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Efl learners’ imagined communities and investments: multiple perspectives from an intensive English language program in Turkey

Aslan, Reyhan
This study set out to investigate the relationship between imagined identities and L2 investments in an in-depth analysis of the three learners’ English learning stories who had diverse motivational profiles in a pre-undergraduate language education program in Turkey. Besides, this inquiry sought to explore the imagined communities informing the policy documents and the program members’ perspectives in order to reveal how their L2-mediated visions interacted with each other. With this purpose in mind, this research was situated within the borders of a multiple case study design and carried out in an Intensive English Language Program in central Turkey. The data of this research were from (a) the L2 Motivational Questionnaire, (b) three rounds of interviews with the three L2 learners integrated with (c) L2 Learning Profile Task, (4) interviews with the program members and (5) document reviews. Based on the investigation and interpretation of the findings, this study clearly supported the standpoint in previous studies that considered the identity construction of language learners as highly complicated, multiple and dynamic. The analysis revealed that the participants’ L2 learning stories were marked with three, either extended or limited, range of imagined identities (as L2 learners/test-takers, L2 users, and L2 sojourners), which guided their selection of contextualized L2 investments. The powerful impact of limited imagined instrumental community envisioned by the preparatory program on its policies and classroom practices and the learners’ imagined identities and L2 investments were also discussed. Based on the findings, some recommendations for further practice and research are made.