Motivation in tandem language learning

Robin Christopher Ryan
At a time when an increasing focus on multilingual and multicultural competencies is recognized globally, educational institutions are faced with the challenge of internationalizing their student bodies. It is no longer sufficient to limit language learning opportunities to the traditional grammar or oral-practice classroom, and shrinking budgets have demanded new ways to expose language-learners to their target language in an economical way. At the same time, the need to build intercultural
more » ... petencies and personal relationships between domestic and international students has necessitated new and creative solutions. One of these solutions is tandem learning, a language learning model that subverts the traditional teacher-student dynamic by having all participants play the role of both expert and learner. This study addresses the biographical makeup, motivations, perceptions of self-efficacy, and self-regulated learning strategies of participants in a university tandem language learning program. Participants, who meet weekly to learn each other's' languages, completed a pre- and post-survey assessing various aspects of their language learning beliefs and practices. A small number of participants also completed in-person interviews. The data gathered were analyzed through frequency analysis, descriptive statistics, and thematic coding. The theoretical frameworks used in this study were the socio-educational model, perceived self-efficacy, and self-regulated learning. Results showed that participants are, on average, younger and more international than the rest of the institution's student body. They are also more likely to be from an East Asian country than the average international student. Results also show that participants commonly join the program in order to improve their oral/aural proficiency as well as develop friendships with members of the target language community, but that they do not always practice effective goal-setting strategies or expend the effort necessary to realize their goals. At the end [...]
doi:10.14288/1.0166038 fatcat:nrbxmwmrwbcybghrcirpmqqthe