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ERIC Number: EJ1152460
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0026-7902
The Impact of Global English on Motivation to Learn Other Languages: Toward an Ideal Multilingual Self
Ushioda, Ema
Modern Language Journal, v101 n3 p469-482 Fall 2017
In 2006, Graddol predicted that numbers of "English as a foreign language" learners would begin to decline through the second decade of this century, as global English achieves basic skill status for children entering education in more societies across the world. As he further noted, having skills in additional languages may thus offer a competitive edge in a global job market where English skills have become commonplace, and where monolingual and even bilingual English speakers may lose out to multilingual competitors. As yet, however, the extent to which the spread of global English may motivate individuals to diversify their language skills beyond English seems limited. Rather, both empirical evidence and commonly held perceptions would seem to endorse the view that global English tends to impact negatively on motivation to learn other languages, despite the growing linguistic and cultural diversity of today's societies. This article critically analyses this impact on motivation from two perspectives. First, from a macro-sociological perspective, it explores the tensions among language globalization, multiculturalism, and multilingualism in today's changing social world and examines the mixed messages communicated for language education in general and for language learners in particular. In so doing, it considers the socially distributed nature of motivation at the level of societal multilingualism and educational policy and practice, and the impact of the social on the individual. Second, from a theoretical perspective, the article considers whether the impact of global English on motivation to learn other languages might be more positively construed by shifting away from SLA frames of reference (concerned with progression toward proficiency in a particular language) in favour of a "linguistic multi-competence" framework, defined by Cook (2016) as the overall system of a mind or community that uses more than one language. As the article concludes, an important pedagogical implication would be a focus on multilingual (rather than L2) speakers as the normative model of communication and instruction, and the associated promotion of ideal multilingual selves.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A