Key Issues Relevant to the Studies to Be Reported: Beliefs, Agency and Identity
As pointed out in Chapter 1, this volume is a response to the recent calls for research on learner and teacher beliefs that would be not only contextual and longitudinal, but also interconnected. In other words, beliefs should be viewed in relation to other issues that play a role in learning and teaching foreign languages. These include aspects of those involved in the processes of learning and teaching foreign languages, that is, learners and teachers — their agency and identity, for example. This chapter provides background to the seven studies that will be reported later in Chapters 3–9 by reviewing the key issues addressed: beliefs, agency and identity. In the following, an attempt will be made to define the three key constructs and review developments in doing research on each in applied linguistics, or language learning and teaching, and viewing these either from the point of view of L2 learners or teachers. The chapter concludes with an overview of the chapters, making it possible to compare and contrast the studies to be reported.
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