Title
Learner contribution to English language learning : Chinese research students' agency and their transitional experiences in Australia Learner contribution to English language learning : Chinese research students' agency and their transitional experiences in Australia
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Arts. Linguistics and Literature
Publication type
article
Publication
Canberra ,
Subject
Educational sciences
Source (journal)
Higher education research and development. - Canberra
Volume/pages
31(2012) :4 , p. 585-597
ISSN
0729-4360
ISI
000306742600011
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
This article examines the role of agency for the English language development of three Chinese research students with high English proficiency sojourning in Australia. The focus is on the various approaches the learners employed to strengthen their sense of confidence in their language use in Australia. The data were obtained through in-depth interviews and organized into case-study reports. The findings demonstrate that in transitioning into the Australian linguistic and cultural community, all the learners actively sought different English-mediated activities and experiences in order to build the confidence necessary for a successful transition. The differences in their choices of activities were intimately linked with what they historically saw and established as significant achievement goals in and through English. In maintaining that the students' agency was an extension of their fundamental desires and goals for learning, this article provides insights into how second-language (L2) learners gain participation in the target community and the salience of their historical learning goals for L2 use and overall L2 development.
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