Self-Views and Positive Psychology Constructs Among Second Language Learners in Japan, Taiwan, and the United States

The present study is the first to empirically test a hierarchical, positive-oriented model of the self and its relationship to second language (L2) achievement motivation, and compare it in three different cultural contexts of Japan, the United States, and Taiwan. Based on the L2 self-model (Lake, 2016), three levels of constructs were developed: Global Self (i.e., Flourishing, Curiosity, and Hope); Positive L2 domain self (i.e., interested-in-L2 self, harmonious passion for L2 learning, and mastery L2 goal orientation); and L2 Motivational Variables (i.e., reading, speaking and listening self-efficacy). A total of 667 students participated in this study, including 181 first-year college students in Japan, 159 high school students in Taiwan, and 327 community college students in the United States. All the participants were learning L2 in school. Results showed that the measures of positive global self, L2 domain self, and L2 motivational self all had a stronger relationship within their respective levels, and progressively weaker relationships as level of generality/specificity became more distal. Furthermore, the relationships among measures varied in the differing cultural contexts with the Japan-based student participants relatively lower on all measures. Implications for teacher educators in the L2 context have been discussed.

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