Connecting with communities of learners and speakers: Integrative ideals, experiences, and motivations of successful black second language learners

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Abstract

Utilizing data from the language learning autobiographies of six black college students, this pilot study investigates the experiences and motivations of blacks who do and do not achieve advanced-level second language acquisition (SLA). It hypothesizes that successful black second language (L2) learners (1) have positive formative experiences of investment in a community of learners; (2) desire to connect with members of a community of L2 speakers who mirror their past, present, and future/ideal selves; and (3) are motivated to excel in SLA by their integrative need to connect with both communities of learners and speakers. Findings support the study's hypotheses; however, they also call for further investigation of the nature/variety of black student L2 classroom experiences, the role of ethno-racial affinity in integrativeness, and perspectives of black heritage language learners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)441-466
Number of pages26
JournalForeign Language Annals
Volume44
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Linguistics and Language

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