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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton August 28, 2015

What lies bubbling beneath the surface? A longitudinal perspective on fluctuations of ideal and Ought-to L2 self among Chinese learners of English

Yu Jiang and Jean-Marc Dewaele

Abstract

The study explores variation in L2 motivation (Ideal L2 self and Ought-to L2 self) of 88 Chinese English university learners in China over a one-year period. It examines change in L2 motivation and the evolving relationship with other measures at three data collection points. No significant changes were found in Ideal L2 self values but Ought-to L2 self values increased significantly between Time 1, 2 and 3. Regression analyses suggest that the significant increase in values of Ought-to L2 self is affected by different motivational factors at various times. We claim that perceptions of the dynamic variation can be obscured in conventional statistical analyses because of the graphical representation of mean values of groups at different times. The use of bubble graphs representing number of participants whose values increase, decrease or remain stable between data collection points, shatters the false impression of stability.

Acknowledgment

We would like to thank the reviewers for their excellent comments and feedback, and the participants for putting up with the multiple data collection and interviews.

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Published Online: 2015-8-28
Published in Print: 2015-9-1

©2015 by De Gruyter Mouton

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