Learner choice and accommodation: Exploring comments in Chinese EFL learning diaries

Desmond ALLISON, Jing Peter HUANG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review


Our paper identifies three senses of accommodation—cognitive, critical, and communicative— that we see as relevant to pedagogical and scholarly efforts to understand the learning and teaching of second/foreign languages in classroom settings, including constraints that learners encounter and choices that learners make. We focus on an interesting three-way contrast between discourses that represent accommodation as a difficult and challenging aspect of learning, as a facile and complicit acceptance of existing values and practices, or as an extension of communicative repertoire when dealing with different interlocutors and audiences. We go on to situate these reflections against a close exploration of comments by a group of language learners, in which we trace and analyse dominant themes and evoked experiences of learners of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in a Chinese university. Data for the study comprise 275 entries drawn from a set of 65 EFL learning diaries. Focusing upon some of the main concerns and aspirations expressed in their writing, our commentary on selected entries identifies and discursively explores choices that these learners report themselves as making within their learning situation, and suggests the value of a multifaceted account of accommodation in language learning.

本文區分順化(accommodation)的認知、批判和交際三種意義。對這三種意義的探討有助於理解二語/外語課堂的教與學,包括學習者遇到的困難、障礙和學習者做出的選擇。研究的第一手資料是65位高校英語專業學生的275篇英語學習日記。通過對學生的話語進行內容分析(content analysis),我們探討學生在特定學習環境下所做出的學習選擇,從而建議應該對語言學習中的順化現象進行更全面的描述。 Copyright © 2010 Beijing Foreign Studies University.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-92
JournalChinese Journal of Applied Linguistics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


Allison, D., & Huang, J. (2010). Learner choice and accommodation: Exploring comments in Chinese EFL learning diaries. Chinese Journal of Applied Linguistics, 33(3), 76-92.


  • Accommodation
  • Learner choice
  • Foreign language learning
  • Diary studies
  • Alt. title: 選擇與順化:中國學生英語學習日記研究
  • 順化
  • 學習者選擇
  • 外語學習
  • 日記研究


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