Theorising Agency as Complex Dynamic Systems: Evidence from Language Learner Narratives in Private Tutoring (73016)

Session Information: Foreign Languages Education & Applied Linguistics (including ESL/TESL/TEFL)
Session Chair: Ian Davison

Thursday, 23 November 2023 14:45
Session: Session 4
Room: Room 707
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

The recent dynamic turn in second language acquisition (SLA) research has called for an investigation in learner agency by taking its complex dynamic nature into account. Informed by the complex dynamic systems theory (CDST), this study investigated the agency of learners in a complex educational context where mainstream schooling and private tutoring, i.e. shadow education, coexist, and when teaching and learning was switched online. Through longitudinal narrative inquiry, this study analysed the experiences of three senior secondary students enrolled in online English private tutoring. Data were collected through three rounds of individual interview and two pieces of learner reflective writing, supplemented by artefacts such as their language learning materials and interviews with their tutors, schoolteachers and parents. The multiple sources of data collected for one year were compiled as narratives for analysis. The findings highlight the importance of considering learner agency from the CDST perspective, acknowledging its characteristics such as its relational, ecological, emergent nature, and its spatiality, multidimensionality and sustainability. This study sheds light on the complex agency-structure interplay in shadow education situated in the wider education context, and offers implications for educators to support language learners to be agentic in regulating their learning.

Kevin Yung, The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

About the Presenter(s)
Dr Kevin Yung is a University Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer at The Education University of Hong Kong in Hong Kong

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00