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Language personality as a four-dimensional construct falling outside university students’ reflection

M. Daszkiewicz
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Daszkiewicz Michał,

PhD, University of Gdańsk, Poland

e-mail: pedmd@univ.gda.pl  


The paper relates to a qualitative international study carried out with university students concerning their personal reflection on learning English. In the study the respondents were presented with questions on what they think of, what they can do, how they feel about and what they associate with the vocabulary they learn (the questions thus pertained to language beliefs, activity, affect and matrices of reality interpretation and encompassed four educational domains) and requested to write down their remarks on these questions in terms of facts and opinions (such as comments shown as examples reading ‘I’ve been asked this question many times’ (fact) and ‘I think it’s a very important question’ (opinion). The study clears shows that university students’ reflection on the vocabulary they learn pertains essentially to the psychomotor and cognitive domains (i.e. to what they can do with words and what they associate them with), and only marginally to the axiological and affective domains (i.e. to what they think of words and how they feel about them, respectively). Additionally, the data gathered shows that despite not having been asked by teachers questions concerning values or emotions concerning vocabulary, students themselves find these questions significant and beneficial for the language learning process. In the light of such lack of balance between the four domains and on the basis of findings proving commonsensical questions to fall outside students’ educational L2 reality, the paper advocates the concept of language personality, understood as a construct comprising four domains, the effective development of which necessitates teachers’ and students’ increased reflection on what students think of and how they feel about the vocabulary (and language as a whole) which they study.

Keywords: language personality, teaching, learning English, educational gains, L2 skills.



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