L2 Identity and Motivational Considerations in a Global Context

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Abstract

Objective: This paper sets out to examine language learner identity in a global context, by first analysing the dominant position of English in the world today and then in the light of this, revisiting the concepts which aim to describe how individuals are motivated to learn English.

Methodology: The paper is based on research findings as documented in numerous studies, for example Smit & Dafouz (2012) and Wächter & Maiworm (2014).

Findings: The findings emphasise the fact that the hegemony of English in the world today, where around 400 million people use English as a first language, shows no sign of diminishing. In fact, issues surrounding the consequences of globalisation make the place of English in the world ever more solidified, however the contexts and the purposes for which it used are changing.

Value added: By examining certain aspects of the powerful position of English today, this paper proposes the view that conceptions of specific motivational aspects of language learner identity are no longer as valid as they once were.

Recommendations: The paper recommends that a new theorizing of learner identity, with specific focus on L2 learner motivation, needs to be considered.

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