Seeking out challenges to develop L2 self-confidence

a language learner’s journey to proficiency

Emily Edwards, Peter Roger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

As one constituent of second language (L2) motivation, L2 self-confidence has been shown to be a significant predictor of language proficiency. More recently, L2 self-confidence has been studied as part of the willingness to communicate (WTC) construct. Less is known, however, about the processes by which learners develop self-confidence in their second language. This study explored the process of L2 self-confidence development in an advanced learner of English since his arrival in Australia. Two qualitative semi-structured interviews separated by a period of two years were conducted, using the WTC model and Clément and Kruidenier’s (1985) model of the self-evaluation of proficiency as a theoretical framework. Findings highlight the important role played by the individual’s perception of control in a range of communicative settings. Results also suggest that listening comprehension skills, together with an awareness of other carriers of meaning, are central to the development of linguistic self-confidence. For this learner, a cyclical interaction between L2 self-confidence, WTC, and L2 proficiency was evident. These findings have implications for language teachers and learners, providing important insights into the way that critical events and decisions in the participant’s learning journey may contribute to the development of self-confidence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalTESL-EJ
Volume18
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015

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