Ideal L2 self and university English learners: An interview study

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Chika Kojima Takahashi The University of Hawaii at Manoa

Although much research has focused on university students’ ideal second language (L2) selves (Dörnyei, 2005, 2009), many studies have employed a questionnaire method and have not captured the full range of participants’ ideal L2 selves. In order to gain a rich understanding of the development of ideal L2 selves, in this study six non-English major university students were interviewed. The results indicated that the interviewees’ ideal L2 selves varied in terms of their contents and specificity, and revealed some types of ideal L2 selves which were not included in many questionnaire studies. Although opportunities to communicate in English were not frequent among the interviewees, some had unique occasions in which they used English. These opportunities then had influences on the development of their ideal L2 selves. Finally, the study discusses the possible role of teachers as role models serving to help students develop their ideal L2 selves.

大学生の目標言語を駆使する理想的な自分像(ideal L2 self)についてはさまざまな研究 (Dörnyei, 2005, 2009) が行われてきたが、多くはアンケート調査であり、対象者のideal L2 self全体を捉えていたとは言い難い。本論では、6名の大学生(英語以外の専攻者)にインタビューを行い、ideal L2 selfを検証した。研究の結果からは、インタビュー対象者のideal L2 selfについて、その内容や具体性において幅があること、また、アンケート調査の多くには含まれていないideal L2 selfもあることが明らかになった。インタビュー対象者にとって、英語でコミュニケーションする機会はあまり多くなかったが、何人かは英語を使うユニークな機会があり、そのような機会が、ideal L2 selfを作り上げる際にも影響していた。最後に本論では、学生がideal L2 selfを作り上げる際に役立つような、ロールモデルとしての教師の役割を論ずる。