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New Perspectives on Older Language Learners

A Mixed Methods Study on the Temporal Self of Young-Old EFL-Learners in Germany

Miriam Neigert

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Miriam Neigert, New Perspectives on Older Language Learners (2019), Narr Francke Attempto, 72070 Tübingen, ISBN: 9783823393115

Getrackt seit 05/2018

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Beschreibung

Dr Miriam Neigert ist Inhaberin des Lehrstuhls für German Studies an der University of New England, Australien.

Beschreibung / Abstract

Young-old learners are an underresearched group in foreign/second language research. The present study aims to provide a more differentiated view of this group in the context of lifelong learning and, more specifically, learning English as a foreign language. The author draws from concepts in gerontology, psychology, adult education, and foreign/second language research to investigate the self-concept and motivations of young-old language learners at Volkshochschulen in Germany. In the context of this study, the term young-old language learner encompasses people who are 60 to 80 years of age, shortly before or already in retirement, engaged in lifelong learning. The author utilizes a mixed-methods approach integrating quantitative data (a survey) and qualitative data (interviews) to shed light on the temporal L2 self and L2-vision of the participating young-old language learners. The results of the study indicate common themes that are part of young-old learners self-concepts (such as resilience, defying the effects of ageing, and the social sphere of language learning). Furthermore, the results clarify how past and present L2 experiences positively and negatively impact the L2-vision of older language learners.

Beschreibung / Abstract

Young-old learners are an underresearched group in foreign/second language research. The present mixed-methods study aims to provide a more differentiated view of this group in the context of lifelong learning and, more specifically, learning English as a foreign language. The author draws from concepts in gerontology, psychology, adult education, and foreign/second language research to investigate the L2-self-concepts of young-old language learners at Volkshochschulen in Germany.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

  • BEGINN
  • Inhalt
  • Statement of Academic Conduct
  • Abstract
  • List of Abbreviations
  • Acknowledgements
  • 1.‍ ‍Introduction
  • 1.1‍ ‍The Elephant in the Classroom – Demographic Changes, Adult Education, and Language Learning
  • 1.2‍ ‍Chapter Outline
  • 2.‍ ‍Who are the Young-Old?
  • 2.1‍ ‍Towards a Definition of the Young-Old
  • 2.2‍ ‍The Young-Old Language Learner
  • 3.‍ ‍Self-Concept, Its Temporal Facets, and Foreign Language Learners
  • 3.1‍ ‍A Note on Self-Terminology
  • 3.2‍ ‍Self-Concept is…
  • 3.3‍ ‍The Temporal Self
  • 3.4‍ ‍Self-Concept in SLA Research: the L2 Motivational Self-System (L2MSS)
  • 3.5‍ ‍Research Questions
  • 4.‍ ‍Methodology, Research Design, and Research Context
  • 4.1‍ ‍Mixed Methods Research – Why?, What?, How?
  • 4.2‍ ‍Agree to Disagree? Inference Quality and Handling Divergence
  • 4.3‍ ‍Research Context: Adult Education Centres in Germany
  • 4.4‍ ‍Summary and Outlook
  • 5.‍ ‍Numbers: The Survey
  • 5.1‍ ‍From Theory to Instrument: Development of Questionnaire Items
  • 5.2‍ ‍The Questionnaire Design
  • 5.3‍ ‍Administration: Sampling and Ethics
  • 5.4‍ ‍Processing: Data Analysis
  • 5.5‍ ‍Summary and Outlook
  • 6.‍ ‍Words: The Interviews
  • 6.1‍ ‍Controlled Flexibility? Approaching a Semi-Structured Interview
  • 6.2‍ ‍The Participants: Sampling, Ethics, and Data Collection
  • 6.3‍ ‍QUAL Data Analysis: Principles and Procedures
  • 6.4‍ ‍Results of the Interview Study
  • 6.5‍ ‍Summary and Outlook
  • 7.‍ ‍Numbers and Words: Merging QUAN and QUAL Strands
  • 7.1‍ ‍QUAN-QUAL Integration of Micro-Level Results
  • 7.2‍ ‍Discussion in View of Research Questions
  • 8.‍ ‍Conclusion
  • 8.1‍ ‍So, What? – Implications for the Foreign Language Classroom
  • 8.2‍ ‍Beyond this Study: New Questions, Further Research
  • Works Cited
  • Appendix
  • Appendix A: Questionnaire
  • Appendix B: Letters to Heads of Language Departments
  • Appendix C: Letter to vhs Centre Language Instructors
  • Appendix D: Interview Questions
  • Appendix E: Informed Consent – Interviews
  • Appendix F: Sample Learning Biographies
  • Appendix G: Transcription Rules
  • Appendix H: Interview Summaries
  • Abbildungsverzeichnis
  • Tabellenverzeichnis

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