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IGNITING THE VISION: Guiding students to imagine the ideal L2 self Katie Butler & Virginia Scott Vanderbilt University ACTFL 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "IGNITING THE VISION: Guiding students to imagine the ideal L2 self Katie Butler & Virginia Scott Vanderbilt University ACTFL 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 IGNITING THE VISION: Guiding students to imagine the ideal L2 self Katie Butler & Virginia Scott Vanderbilt University ACTFL 2014

2 OVERVIEW OF THE PRESENTATION Virginia Scott:  Realities of the American FL classroom  Language teaching vs. language education  Hypothesis regarding motivation for classroom FL learners Katie Butler:  Brief history and current theories of L2 motivation  Classroom interventions  Preliminary findings ACTFL 2014

3 REALITIES …  Most students who start their study of a foreign language in high school or college do not continue beyond the second year.  Students often leave their FL studies feeling like deficient native speakers rather than proficient second language users.  Many of our students will not have opportunities to travel outside the U.S.  Students (and their parents) often question the value of FL study. ACTFL 2014

4 QUESTIONS … ? What might make FL study worthwhile to all students – not just the 10% who are successful? What can we do to motivate learners to continue their FL study beyond the first/second year? ACTFL 2014

5 TEACHING VS. EDUCATION LANGUAGE TEACHING … … to help students learn about a particular language & culture. … to develop L2 skills (speaking, reading, writing, listening) LANGUAGE EDUCATION … … goes beyond an exclusive focus on learning the target language and learning about the target culture. … places critical reflection about oneself, one’s own language and culture, and the target language and culture at the heart of foreign language education. ACTFL 2014

6 LANGUAGE EDUCATION … Students should be guided to explore questions such as …  In what ways are the languages you speak part of your identity?  What is the difference between your language and your nationality?  What is a “native speaker”? Are you a native speaker of a particular language?  Does your native language give you a sense of power? A sense of belonging to a group?  Have you ever felt like a “language outsider”? ACTFL 2014

7 LANGUAGE EDUCATION …  What languages are/are not “cool”? Why?  Name some languages spoken by people in power.  Name some spoken by marginalized people.  In what ways can learning a second language give you power?  BIG QUESTION: What does “L2 self” mean? ACTFL 2014

8 THE LANGUAGE LEARNER Dörnyei’s “tripartite system of the human mind … comprises cognition, affect, and motivation” (2010, p. 248).  Cognition understanding / awareness  Affect feelings (fear, joy, sadness)  Motivation desire / willingness to do something ACTFL 2014

9 THE LANGUAGE LEARNER AFFECT COGNITION MOTIVATION “… if the person we would like to become speaks an L2, the ideal L2 self is a powerful motivator to learn the L2 because of the desire to reduce the discrepancy between our actual and ideal selves.” (Dörnyei, 2010, p. 257) ACTFL 2014 Ideal L2 self

10 HYPOTHESIS If a learner is aware of the role that language plays in his/her life, and feels that knowing a second language can be an important part of his/her ideal self, s/he will be motivated to continue. ACTFL 2014

11 HISTORY OF MOTIVATION IN SLA 1.Social Psychological Period: macro-perspective 2.Cognitive-Situated Period: micro-perspective 3.Process-oriented Period: cause-and-effect ACTFL 2014

12 NEED FOR A NEW THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK “Another question is whether any SLA motivation construct that has been proposed and studies has been wrong? I would suggest that none of them have been wrong. They may have been incomplete; they may have been extended too broadly or narrowly; research on the construct may have been inadequate owing to limitations on current technology or statistical procedures. The constructs may have been limited because of the lack of a larger theoretical framework in which to place them” (Schumann, 2014, xvi). ACTFL 2014

13 SOCIO-DYNAMIC PERIOD  concerned with “the situated complexity of the L2 motivation process and its organic development in dynamic interaction with a multiplicity of internal, social and contextual factors”  attempts to “theorize L2 motivation in ways that take account of the broader complexities of language learning and use in the modern globalized world” (Dörnyei & Ushioda, 2011, p. 72).  One theory within this period: Complex Dynamic Systems Theory ACTFL 2014

