Changing reasons as reasoning changes: A narrative interview on second language classroom motivation, telecollaboration, and the learning of foreign languages

Eduardo Negueruela-Azarola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

This narrative interview study of a Spanish learner documents and explains apparent contradictions in a student's story when reporting on why she continues to take Spanish even when she does not like it or perform well in foreign language courses. A dialectical approach to human activity based on sociocultural theory is used to make sense of her reasoning by proposing an alternative understanding of second language classroom motivation. It is proposed that the study of motivation in the second language classroom is the study of emotional significance. Three main qualities of second language classroom motivation are proposed: dynamic or changing, historical, and mediating. Second language classroom motivation as emotional significance is not connected to second language learning success but to personal reflection. This understanding is illustrated through a learner's reflection on a telecollaborative experience. This is a theoretical understanding that prioritises pedagogical practice. Critical reasoning tasks where learners question socially received motives for learning languages are recommended in institutional contexts where there is a language requirement. It is also concluded that computer-mediated communication grounded on collective classroom projects allows for the emergence of significant learning experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-201
Number of pages19
JournalLanguage Awareness
Volume20
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2011

Keywords

  • Motivation
  • Second language learning
  • Sociocultural theory
  • Telecollaboration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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