Context and complexity: a longitudinal study of motivational dynamics among South Korean university students

Lyons, David J. (2016). Context and complexity: a longitudinal study of motivational dynamics among South Korean university students. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis reports on a longitudinal qualitative study of the L2 motivational systems of a group of South Korean university students. The study adopts a complex dynamics system approach to the collection and analysis of data, and develops an original three-level model of context to investigate the interaction of elements within the learners’ motivational systems and to track how these interactions led to perceptible changes in these systems over the course of the research.

The study highlights the complex, dynamic nature of L2 motivation and the necessity of including context as a key part of the L2 motivational system. It further calls into question traditional conceptions of autonomy in the field and the general applicability of some current concepts in L2 motivation. In addition, it emphasizes the importance of non-quantitative approaches in illuminating the motivational processes at work within individuals.

On the basis of these findings, the thesis calls for the general incorporation of complexity perspectives in L2 motivation research and for language pedagogy to incorporate the insights gained from such studies to enhance the classroom environments and learners’ investment in language learning.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, Department of English Language and Linguistics
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics


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