Identity, Motivation and Autonomy in Language Learning

Edited by: Garold Murray, Xuesong (Andy) Gao, Terry Lamb

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Multilingual Matters
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In this volume researchers from Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North and South America employ a variety of theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches in their exploration of the links between identity, motivation, and autonomy in language learning. On a conceptual level the authors explore issues related to agency, metacognition, imagination, beliefs, and self. The book also addresses practice in classroom, self-access, and distance education contexts, considering topics such as teachers' views on motivation, plurilingual learning, sustaining motivation in distance education, pop culture and gaming, study abroad, and the role of agency and identity in the motivation of pre-service teachers. The book concludes with a discussion of how an approach which sees identity, motivation, and autonomy as interrelated constructs has the potential to inform theory, practice and future research directions in the field of language teaching and learning.

Through the use of qualitative research methods, the authors explore the complex, contingent, and dynamic nature of motivation, identity, and autonomy-both for language learners and teachers-in many different parts of the world. Importantly, they also look for relationships among the three constructs. This is precisely the integrative approach that should be encouraged as we seek to understand the lived experience of individuals.

There is no doubt that identity, motivation and autonomy are closely related concepts, yet this link has typically been underrepresented in the literature. This rich collection of papers offers to redress this by examining how the language learner's agency, will and self interact in a wide range of cultures and contexts, and how they jointly shape learner behaviours and classroom practices. A particular strength of the anthology is that it offers a good balance of discussions of the latest theoretical approaches (such as complex dynamic systems theory and sociocultural approaches) and data-based investigations in which we can hear the voices of real learners in real classrooms. Readers will find that the issues are covered in impressive breadth and depth: there is something for everybody in this useful and insightful volume and I am convinced that nobody will leave it 'empty-handed'. Highly recommended.

A very informative and serious read.

Humanising Language Teaching Issue 3, June 2012

The book certainly takes an important step towards its stated aim of synergising findings regarding interactions between identity, motivation, and autonomy, and is recommended to anyone interested in the lived, holistic experiences of language learners and those involved with them.

JALT Journal, 35.2 • November 2013

Garold Murray is associate professor in the Language Education Centre, Okayama University, Japan. His research employs ethnography and narrative inquiry to explore autonomy, metacognition, and community in relation to classroom, out-of-class, and self-access language learning.

Xuesong (Andy) Gao is assistant professor at the Department of English, Hong Kong Institute of Education. His research interests include language learning strategy, learner narratives and teacher development.

Terry Lamb is based in the School of Education, University of Sheffield, England. He has published widely in the fields of learner and teacher autonomy, multilingualism, language policy, and teacher development.

Xuesong Gao and Terry Lamb: Exploring Links between Identity, Motivation and Autonomy

Section I: Emerging Theoretical Perspectives

Ema Ushioda: Motivating Learners to Speak as Themselves

Xuesong Gao and Lawrence Jun Zhang: Joining Forces for Synergy: Agency and Metacognition as Interrelated Theoretical Perspectives on Learner Autonomy

Liliane Assis Sade: Emerging Selves, Language Learning and Motivation through the Lens of Chaos

Vera Lúcia Menezes De Oliveira E Paiva: Identity, Motivation, and Autonomy in SLA from the Perspective of Complex Dynamical Systems

Section II: Independent Learning Settings

Garold Murray: Imagination, Metacognition, and the L2 Self in a Self-Access Learning Environment

E. Desirée Castillo Zaragoza: Identity, Motivation and Plurilingualism in SACs

Linda Murphy: 'Why am I Doing This?' Maintaining Motivation in Distance Language Learning

Hayo Reinders and Noemí Lázaro: Beliefs, Identity and Motivation in Implementing Autonomy: The Teacher's Perspective

Section III: Cultures and Contexts

Alice Chik and Stephan Breidbach: Identity, Motivation and Autonomy: A Tale of Two Cities

Stephen Ryan and Sarah Mercer: Natural Talent, Natural Acquisition and Abroad: Learner Attributions of Agency in Language Learning

Martin Lamb: Future Selves, Motivation And Autonomy In Long-Term EFL Learning Trajectories

Diane Malcolm: "Failing" to Achieve Autonomy in English for Medical Purposes

Neil Cowie and Keiko Sakui: Crucial but Neglected: EFL Teachers' Perspectives on Learner Motivation

Jing Huang: A Dynamic Account of Autonomy, Agency and Identity in TEFL Learning

Garold Murray: Identity, Motivation and Autonomy: Stretching our Boundaries

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