Browsing by Subject "Vieraan kielen oppiminen"

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  • Raiskio, Johanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The aim of this study was to examine the L2 learner identity of upper secondary school 1st year students. The starting point of the study was to get an overall picture of how students describe themselves as L2 learners and what meanings they give to their experiences related to language learning. In addition, the factors that guide students' language learning were investigated. The material was collected as students' essays on the topic “I as a foreign language learner”. In total, there were 41 essays in the research material. The content was analyzed by means of a narrative approach. The theoretical background is both a sociocultural view of learning and an ecological concept of language learning, which focuses on learners' identities and motives. According to the research results, students were able to honestly and openly analyze the features related to their own language learner identity and also to identify their own learning strategies and the factors that affect their study and learning. Motivation and maintaining motivation became the most important factors influencing learning and studying, as also previous studies have shown. Motivation was especially influenced by the grades and received feedback, finding the language learning situations and opportunities meaningful and interesting, the support and help available in problem situations, and the experience of being considered as an individual even in a large group. Self-efficacy beliefs were also important factors in learning. Most students also had clear insights into how their own learning could be improved and made more effective, but these ideas were not used in their own work. There could be a wide range of problems in studying in several areas of language learning, and students ’ability to use the right kind of strategies seemed deficient. Through the essays, it became clear that a negative image of oneself as a learner is created very easily and same person’s L2 learner identity can vary greatly between different languages. The study found that many students need strong and ongoing support and assistance in building their own language learner identity so that, for example, a possible cycle of negativity could be broken early. Equally, those who are successful in their studies need encouragement and guidance. It is good for the teacher to be aware of the different language learner identities of the students and also to try to influence these identities constructively.