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Volume 10 Number 2, Summer 2013, Pages 1-148   

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Generational Status: An Ignored Variable in Language Learning Studies?

    Kobra Jamshidi

English Learners (ELs) are often viewed as a homogenous group of students, when in fact they are a diverse group with distinct generational differences among them. Common methods employing generation status fail to address the differences in a subgroup of ELs, namely, Generation 1.5. The purpose of this study was to investigate motivational variables related to language learning based on generational status. It aimed to find out whether there are differences in acculturation, motivational factors, language learning beliefs, self-efficacy, and language proficiency between Iranian first-generation immigrants and generation 1.5 Iranian ELs, investigate the relationships among these variables, and study possible gender differences in calculated correlation coefficients. Participants' motivation, beliefs, self-efficacy, and acculturation patterns related to learning English were examined and quantitative methods were used to assess the differences among the groups. Results indicated that first generation ELs report higher levels of effort, desire, attitudes, and motivation to learn English, while generation 1.5 ELs report higher levels of US acculturation and identity. Implications for language teaching and learning are discussed.

Keywords: generation status, first generation immigrant, generation 1.5, attitudes, motivation, language learning beliefs, acculturation