Ricardo Amorati PhD completion Seminar

You are warmly welcomed to join Riccardo Amorati for his PhD completion seminar.

Title: A comparative study on the motivations and desired L2 identities of learners of English, Italian and German studies


This talk presents key findings from a mixed-method study which compared the motivations and identity aspirations of students of English studies in Italy and in Germany and of students of Italian and German studies in Australia, with the aim of advancing scholarship on these neglected categories of language learners and offering the first analysis of how their motivations and identities compare. Drawing upon mainstream perspectives on L2 motivation as related to processes of identity creation and development (Dörnyei, 2005, 2009; Ushioda, 2009; Yashima, 2002, 2009), traditional motivational variables (eg integrative and instrumental orientations, Gardner, 1985; intrinsic and extrinsic motivations, Noels, 2001) and poststructuralist research on language learning and identity as linked to investment, imagined communities and capital (Kanno & Norton, 2003; Norton, 2013), motivation was conceptualised in the study as a multifaceted and dynamic construct which emerges and develops through the interaction between the learners and the multiple contexts which they inhabit.

The results show that learners' motivations and desired identities reflect their L2-study-related profiles, their existing linguistic capital and the status that each L2 holds on a global scale and in the local learning contexts: the communicative range and the perceived utilitarian value of each language, students' existing levels of L2 proficiency, heritage and community reasons, varying degrees of societal support and socio-economic factors can account for differences in the findings between sample groups. Despite these differences, however, learners in all samples were found to be invested in the creation and negotiation of new identities as travel-oriented, globally positioned, open-minded and cultivated individuals, irrespective of their chosen L2.

Date: Friday 16 August
Time: 11am
Location: Room G03 (Lower Theatre) Babel (Building 139)