Motivational Selves of Japanese Heritage Speakers in Australia

In: Heritage Language Journal
Naomi Kurata Monash University

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Relying upon Dörnyei’s (2005, 2009) L2 Motivational Self System and Ushioda’s (2009) person-in-context relational view of emergent motivation, self, and identity, the present study investigates the nature and construction of Japanese heritage learners’ motivational selves in relation to their HL learning experiences. Based upon questionnaire data and focus group discussions in Australia, the analysis reveals that HL speakers’ motivational selves are not fixed, individual difference characteristics, but are more properly described as a process. This process emerges through the interaction between the self-reflective intentional agent and complex social structures, language expertise, experiences, and contexts in which the HL speaker participates. The impact of learning experiences on the formation of motivational selves is highlighted, as is the importance of the link between these selves and issues relating to personal identity. Globalism, imagined communities, and transnational identities are among the phenomena discussed.

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