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Relationships between intercultural contact and L2 motivation for a group of undergraduate Saudi students during their first year in the UK

Al Qahtani, Ali Falah A. (2015) Relationships between intercultural contact and L2 motivation for a group of undergraduate Saudi students during their first year in the UK. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Using the L2 Motivational Self System (Dörnyei (2005), this mixed methods approach study aimed to investigate two key issues. First, to investigate the possible relationships between prior levels of ICC and self-reported motivation to learn English among newly arrived (during their first month of arrival) undergraduate (pre-foundation) Saudi students in the United Kingdom. Second, to explore whether the reported motivational profiles (high Ideal L2 Self and strong Ought to L2 Self) on arrival help to explain the behaviour of a sample of new arrivals (4 participants) during their first year of study in terms of recognising and responding to ICC opportunities and L2 learning. The study began with a quantitative phase, using an online survey distributed to 257 new Saudi pre-foundation students across the UK in October 2012 to investigate their prior ICC and reported motivation to learn English (n = 257: 36 females and 221 males). Correlation analysis of the data revealed a relationship between the new Saudi arrivals' ICC and aspects of their L2 motivation. Regression analysis revealed that one construct of the L2MSS in particular (the Ideal L2 Self) had the strongest association with ICC, which suggested that prior ICC might have promoted the participants’ Ideal L2 Self. Furthermore, regression analysis revealed that Language Learning Attitudes were better predictor of the reported L2 learning effort than Ideal L2 Self and Ought to L2 Self, which may have indicated that the positive attitudes of the participants towards the L2 learning environment was based on their realisation of the importance attached to English for their future. Finally, Ought to L2 Self was a stronger predictor of the reported L2 learning effort than Ideal L2 Self, which may have underscored the importance of the collective nature of Saudi society where family expectations serve as a powerful source of motivation. A qualitative phase followed the quantitative phase when four study participants (males) were selected based on their representation of distinct motivational profiles: strong Ideal L2 Self and strong Ought to L2 Self (two participants for each). These were to be interviewed three times (November 2012, February 2013, and May 2013). Their distinct motivational profiles did not help to explain the behaviour of the participants as they all showed similar ICC behaviour and similar L2 learning behaviour. Instead, the analysis of the qualitative data suggested that a number of social, cultural, and personal issues may have had a stronger impact on the behaviour of the new Saudi sojourners than their Ideal L2 Self or Ought to L2 Self. In conclusion, the study strongly suggests the significance of being involved in ICC (direct or indirect) to give Saudi L2 learners reasons to study English and create a vision of themselves as future L2 users, which is likely to help them to establish and maintain their L2 motivation. Given the collective nature of Saudi society, English teachers and parents play a crucial role in encouraging and supporting L2 learners in such a process. Finally, the study suggested a number of cultural, social and personal issues that stakeholders and policymakers in study abroad programmes and in international universities need to pay close attention to in order to understand and help visiting students to make the most of their stay abroad.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: L2 Motivation; L2 Motivational Self System; Ideal L2 Self; Ought to L2 Self; L2 Learning Experience; Language Learning Attitudes; Intercultural Contact; Sojourn; Sojourners.
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Education (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.647009
Depositing User: Ali Falah A. Al Qahtani
Date Deposited: 13 May 2015 08:14
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2020 09:53
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/8279

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