14 SOCIO-DYNAMIC PERIOD  Framework for researching SLA: Complex Dynamic Systems Theory  Zoltán Dörnyei’s framework for researching L2 motivation: L2 Motivational Self System ACTFL 2014

15 L2 MOTIVATIONAL SELF SYSTEM 1.Ideal L2 Self “the L2-specific facet of one’s ‘ideal self’” 2.Ought-to Self “concerns the attributes that one believes one ought to possess to meet expectations and to avoid possible negative outcomes” 3.L2 Learning Experience “concerns situated, ‘executive’ motives related to the immediate learning environment and experience” (Dörnyei & Ushioda, 2009, p. 29) ACTFL 2014

16 L2 MOTIVATIONAL SELF SYSTEM  Based on Possible Selves Theory (Markus & Nurius, 1986) and Self-Discrepancy Theory (Higgins, 1987, 1996)  “Motivation to learn the language is enhanced because of the learner’s psychological desire to reduce the discrepancy between current and possible future selves” (Gergersen & MacIntyre, 2014, p. 261). ACTFL 2014

17 CLASSROOM INTERVENTIONS USING L2MSS  Creating the vision (construction of the Ideal L2 Self)  Strengthening the vision (imagery enhancement)  Substantiating the vision (making the Ideal L2 Self plausible)  Operationalizing the vision (developing an action plan)  Counterbalancing the vision (considering failure) ACTFL 2014

18 RATIONALE FOR L2 SELF INTERVENTION “Although research suggests that aptitude explains a relatively large portion of variability among learners, other IDs such as motivation, which are more susceptible to teacher intervention, may ultimately result in being much more robust explanatory variables in TL learning (Juffs & Harrington, 2011). In other words, a highly motivated, self-confident learner who may have a dispositional tendency toward low cognitive abilities still has a fighting chance to acquire high proficiency in a TL” (Gregersen and MacIntyre, 2014, p. 78). ACTFL 2014

19 CLASSROOM INTERVENTION 1 Describe your future, ideal L2 self. Reflection essay ACTFL 2014

20 CLASSROOM INTERVENTION 1 Recurring qualities of students’ ideal L2 self  travel  family history  family future  career  leisure activities  love with class discussion of these ideal L2 selves ACTFL 2014

21 CLASSROOM INTERVENTION 2 Problems with the Monolingual View of Bilingualism:  A person cannot become a native speaker of another language. A native speaker is born into the community in which the language is used.  Most people are incapable of achieving native-like speech (pronunciation, idiomatic oral proficiency, etc.) in a second language.  Finally, the native speaker is only an abstraction. (Cook & Singleton, 2013) ACTFL 2014

22 CLASSROOM INTERVENTION 3  Identify a positive L2 role model whose language learning trajectory you would like to emulate.  Identify a negative L2 role model whose language learning trajectory you would NOT like to emulate. Class discussion: What can we learn from these L2 users? ACTFL 2014







29 Junior and Senior year: Volunteer at medical clinic serving immigrants and refugees Sophomore year: Enroll in Medical French Course In 3 years: Start medical school In 3 years: Spend a year volunteering abroad at a Francophone medical clinic (alternate routes) Timeline to ideal L2 self CLASSROOM INTERVENTION 4 ACTFL 2014

30 SAMPLE TIMELINES Beyond the L2 of the course ACTFL 2014

31 RESEARCHING L2 MOTIVATION “Are students aware that motivation is dynamic? Is there light at the end of the tunnel? We’re not researching just for our purposes but also to help our students” (Ushioda, 2014, August). ACTFL 2014

