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Jane Kehrwald

Doctor of Philosophy, (Linguistics and Second Language Teaching)
Study Completed: 2014
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Towards An Understanding of Language Learner Development and Learners' Self-Concepts: An Exploratory Practice Approach

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Language learners are agentive individuals, with unique identities, personal goals, motives and feelings, all which are reflected in the complex system of social and contextual relations and experiences in which the learners are situated.  Ms Kehrwald’s study arose out of a classroom-based approach to language teaching and learning which focused on the development of learners’ self-awareness.  Ms Kehrwald used qualitative data collected from the learners’ visual representations of their language learning experiences, their goals and motivations and their beliefs about language learning.  Her findings suggest that learners’ self-concepts are multifaceted, dynamic and socially and contextually situated and are (re)constructed over time as learners’ interact with others and the environment, forming trajectories of self.  It is therefore important for language teachers to seek out opportunities for learners to participate more fully in the classroom by letting them and their identities, beliefs and emotional wellbeing become the focus of the classroom.

Professor Cynthia White
Dr Penny Shino
Dr Ute Walker

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