Examining the relationships among motivation, informal digital learning of English, and foreign language enjoyment: An explanatory mixed-method study

Guangxiang Leon LIU, Yue Ellen ZHANG, Rui ZHANG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This explanatory mixed-method study seeks to understand the relationships between second language (L2) motivation (including the ideal L2 self and the ought-to L2 self) and students' informal digital learning of English (IDLE) and whether such relationships are mediated by the most prominent positive emotion - enjoyment. A total of 391 Chinese university students participated in the survey, and 15 of them were interviewed later. Quantitative analysis revealed a strong positive relationship between the ideal L2 self and participants' IDLE, which was partially mediated by foreign language enjoyment (FLE), while the hypotheses that the ought-to L2 self significantly predicted FLE and IDLE were rejected. The qualitative data added details to how a vivid and elaborate L2 vision contributed to enhanced English learning enjoyment and served as the most influential motivator for IDLE practices. Meanwhile, the external and instrumental motives could not predict Chinese university students' enjoyment, disempowering them to invest in productive language learning practices in the informal and digitalized environment. The discussion of these findings and pedagogical implications helps to chart the path for utilizing the power of the ideal L2 self to engage Chinese university students with the extramural and digitalized language learning ecology. Copyright © 2023 The Author(s).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-88
JournalReCALL
Volume36
Issue number1
Early online dateNov 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024

Citation

Liu, G. L., Zhang, Y., & Zhang, R. (2024). Examining the relationships among motivation, informal digital learning of English, and foreign language enjoyment: An explanatory mixed-method study. ReCALL, 36(1), 72-88. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0958344023000204

Keywords

  • Informal digital learning of English
  • L2 motivation
  • Foreign language enjoyment
  • Chinese EFL learners

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