Second Language Learners and Their Self-confidence in Using English: A Social Constructive Perspective

| September 20, 2011
Title
Second Language Learners and Their Self-confidence in Using English: A Social Constructive Perspective

Keywords: Self-confidence; L2 learning; Identity; Investment; Sociocultural perspectives;
Lived experiences

Authors
Jianwei Xu
University of Antwerp, Belgium

Bio Data
Dr. Jianwei Xu holds a PhD in English language education from La Trobe University in Australia and is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Antwerp in Belgium. Her major research interests are identity issues in learning English as a second/foreign language and intercultural communication.

Abstract
This paper examines how self-confidence is socially and discursively constructed through the qualitative analyses of the lived experiences of two Chinese advanced learners/users of English in Australia with data obtained from in-depth interviews. Built on sociocultural views on L2 learning and Norton s (2000) conception of self-confidence as being socially constructed, the learners senses of confidence are shown to be strongly influenced by external factors such as power relations in specific contexts of interaction. Besides, they appear to be internally related to the learners previously established L2 identities shaped along the paths of investment in learning English in China. Through a micro-analyses at the sites of interaction and a description of the learners earlier language development, this paper sheds light on the dynamic process of confidence construction. It also provides useful insights into the nature of the complex relationships the learners have developed with English and the significance of the interwoven relations between language, investment and identity.
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See pages 246-271

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Category: Quarterly Journal, Volume 13 Issue 3