Fukuoka JALT:

Two Presentations on Learners' Stories

Date: Saturday, March 23rd, 2019 Time: 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Speaker: (1) Keita Kikuchi (Kanagawa University); (2) Neil McClelland (University of Kitakyushu)

Presentation 1: Listen to Learners' Stories: Focusing on Changes of Ideal Self, Ought-to Self, and L2 Learning Experience
Keita Kikuchi (Kanagawa University)

As noted by Dörnyei and Ryan (2015), much of the focus of recent motivation research is on the dynamic nature of motivation. However, while there are a handful of studies investigating large groups of learners, there have only been a few studies which tackle the complexity of language learning motivation longitudinally.

In this study, four Japanese university students majoring in International Studies participated in a four-year study which examines the changes in their motivation after they enter college. Using monthly interviews and a 35-item questionnaire which measures the key constructs of Dörnyei's L2 Self-System (Dörnyei, 2005), the trajectories of learner motivation were investigated based on both quantitative and qualitative data. After identifying changes in their motivation using quantitative data, changes of Ideal Self, Ought-to self, and L2 learning experience were analyzed using rich narratives collected through interviews conducted during the four years of the study. Using the data obtained, this study focuses on how four learners' language learning motivation and contexts interact with each other, and how the dynamics of the four learners' motivation evolves. The types of demotivators and motivators that each learner experienced in their particular contexts changed over time. The four learners encountered motivators and demotivators both in and outside of the classroom and reacted differently to them.

Dörnyei and Ushioda (2011), called for researching motivation in terms of language learners' reasons for studying, their lengths of sustained study, and their intensity of study. While participants in this study identified their Ideal L2 selves, or Ought-to L2 selves, their "self-guides" generated were not strengthened by their L2 experiences over time. Based on these findings, we discuss the importance of studying the experiences of language learners in motivation research longitudinally and the need for teachers to focus on why, how long, and how much learners study languages in their lives outside of their classrooms.

Presentation 2: Learners' Stories: Researching L2 Motivation using Retrospective Narratives
Neil McClelland (University of Kitakyushu)

This research focused presentation aims to introduce the basic theory and practice of narrative-based inquiry. Starting with Dan McAdams' five-level theory of personality (McAdams & Pals, 2006), the presenter will explain the rationale for, and usefulness of, self-explained narratives in individual differences research. This will be followed by an overview of approaches to narrative elicitation from various branches of applied psychology and consideration of how these may be adapted the specifics of L2 learning research. Finally, the presenter will show how he developed and used a narrative-based method to investigate L2 learning motivation through self-reports of individual language-learning-histories (LLH) in a group of undergraduate English majors in Japan. The presentation will conclude with an overview of the findings from the study and discussion of the implications for teachers.

Speaker Bio Statements:

Keita Kikuchi is a Professor at Kanagawa University. He holds an EdD from Temple University and an MA in ESL from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. His research interests include curriculum development and second language acquisition, especially individual differences.

Neil McClelland is an Associate Professor at the University of Kitakyushu. He is a long-term resident of Japan and a regular presenter at International Conferences. Research interests include language learning motivation and the implications of introducing English Medium Instruction (EMI) into school-based education in East Asian contexts.

Organization: Fukuoka Chapter of the Japan Association for Language Teaching (Fukuoka JALT)

Cost: JALT Members: free
Non-members: 1,000 yen

Venue: Tenjin, Fukuoka City: Kurume University Satellite Campus (ELGALA building, next to Daimaru, room 601-2 map

Location: Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan


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Contact Fukuoka JALT

Website: www.fukuokajalt.org

Trevor Holster
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