While it is certainly the case that English can be useful when a student reads, listens to or writes texts in another foreign language, ‘using English as a resource language might in fact be one reason why students are not motivated to learn foreign languages and why they feel like they are not getting anywhere with their language studies,’ says Henry.Cognitive activation
As a result, the student will inevitably compare his or her different language self-concepts – a comparison that most likely will make the student less confident about his or her future skills in the studied language and therefore less motivated in the classroom.
The interviews revealed however that successful language learners often use strategies to block the negative influence of English.
‘These students often realise that comparing language self-concepts causes problems,’ he says.
According to Henry, it is important that teachers of additional foreign languages are aware of the fact that the use of English as a resource can be problematic and may have a negative impact on students’ motivation to learn a third language.
The thesis has been successfully defended.
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