This article reports on a longitudinal inquiry into mainland Chinese students' language learning experiences with a focus on their efforts to improve their English competence in a leading English medium University in Hong Kong. The inquiry problematizes an uncritical assumption of a shared pursuit of linguistic competence among different students in an English medium university. Using individual participants' narratives, the article illustrates how contextual complexities mediate their efforts to learn and use English. The findings suggest that successful language learning emerges from an interactive process of the participants' critical understanding of the context and their efforts in extending social networks, such as investing in social exchanges. These findings also raise questions as to how language learners can make such investments and whether or not they are willing to do so. Copyright © 2010 TESOL International Association.
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2010|