Reframing the L2 learning experience as narrative reconstructions of classroom learning

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Phil Hiver
Gabriel Obando
Yuan Sang
Somayeh Tahmouresi
Ashlee Zhou
Yang Zhou

Abstract

In this study we investigate the situated and dynamic nature of the L2 learning experience through a newly-purposed instrument called the Language Learning Story Interview, adapted from McAdams’ life story interview (2007). Using critical case sampling, data were collected from an equal number of learners of various L2s (e.g., Arabic, English, Mandarin, Spanish) and analyzed using qualitative comparative analysis (Rihoux & Ragin, 2009). Through our data analysis, we demonstrate how language learners construct overarching narratives of the L2 learning experience and what the characteristic features and components that make up these narratives are. Our results provide evidence for prototypical nuclear scenes (McAdams et al., 2004) as well as core specifications and parameters of learners’ narrative accounts of the L2 learning experience. We discuss how these shape motivation and language learning behavior.

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Author Biographies

Phil Hiver, Florida State University, Tallahassee

Phil Hiver holds a PhD from the University of Nottingham. He is Assistant Professor of Foreign and Second Language Education at Florida State University, USA. His published research focuses on psycho-social factors in instructed language learning and language teaching, and on the contribution of complexity theory to second language development and second language research methods.

Contact details: G128 Stone Building, College of Education, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, 32306, USA (phiver@fsu.edu)

Gabriel Obando, Florida State University, Tallahassee

Gabriel Obando is Associate Professor at the Linguistics and Languages Department at Universidad de Nariño, Colombia. He is pursuing a PhD in foreign and second language education at Florida State University, USA. His research interests include TBLT from a complexity theory perspective, student wellbeing and learning experiences.

Contact details: G128 Stone Building, College of Education, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, 32306, USA (gvo16b@my.fsu.edu)

Yuan Sang, Florida State University, Tallahassee

Yuan Sang is a doctoral student of foreign and second language education at Florida State University, USA. His research interests are on the language socialization of Chinese students learning English as an L2 and on the contribution of language socialization to L2 instruction and English teacher education.

Contact details: G128 Stone Building, College of Education, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, 32306, USA (ys13f@my.fsu.edu)

Somayeh Tahmouresi, Florida State University, Tallahassee

Somayeh Tahmouresi is a doctoral student in foreign and second language education at Florida State University, USA. Her areas of research interest include instructed SLA, individual differences such as L2 motivation and L2 writing.

Contact details: G128 Stone Building, College of Education, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, 32306, USA (st17@my.fsu.edu)

Ashlee Zhou, Florida State University, Tallahassee

Ashlee Zhou is a doctoral student in foreign and second language education at Florida State University, USA. Her research focuses on individual differences in second language learning and teaching specifically on topics such as self-regulation, engagement, and language learning strategies.

Contact details: G128 Stone Building, College of Education, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, 32306, USA (sz16h@my.fsu.edu)

Yang Zhou, Florida State University, Tallahassee

Yang Zhou is a doctoral student in foreign and second language education at Florida State University, USA. His research focuses on the role of motivation and personality on different aspects of second language learning, particularly on ESL learners’ pronunciation learning performance and strategies.

Contact details: G128 Stone Building, College of Education, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, 32306, USA (yz17c@my.fsu.edu)

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