Multiple Perspectives on the Self in SLA

Sarah Mercer (University of Graz), Kimberly Noels (University of Alberta), Fernando D.Rubio (University of Huelva) & Florentina Taylor (University of York)

This symposium explored different ways of conceptualising the self in SLA. It will report on research conducted within different frameworks and discussed the theoretical debates as well as practical implications of the different perspectives on the self.

Taking a Complexity Perspective on the Self in SLA

Sarah Mercer (University of Graz)

In this talk, I will explore the potential and pitfalls of viewing the self as a complex dynamic system. I will begin by explaining my rationale for taking this perspective and will consider the challenges it poses for researchers. I will conclude by reflecting on possible directions for self research.

My Roots, My Language: Self, Identity and Heritage Languages

Kimberly Noels (University of Alberta)

This talk considers the role of the self in heritage language development for learners with various degrees of ancestral relatedness. Despite differences in language competence between groups of learners, there are some similar patterns in identity across some groups. The implications of these findings for heritage language curricula are discussed.

Self-esteem and self-concept: From theory to classroom applications

Fernando D. Rubio (University of Huelva)

This talk will update research findings and classroom applications of self-esteem and self-concept in foreign language learning. First, definitional issues and other conceptual distinctions will be clarified, as the difference between self-esteem and self-concept. Then, the process of self-concept formation will be exposed. Finally, implications for classroom practice will be added.

Researching the L2 Self: Why, So What, Now What?

Florentina Taylor (University of York)

Although learner-centred teaching has been shown to enhance achievement, L2 self/ identity research has not typically aimed for such practical goals. I use Anderson’s (1998) typology to classify previous research on the L2 self and argue that more rigorous studies linking self-perceptions to achievement are needed.