The Effect of Imagery Training on Possible Language Selves Among Beginner English Users

Conference: The Asian Conference on Language (ACL2022)
Title: The Effect of Imagery Training on Possible Language Selves Among Beginner English Users
Stream: Language and Psychology
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Simon Cooke, Tohoku Institute of Technology, Japan


In this presentation, I will discuss the findings of a longitudinal study investigating the role of imagery training on students’ possible language selves among beginner-level freshman students at a Japanese university. While other studies have demonstrated the positive association between possible L2 selves and imagery training (Kim & Kim, 2014; Chan, 2014; Magid, 2014), these studies have tended to focus on students with higher proficiency. In addition, those studies have tended to use more traditional forms of data collection, analysis and presentation. Following Irie and Ryan (2015), my study employed Q methodology in a pre/post analysis design to offer unique insights into these developments relating to the students’ L2 selves.
Pre-intervention analysis of data from the control and the experimental group, both consisting of 23 students, revealed both groups of students held positive but vague notions of their possible L2 selves. Post-intervention analysis revealed that while control group students who did not take part in imagery activities did not develop or maintain this notion, participants in the experimental group who did, displayed both maintenance and promotion of their future L2 self concept. The study thus demonstrated how imagery training, student English level notwithstanding, can be effective in promoting the possible L2 self. In addition to a discussion of the data, the presentation will feature some pedagogical implications of the research.

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