Edited by Laura Gurzynski-Weiss
[Language Learning & Language Teaching 53] 2020
► pp. 210–243
Chapter 9. The impact of learner perceptions of interlocutor individual differences on learner possible selves during a short-term experience abroad
A dynamic shift in second language (L2) research (de Bot, 2015a) has revealed L2 motivation and learner self-concept as temporally dynamic and multidimensional traits that continually emerge in interaction with context (Mercer, 2016; Ushioda, 2015). However, interlocutors have received scant attention under a Complex Dynamic Systems Theoretical framework.
To bridge this gap, this study explores the dynamic interaction between learner selves (Dörnyei, 2009) and interlocutor individual differences (IDs) over a two-week experience abroad. A case study approach focused on three L2 learners and one heritage speaker who completed a daily interaction log, Likert-scale questionnaires targeting daily, weekly, and monthly changes in self-concept, and journal reflections focused on daily interactions in Spanish. Interlocutors (e.g., host families, teachers, Ecuadorian university students) completed a questionnaire tapping several IDs (e.g., language background). Results revealed fluctuation in learner perceptions of self, which interacted with their perceptions of interlocutor IDs.