Complexity Perspectives on Researching Language Learner and Teacher Psychology

Edited by: Richard J. Sampson, Richard S. Pinner

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Multilingual Matters
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234mm x 156mm

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This edited volume brings together both established and emerging researcher voices from around the world to illustrate how complexity perspectives might contribute to new ways of researching and understanding the psychology of language learners and teachers in situated educational contexts. Chapter authors discuss their own perspectives on researching within a complexity paradigm, exemplified by concrete and original examples from their research histories. Moreover, chapters explore research approaches to a variety of learner and teacher psychological foci of interest in SLA. Examples include: anxiety, classroom group dynamics and group-level motivation, cognition and metacognition, emotions and emotion regulation strategies, learner reticence and silence, motivation, self-concept and willingness to communicate.

Complex Dynamic Systems Theory (CDST) connects practice and research in ways that are abundantly illustrated in this excellent volume. The authors' first person accounts make CDST accessible and show its relevance. The volume is sure to inspire practitioner-researchers to use the ecological approach afforded by CDST to investigate and make sense of the lived realities of their own classrooms.

Diane Larsen-Freeman, Professor Emerita, University of Michigan, USA

It is relatively easy to write complex things about complexity theory – the real challenge is to follow the motto of the editors of this book, namely that complexity should be simple. This book goes a long way towards achieving this aim by gathering a well-chosen group of contributors whose deep interest in the real-life language classroom has created a common platform of 'down-to-earth complexity'. The result is a thought-provoking and enlightening book.

Zoltán Dörnyei, University of Nottingham, UK

This volume opens up the world of applying a CDST perspective to research. With contributions that apply intriguing new designs and methods of data elicitation and analysis, readers will find that far from being terminological smoke and mirrors, CDST research can be made practical and useful. The result is a volume thoughtfully crafted in a way that enhances its accessibility and builds coherence in this still new but growing domain.

Phil Hiver, Florida State University, USA

The editors should definitely be applauded for compiling this impressive collection of papers and for their sincere efforts to make CDST more understandable to researchers and practitioners alike. Thinking back to the question I posed at the beginning of this review, there is no doubt that they have succeeded in "making complexity simple" for those who wish to research different aspects of the psychology of L2 learning and teaching through the lens of CDST.

SSLLT 11 (1), 2021

By focusing on situational factors, this volume does an excellent job at providing empirical designs and analyses of learner and teacher psychology both in traditional and subtle methods from the perspective of CDST. This volume is an inspirational reference for teachers, researchers, practitioners-as-researchers, and teachers-as-co-researchers with highlighting practice to dig deeply into L2 psychology and investigate more themes, particularly in teacher psychology.

System, 2021

Richard J. Sampson is an Associate Professor at Rikkyo University, Japan. He uses action research approaches to give voice to the complex, situated experience of language learner psychology and is the author of Complexity in Classroom Foreign Language Learning Motivation (2016, Multilingual Matters).

Richard S. Pinner is an Associate Professor at Sophia University, Japan. His research focuses on the dynamic relationship between authenticity and motivation in language teaching and learning and his publications include Reconceptualising Authenticity for English as a Global Language (2016, Multilingual Matters).

Chapter 1. Richard S Pinner & Richard J Sampson: Introduction: [Simple and Complex?]

Chapter 2. Peter Macintyre, Sarah Mercer and Tammy Gregersen: Reflections on Researching Dynamics in Language Learning Psychology

Chapter 3. Richard J Sampson: Interacting Levels and Timescales in the Emergence of Feelings in the L2 Classroom

Chapter 4. Christina Gkonou and Rebecca Oxford: Working with the Complexity of Language Learners' Emotions and Emotion Regulation Strategies

Chapter 5. Tomoko Yashima: Nested Systems and their Interactions: Dynamic WTC in the Classroom

Chapter 6. Lesley Smith and Jim King: Researching the Complexity of Silence in Second Language Classrooms

Chapter 7. Joseph Falout: Researching Motivational Resonance Hands-On: Learner Self-Concepts, Learning Groups and Educational Cultures

Chapter 8. Sal Consoli: Understanding Motivation Through Ecological Research: the Case of Exploratory Practice

Chapter 9. Kedi Simpson and Heath Rose: Complexity as a Valid Approach in 'Messy' Classroom Contexts: Promoting More 'Ecologically Rich' Research on the Psychology of L2 Listening

Chapter 10. Takumi Aoyama and Takenori Yamamoto: Equifinality Approach to Exploring the Learning Trajectories of Language Learners and Teachers

Chapter 11. Ryo Nitta and Yoshiyuki Nakata: Understanding Complexity in Language Classes: A Retrodictive Approach to Researching Class Climate

Chapter 12. Christine Muir: Investigating Group DMCs and Complexity in the L2 Classroom

Chapter 13. Richard Pinner: The Complexity Lens: Autoethnography and Practitioner Research to Examine Group Dynamics

Chapter 14. Alastair Henry: A Collection of Contradictory Selves: The Dialogical Self and the Dynamics of Teacher Identity Transformation

Chapter 15. Anne Feryok: Using Microgenetic and Frame Analysis in Language Teacher Cognition Research

Chapter 16. Ema Ushioda: Doing Complexity Research in the Language Classroom: A Commentary

Postgraduate, Research / Professional
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