32 RESEARCHING L2 MOTIVATION “Current quantitative methods of SLA inquiry are ill-equipped to investigate these more complex, process-oriented, and contextual perspectives, since such methods typically rely on superficial snapshot measures at an arbitrary point in time, seek to generalize on the basis of statistically representative patterns in the data, and are not sensitive to the particularities of evolving motivational experiences or individual- contextual interactions. Within the last decade or so, more qualitative methods of inquiry have gradually begun to complement the dominant quantitative paradigm, in an effort to address the dynamic and situated complexity of L2 motivation, and also mirroring a general trend in SLA research” (Ushioda and Dörnyei, 2013, pp ). ACTFL 2014

33 RESEARCHING L2 MOTIVATION InterventionData collected 1: Description of future L2 selfWritten response, class discussion with observation 2: Confronting learner beliefsWritten response to metaphor prompt, class discussion with observation 3: L2 role modelsWritten response, class discussion with observation 4: Timeline to ideal L2 selfWritten response, class discussion with observation ACTFL 2014 Pilot Study

34 FUTURE RESEARCH “… [T]here is increasing recognition that mixed methods approaches can help to capture more of the complexity of the issues under investigation … In particular, with current moves toward more socio-dynamic perspectives on motivation, the investigation of contextual factors and individual- contextual interactions is likely to entail triangulation of multiple forms of data from diverse points of view … in order to obtain a rich holistic analysis of motivation-in-context, rather than relying (as traditionally) on a single set of self-report measures…” (Ushioda and Dörnyei, 2013, p. 402). ACTFL 2014

35 REFERENCES Byram, M. (2012). Language Awareness and (Critical) Cultural Awareness: Relationships, Comparisons and Contrasts. Language Awareness 21(1-2): 5–13. Cohen, A.D. & Macaro, E. (Eds.) (2007). Language learner strategies: Thirty years of research and practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Cook, V. & Singleton, D. (Eds.) (2014). Key topics in second language acquisition. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters. Dörnyei, Z. (2005). The Psychology of the Language Learner. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Dörnyei, Z. (2010). The Relationship between Language Aptitude and Language Learning Motivation: Individual differences from a dynamic systems perspective’. In E. Macaro (Ed.), The Continuum Companion to Second Language Acquisition (pp ). London: Continuum Dörnyei, Z. & Ushioda, E. (Eds.) (2009). Motivation, language identity and the L2 self. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters. Dornyei, Z., & Ushioda, E. (2011). Teaching and researching motivation. London: Longman ACTFL 2014

36 Garrett, P. & C. James. (2000). Language Awareness. In M. Byram (Ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Language Teaching and Learning. London: Routledge, Gregersen, T. & MacIntyre, P.D. (Eds.) (2014). Capitalizing on language learners’ individuality: From premise to practice. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters. Hadfield, J., & Dörnyei, Z. (2014). From theory to practice: Motivation and the ideal language self. London, UK: Longman. Higgins, E.T. (1987). Self-discrepancy: A theory relating self and affect. Psychological review 94, Higgins, E.T. (1996). The ‘self-digest’: Self-knowledge serving self-regulatory functions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 71(6), Macaro, E. (2003). Teaching and learning a second language: A guide to recent research. London: Continuum International Publishing Group. ACTFL 2014

37 Markus, H.R. & Nurius, P. (1986). Possible selves: Personalized representations of goals. In L.A. Pervin (Ed.), Goal concepts in personality and social psychology (pp ). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Norton, B., & Toohey, K. (2002). Identity and language learning. In R. B. Kaplan (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of applied linguistics (pp ). New York, Oxford: Oxford UP. Scott, V.M. (2010). Double Talk: Deconstructing Monolingualism in Classroom Second Language Learning. Upper Saddle River, NY: Pearson. Scott, V.M., Dessein, E., Ledford, J. & Joseph-Gabriel, A. (2013). Language Awareness in the French Classroom. The French Review 86(6): Svalberg, A. M-L. (2007). Language Awareness and Language Learning. Language Teaching 40(4): 287– 308. Ushioda, E. (2014, August). Researching L2 motivation among persons-in-contexts: Approaches and challenges. Paper presented at the International Conference on Motivational Dynamics and Second Language Acquisition ACTFL 2014

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