Constructing L3 selves: A study of undergraduate learners' motivation to learn a third language in China

Tianyi Wang, Apollo-University Of Cambridge Repository, Apollo-University Of Cambridge Repository, Linda Fisher
This study conceptualises Chinese language-major undergraduates' motivation to learn a third language (L3) from a self perspective. Two overarching aims were adopted to guide the research: how learners' L3 motivation was formulated and reformulated over the course of one year of learning an L3 and whether classroom intervention could help learners to construct their L3 motivation. This research adopted a longitudinal case study design and was situated in a state university in China. Students
more » ... had chosen to learn an L3 as their major and English majors who were required to learn an L3 participated in the research. To achieve the two principal research aims, the data collection process was divided into two phases. The goal of the first phase was to explore the development of my participants' L3 motivation without any intervention. Qualitative research methods were employed during this phase and data were gathered from open questionnaires, interviews, class observation and written journals. In the second phase, an intervention was carried out to explore how to construct my participants' ideal L3 selves. A quasi-experimental design was employed and mixed methods were adopted. Analysis was primarily guided by the L2 Motivational Self System and was carried out at both at class level and individual level. At a class level, findings suggest that both L3 majors' and English majors' L3 motivation was mainly constituted on the basis of their ideal L3 selves, ought-to L3 selves and L3 learning experiences, which were constantly constructed and reconstructed over the course of learning. Notably, learners' motivational trajectories did not display a homogenous pattern at the group level. In total, six different motivational patterns were identified, three from English majors and three from L3 majors. It was also interesting to identify that a few learners developed a type of multilingually oriented motivation during their L3 learning. Data collected at the second phase of fieldwork revealed that the intervention was effect [...]
doi:10.17863/cam.32476 fatcat:p2kwzqk5bzft7bmq54c4gfvzsy