Language learning motivation and interculturality of Australian Community/Heritage Language Learners

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In Australia a large number of young and adolescent students attend community language schools where they learn and/or maintain the language and culture of their community and heritage. Community/heritage language (CHL) takes place in a situation in which English is the dominant and preferred medium. CHL learners live in deeply bilingual and bicultural spaces that shape their identity. This chapter reports on a qualitative interview study conducted to gain a deep understanding of the motivation and interculturality of young and adolescent CHL learners in Australia. By applying Dörnyei’s L2 Motivational Self System and the concept of interculturality to the Australian CHL learning context, this study has extended the applicability of these theoretical frameworks. The study provides significant insight into these young learners’ L Selves. These L Selves vary, depending on the learner’s motivation for learning the language and on interculturality. The findings are useful for CHL teachers, parents, and other stakeholders. The implications of these findings are important for the teaching and learning of CHLs in Australia and similar contexts as well as for the maintenance of these languages that constitute precious resources both at the individual and societal level. Ultimately, the findings add to an understanding of the nexus between motivation, culture, language, and identity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntercultural competence past present and future
Subtitle of host publicationespecting the past, problems in the present and forging the future
EditorsMaria Dolores López-Jiménez, Jorge Sánchez-Torres
Place of PublicationSingapore
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9789811582455
ISBN (Print)9789811582448
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameIntercultural Communication and Language Education book series (ICLE)


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