Educational research

Opinions and commentary on educational issues and concerns

Posts By: Janina Iwaniec

EuroSLA Conference

📥  Uncategorised

On 26/08/2016, I gave a presentation entitled "Parents and their role in language learning motivation". The abstract can be found below.

Language learning motivation is likely to be influenced by important individuals surrounding learners, such as their parents (Williams & Burden, 1997). Whereas the potential role of parents in motivating their offspring was identified early on by Gardner and Lambert (1972), there have been relatively few in-depth studies that focus on the role of parents in fostering their children motivation (Bartram, 2006; Kyriacou & Zhu, 2008), even though Bartram (2006) findings suggest that parental attitudes are not only language- but also context-specific.
This mixed-methods study investigates the role of parents in fostering language learning motivation of Polish language learners of English. 599 fifteen-year old students attending state schools completed a motivational questionnaire, in which they were asked to report their mothers’ and fathers’ level of education and level of English, and 20 learners participated in semi-structured interviews. MANOVA analyses of the questionnaire data revealed significant differences between students whose mothers and fathers had differing levels of education affecting scores on self-efficacy beliefs, English self-concept, ideal L2 self, instrumental orientation and self-regulation. The scores tended to increase with the level of mothers’ and fathers’ education. Similarly, there were significant differences on six motivational scales (self-efficacy beliefs, English self-concept, ideal L2 self, instrumental orientation, intrinsic motivation and self-regulation), when students were divided according to their mothers’ and fathers’ level of English. The scores increased in line with the level of parents’ English as reported by students. Further, the interview data revealed a number of ways, in which parents’ fostered their offspring’s language learning motivation, such as communicating positive attitudes towards studying English; parental encouragement to study English in the form of verbal comments and, to a lesser extent, rewards; actively helping children with their English studies; and stimulating the development of intrinsic motivation by creating positive language learning experiences.

More information about the conference can be found here:


Psychology of Language Learning

📥  Language and Educational Practices


On Monday, 22/08/2016, I gave a presentation at the biannual Psychology of Language Learning Conference in Jyväskylä, Finland ( The abstract of the talk can be found below.

Sources and relationships between self-constructs in foreign language learning in Poland
Recently, many studies have examined an important role of the ideal L2 self in language learning motivation (see Csizér & Magid, 2014; Dörnyei & Ushioda, 2009). Yet, less is known about the relationships between the ideal L2 self with current self-constructs, even though Ushioda and Dörnyei (2009) assert that it is the gap between the ideal L2 self and the current selves that is the source of motivational power of the ideal L2 self. Moreover, there have been few attempts to examine antecedents of self-related beliefs (for exceptions, see Mercer, 2011).
The aim of the current study is to examine the relationship between ideal L2 self, self-efficacy beliefs and the English self-concept and identify the sources of self-related beliefs. 236 Polish learners of English aged 15-16 completed a motivational questionnaire, and 20 participated in semi-structured interviews. The quantitative data was analysed in SPSS, whereas the interviews were transcribed and coded.
The results of regression analysis revealed that the ideal L2 self is more closely related to learners’ self-efficacy beliefs than to their English self-concept, although the latter was also found to significantly contribute to the ideal L2 self. The interviewees reported six antecedents of self-related beliefs. These were: mastery experiences, grades, peer comparison, teachers, comparison across different domains, and other sources. The results suggests that the English self-concept and self-efficacy beliefs are socially co-constructed. The two constructs are also a basis on which students draw when creating positive visions of oneself as successful language learners. This finding is in line with Dörnyei’s (2009, p.11) assertion that the ideal L2 self is a possible self that one day can become reality.