Published, July 2017
The construction of writer identity in English L2 academic writing is not usually explicitly addressed in such writing classrooms, yet it plays a significant role for English L2 students learning to write in academic genres. This study investigates the influences on the construction of writer identity by Japanese university students in Japan learning English academic writing with consideration given to what selves they exhibit in their writing, and how much those selves were shaped by their learning experiences in a required writing course. A total of sixteen students and their four teachers participated in the yearlong study, involving an analysis of students’ written texts, supported by monthly student and teacher interviews and classroom observations. The text analysis was done using Clark and Ivanič’s (1997) possibilities of selfhood as the main framework, operationalizing Martin’s (2000) Appraisal framework for identifying the different selves. Findings showed that the strongest influences on identity construction were from instructors’ expectations, while personal beliefs also contributed. The findings also showed that students were more likely to meet writing task expectations where instructors had more reasonable requirements in terms of voice.
To cite this article: McKinley, J. (2017). Identity construction in learning English academic writing in a Japanese university. Journal of Asia TEFL, 14(2), 228-243.
Rose, H. & McKinley, J. (2017). Japan's English medium instruction initiatives and the globalization of higher education, accepted for publication in Higher Education.
This article analyses a recent initiative of Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) which aims to internationalize higher education in Japan. It then presents an analysis of publicly available documents regarding the policy, collected from all thirty-seven of the participant universities of the Top Global University Project. Findings indicate a positive departure from older policy trends, and the emergence of flexible, unique forms of English language education in Japan’s universities.
Doing Research in Applied Linguistics: Realities, dilemmas, and solutions provides insight and guidance for those undertaking research, and shows the reader, through honest portrayals of the often glossed-over problems experienced in applied linguistics research, how to deal with the challenges of this research involving real people in real settings. The volume features over twenty chapters by experienced and up-and-coming researchers from around the world.
On Monday, 22/08/2016, I gave a presentation at the biannual Psychology of Language Learning Conference in Jyväskylä, Finland (https://www.jyu.fi/en/congress/pll2016). 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.