Modelling the perceived value of compulsory English education: A partial replication

Marquardt, Amy
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The current paper reports on a partial replication of Rivers’ (2012) study which models the perceived value of compulsory undergraduate English classes in Japan. This study confirms that Rivers’ mixed methods approach identifies the value students, rather than governments and institutions, place on learning English by highlighting their motivations and investments towards using English as a foreign language. This paper outlines a recurring phenomenon of competing linguistic identity struggles between a nationalist identity and an imagined English user identity in an attempt to show the generality (Moerman, 1977) between Rivers’ context and the Balearic Island context. Although these students have different languages and come from different regions, the perceived values of the participants in the current study display similar perceived values concerning the purposefulness of learning English as foreign language (EFL) in reference to the increasing influence of English in non-English speaking countries. While this study uses similar mixed methods approaches to collect and analyze the data, it also highlights an additional selective code considering the EFL student values for engaging with English at the local level. Ultimately, the replication study not only confirms that Rivers’ model can be applied in similar contexts to identify the perceived value of compulsory English classes, it also discusses how the same understated and often undervalued student voices need to be addressed in ways like the ones seen in this study.
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