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ERIC Number: EJ1162975
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0155-0640
Belonging, Idealized Self and Wellbeing: Key Motivators among Adult Learners of Italian in Sydney
Palmieri, Christiana
Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, v40 n2 p176-193 2017
This paper presents the findings from a study that examines the motivations of adult Australians of non-Italian origin to learn Italian in continuing education contexts in Sydney. The study embraces a view of motivation as a multifaceted phenomenon that is produced in a social environment through the interaction between the second language learners and the context in which they operate. The findings reveal that in the Australian multicultural context, the motivation to learn Italian is influenced by a process of negotiation of identity, triggered by both the presence of a well-established Italian migrant community, and the exposure to Italian cultural elements. Thus, the "investment" of students in learning Italian may be generated by the desire to acquire some forms of symbolic capital rather than material resources, as in the case of other more "global" languages (e.g., English). The willingness to invest in the acquisition of elements of symbolic capital indicates learners' desire to achieve goals related to self-growth and identity development, which in turn generates greater gains in wellbeing. Interviews with the participants also reveal that intrinsic factors, such as affiliation (with the target language speaking community, as well as with the community of learners in Sydney), and self-realization (correspondence with the ideal self-image of a competent language speaker), are key motivators for this group of students. The desire to belong to a community, of either speakers of Italian or like-minded people involved in the same learning trajectory, highlights the importance of cultivating meaningful relationships to increase individuals' wellbeing and to nurture a sense of attachment and affiliation.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A