Anagnorisis and narrative incorporation: How significant incidents affect language-learning behavior

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Julian Pigott

Abstract

This paper examines how fleeting experiences exert a disproportionately powerful effect on the language learning motivation and behavior of university students. A thematic analysis of interview data is used to show how significant incidents have two principal consequences. The first, anagnorisis, is an immediate, revelatory change in beliefs about language learning. The second, narrative incorporation, is a process through which the memory of the incident and/or its anagnorisis becomes a constituent of self-narratives. It is argued that the significant incident is best understood not as an external influence on motivation, but as a component of the learner’s worldview.

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Author Biography

Julian Pigott, Ryukoku University, Kyoto

Julian Pigott received his PhD in applied linguistics from the University of Warwick, UK in 2016. He lives and teaches in Kyoto, Japan. His theoretical interests include language learning motivation, educational philosophy and educational policy.

Contact details: Department of Global Studies, Ryukoku University, 67 Tsukamoto-cho, Fukakusa, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, Japan. 612-8577 (pigott@world.ryukoku.ac.jp)

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