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Volume 10 Number 1, Spring 2013, Pages 1-131   

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Exploring the Concept of the Ideal L2 Self in an Asian EFL Context: The Case of Japanese University Students

    Michiko Ueki and Osamu Takeuchi

The objective of this article is to explore, in a Japanese EFL context, the ideal L2 self with some hypothesized relationships among motivated learning behaviour, self-efficacy, L2 anxiety, and the perceived amount of information related to learners' future self-guides by performing structural equation modelling on the data of 126 Japanese first-year university students. Moreover, the present study examines the possibility of postulating two levels of the ideal L2 self to confirm whether a theoretical model better than Dornyei's original one can be attained by doing so. The SEM analysis showed that we can postulate two levels of the ideal L2 self, indeed resulting in a better theoretical model. The proposed model revealed that self-efficacy and the perceived amount of information had a positive influence on learners' formation of a better ideal L2 self. Furthermore, the model indicated that the ideal L2 self and self-efficacy positively affected motivated learning behaviour, while the ideal L2 self negatively affected anxiety. Based on these findings, the authors argue that the L2 motivational self system (with the two levels of the ideal L2 self) can be developed into a framework that explains not only L2 motivation but also other affective variables, all in one system.

Keywords: L2 motivational self system, ideal L2 self, perceived amount of information, structural equation model