Self-constructs in language learning

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While many studies examined an important role of the ideal L2 self in language learning motivation (see Csizér & Magid, 2014; Dörnyei & Ushioda, 2009), its relationship with other self-constructs and sources of such self-constructs (Mercer, 2011) have not been extensively discussed. Thus, this mixed-methods study looks at the relationship between ideal L2 self and other self-constructs and the sources of self-constructs. 236 Polish learners of English aged 15-16 completed a motivational questionnaire, and 20 participated in semi-structured interviews, in which they discussed their ideal L2 self, English self-concept and related self-efficacy beliefs. They were also asked about sources of their English self-concept and self-efficacy beliefs. The quantitative data was analysed in SPSS, whereas the interviews were transcribed and coded.The results of regression analysis revealed that the ideal L2 self is more closely related to learners’ self-efficacy beliefs rather than their self-concept, although the latter was also found to significantly contribute to the ideal L2 self. Six antecedents of self-related beliefs were reported; namely mastery experiences, grades, peer comparison, teachers, comparison across different domains, and other sources. Further, the results of regression analysis suggest that self-efficacy beliefs and self-concept, which are socially co-constructed, are the basis on which students draw when creating positive visions of oneself as successful language learners. This finding is in line with Dörnyei’s (2009, p.11) assertion that the ideal L2 self is a possible self that one day can become reality.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2016
EventBAAL Language Learning and Teaching SIG: Crossing Boundaries: Language Learning and Teaching Inside and Outside the Classroom - Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK United Kingdom
Duration: 30 Jun 20161 Jul 2016


ConferenceBAAL Language Learning and Teaching SIG
Country/TerritoryUK United Kingdom
Internet address


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