Chapter 11. A longitudinal study of learners’ motivation and beliefs in at home and study abroad contexts

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SLA research has foregrounded the role of motivation and beliefs in successful language learning. However, little is known about how they are affected by short stays abroad (SA). This chapter breaks new ground by examining context-sensitive changes in these affective factors in advanced-level English learners. To explore the short-, long-term and longitudinal effects of SA and at-home Formal Instruction (FI), data were collected through a questionnaire upon university entry, after FI, after a three-month SA, and 15 months later. FI triggered positive changes in self-confidence and intended effort, while SA heightened the development of positive motivational stands, including the reduction of anxiety and the attribution of importance to listening abilities, hence providing evidence of the dynamic and context-sensitive nature of these affective factors.


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