Motivation & Imagined Selves in Spanish Language Learning at SDSU

This project aims to increase Spanish language learners’ motivational drive by linking it to the notion of an imagined self. The basic premise is that a positive imagined self serves as a powerful motivator to learn the language. For students who do not interact regularly with speakers of the target language, the imagination represents a unique space where an ideal self can start to emerge. To the extent that learners can visualize themselves as potential language users, past and current language learning experiences can be re-interpreted as means towards acquiring the target language.

The project focuses on the design of a set of student-centered materials that Spanish language instructors at SDSU can use to help their students construct positive imagined selves as effective learners and potential speakers of the target language. These materials will be developed during the fall semester of 2017 and piloted the following semester. Graduate students in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese will participate as material developers and testers, led by the project coordinator. In addition, an SLA specialist will serve as a consultant.

Academic Session - Individual Differences in Second Language Acquisition

Dr. Eve Zyzik, Associate Professor of Spanish, Dept. of Languages & Applied Linguistics, University of California, Santa Cruz

Date: January 16, 2018   

Room/time: TBA

Faculty Bio
Dr. Alfredo Urzúa (project coordinator) is Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at SDSU. His areas of specialization are second language teacher education and second language teaching and learning. His research focuses in the study of second language development, bilingualism, and reflective thinking in academic contexts using discourse analysis and corpus linguistics.

Event Details:


Motivation and Imagined Selves in Spanish Language Learning at SDSU

Dates: Fall 2017-Spring 2018

Faculty Sponsors: 
Alfredo Urzúa, Associate Professor, Department of Spanish & Portuguese 

Affiliated Courses: SPAN 770: Applied Spanish Linguistics for Teachers