioural Studies, Division for Educational Science and Languages. Lund University, Center for Languages and Literature, Lund (SWE).
    Multilingualism and persistence in multiple language learning2023In: The Modern language journal, ISSN 0026-7902, E-ISSN 1540-4781, Vol. 107, no 1, p. 183-201Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    For language learners who aspire to become multilingual, commitment involves a personal journey. Defining persistence as a preoccupation with goal-focused action directed to a desired future state and drawing on research from cognitive psychology and the mental time travel paradigm, this article presents an identity-based framework of persistence in multiple language learning. In the framework, persistence is supported through the operation of 3 interconnecting processes: (a) the generation of personally meaningful goals aimed at becoming multilingual, (b) the conjuring of mental images that represent states, events, and values associated with being multilingual, and (c) the integration of representations of multilingualism within an unfolding personal history. To illustrate these processes, data from online sources and research literature exploring language learners’ narrative biographies is used. The relevance of the framework is critically assessed in relation to (a) the development of interventions supporting motivation for foreign language learning, (b) the exploration of motivational processes through narrative-based inquiry, and (c) the varying linguistic, social, and societal contexts in which multiple language learning takes place. © 2023 The Authors. The Modern Language Journal published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of National Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations, Inc.

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  • 3.
    Henry, Alastair
    et al.
    University West, Department of Social and Behavioural Studies, Division for Educational Science and Languages.
    Davydenko, Sofia
    University West, Department of Social and Behavioural Studies, Division for Educational Science and Languages.
    Thriving? Or Surviving?: An Approach-Avoidance Perspective on Adult Language Learners' Motivation2020In: The Modern language journal, ISSN 0026-7902, E-ISSN 1540-4781, Vol. 104, no 2, p. 363-380Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Learning a language is a long-term undertaking. In this endeavor, motivation is served by patterns of regulation that steer and control behavior. Regulation can be focused on possibilities and opportunities (an approach pattern), or the implications of failure (an avoidance pattern). Responding to calls for work with a focus on regulation (Papi et al., 2019), and with the aim of developing insights into second-language perseverance, this study explores the regulation profiles of highly motivated adult learners of Swedish. Using the directed motivational currents construct as a template, analyses of interview data from 18 participants revealed distinct patterns of approach- and avoidance-focused regulation. While approach orientations were associated with enjoyment and well-being, avoidance orientations were associated with worry and stress. The effects of regulatory orientations on motivational sustainability are discussed, and implications for theory and practice are considered. © National Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations

  • 4.
    Henry, Alastair
    et al.
    University West, Department of Social and Behavioural Studies, Division for Educational Science and Languages.
    Davydenko, Sofia
    University West, Department of Social and Behavioural Studies, Division for Educational Science and Languages.
    Dörnyei, Zoltán
    University of Nottingham, School of English, University Park, Nottingham, United Kingdom.
    The Anatomy of Directed Motivational Currents: Exploring Intense and Enduring Periods of L2 Motivation2015In: The Modern language journal, ISSN 0026-7902, E-ISSN 1540-4781, Vol. 99, no 2, p. 329-345Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In a series of articles Dörnyei and his colleagues (Dörnyei, Ibrahim, & Muir, 2015; Dörnyei, Muir, & Ibrahim, 2014; Muir & Dörnyei, 2013) describe the phenomenon of a period of intense and enduring motivation in pursuit of a highly desired personal goal or vision. These surges of motivational energy, which they call Directed Motivational Currents (DMCs), uniquely differ from other types of highly motivated behaviour or optimal forms of engagement that are to be found in the literature in the sense that individual learning activities form integrated parts of a coherent motivational superstructure. The current article offers the first systematic empirical investigation of this motivational phenomenon. Focusing on periods of unusually intense and enduring motivation experienced by migrant learners of Swedish as a second language, the purpose of this interview-based study is to consider whether core characteristics of DMCs can be identified in participants’ descriptions of sustained motivated behaviour, thereby considering the validity of the DMC construct. Results reveal that motivated behaviour is characterised by features similar to those outlined by Dörnyei and colleagues, namely the presence of a salient facilitative structure, the generation of positive emotionality, and the direction of motivated behaviour toward long-term identity investment goals. This indicates that the DMC construct captures a unique form of motivation worthy of future investigation.

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  • 5.
    Henry, Alastair
    et al.
    University West, Department of Social and Behavioural Studies, Division for Educational Science and Languages.
    Thorsen, Cecilia
    University West, Department of Social and Behavioural Studies, Division for Educational Science and Languages.
    Teacher-Student Relationships and L2 Motivation2018In: The Modern language journal, ISSN 0026-7902, E-ISSN 1540-4781, Vol. 102, no 1, p. 218-241Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Positive relationships with teachers are important for students’ second language motivation. However, little is known about how interpersonal interactions stimulate motivated behavior. Drawing on studies of teacher-student relationships, theories from positive psychology, and the psychology of unconscious self-regulation, this case study examines moments of teacher-student interaction and explores influences on students’ engagement and motivation. Observations (N = 15) were carried out in 2 classrooms, and interviews with the focal teacher of this study and her students were conducted. Data were analyzed using a grounded theory ethnography approach. Findings indicate that moments of close personal contact and their influences may differ in emerging and mature teacher-student relationships. While in emerging relationships moments of contact can have immediate influences on engagement and motivation, in mature relationships influences on learning behavior may be less pronounced and involve unconscious motivational processes. The study’s methodological limitations are discussed and proposals are made for future ethnographic and experimental work.

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