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Title: Gender differences and the development of L2 English learners' L2 motivational self system and international posture in China
Author: Jiang, Yu
Awarding Body: Birkbeck (University of London)
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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The study is based on Dörnyei's (2009a) L2 Motivational Self System and Yashima's (2009) International Posture (IP) with L2 English learners in China, and focuses on gender issues with regards to L2 motivation. A longitudinal research design with a mixed methods approach was used. The statistical analysis from the quantitative data of 240 participants (F = 178; M = 62) showed significant gender differences for ten motivational variables (criterion measures, ideal L2 self, ought-to L2 self, instrumentality A(promotion), instrumentality B (prevention), travel orientation, attitude to learning English, integrativeness, cultural interest and attitudes to the L2 community) within the L2 Motivational Self System and three variables within IP (intergroup approach avoidance tendency, interest in international news and having things to communicate to the world). Over a 12-month period, the repeated measure analysis revealed that female learners had more significant changes in motivational variables than male learners: eight variables for female learners (ought-to L2 Self, family influence, instrumentality A, instrumentality B, integrativeness, attitudes to the L2 community, fear of assimilation and English anxiety) and one variable for male learners (English anxiety). Both female and male learners had significant decrease in two IP variables: intergroup approach avoidance tendency and interest in international vocation/activities. The interactive relationships, over the 12-month period, between ideal L2 self and ought-to L2 self, and between ideal/ought-to L2 self and other motivational/IP variables were also different between female and male learners. Embedding the participants in their social values and L2 English learning contexts, we highlighted the influences of collectivism and social factors on the gender issues of the learners' L2 motivation. Within the L2 Motivational Self System, the social perception of gender bias in language learning and the dominant number of female L2 English learners positively affected female learners but negatively affected male learners' attitudes toward learning English. We argue that collectivistic social values enhanced female learners' ideal L2 self images and built a bond between the female learners' possible selves and their parents' hopes. Within IP, collective social values could prevent female learners from discussing contentious issues while the male learners' inherent interest in politics was also reflected in their L2 English learning.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available