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RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN L2 MOTIVATION AND INTERCULTURAL CONTACT FOR UNDERGRADUATE SAUDI STUDENTS IN THE UK

A. Alqahtani

University of Leeds (UNITED KINGDOM)
Communicating with people from other cultures using English (direct Intercultural Contact) and/or encountering English cultural artefacts (indirect Intercultural Contact), e.g. English television programmes and web pages, gives English learners purpose and meaning to study the language. Students who have had numerous Intercultural Contact (ICC) experiences have had the chance to experience authentic communication in English either directly or indirectly. This in turn gives them a sense of themselves as being an actual English user in the future, and consequently might boost their motivation for learning English, as they begin to see themselves in terms of an ‘Ideal L2 Self’ in which they are English users. On the other hand, students who have had few ICC experiences possibly lack the experience of being English users, and they might be motivated to learn English because they feel that they ‘ought to’.

This study draws on a contemporary model of L2 motivation research, the L2 Motivational Self System, and aims to investigate whether experience of Intercultural Contact of new arrival Saudi undergraduate students has an impact on how their L2 motivational behaviour progresses during their first year in the UK. In this presentation I discuss the background to the study and its methodology.