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The Discursive Construction of Second Language Learners’ Motivation

Gu, Mingyue

The Discursive Construction of Second Language Learners’ Motivation

A Multi-level Perspective

Year of Publication: 2009

Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2009. 294 pp., 14 tables, 9 fig.
ISBN 978-3-0343-0063-6 pb.  (Softcover)

Weight: 0.440 kg, 0.970 lbs

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Book synopsis

This longitudinal qualitative study explores the motivation and identity development of students in a comprehensive university who are learning English as a second language (L2). It is set in the contemporary People’s Republic of China, where dramatic sociocultural, political and economical changes are taking place. Multiple research methods, including interviews, diary studies and recorded interactions, are employed. The author considers in her study both the impact of broader issues such as globalization and more local social development on language learners at tertiary-level in China, and the effects of discourse and community in constructing motivation. This study combines detailed linguistic analysis with sociocultural theory, together with the concept of communities of practice. In so doing, the author investigates the social, historical, linguistic and individualistic factors that combine dynamically over time to co-construct learners’ motivation. A critical discourse analysis approach to exploring language learner motivation presents an enhanced understanding of the relationship between motivation and interaction, providing a line of enquiry and manifold new insights.


Contents: Discourse of Globalization – Discourse of Christianity – Social Psychological Approaches to L2 Motivation – Cognitive Approaches to L2 Motivation – Situated Approaches to L2 Motivation – Poststructuralist Approaches to L2 Motivation – Identity – Agency and Structure – Critical Discourse Analytical Framework – Discursive Construction of Motivation in Engagement, Imagination and Alignment – Discursive Construction of Motivation in Interaction – Motivation and Personal Transformation – A Multi-level Model to L2 Motivation.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

The Author: Mingyue Gu is currently an assistant professor in the Research Centre into Language Education and Acquisition in Multilingual Societies (RCLEAMS) at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. She completed her doctorate studies in applied linguistics at the University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include language and identity, discourse theory and analysis, second language learning motivation, communities of practice in language education, and teacher education.