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The Role of Grit and Growth Mindset in Second Language Acquisition

The Role of Grit and Growth Mindset in Second Language Acquisition

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This presentation was given at ACPI-TESOL Costa Rica in July 2016. I discuss the definitions of grit and growth mindset, and how it can be applied to SLA. I believe that grit and growth mindset help students persevere and succeed in their language learning.

This presentation was given at ACPI-TESOL Costa Rica in July 2016. I discuss the definitions of grit and growth mindset, and how it can be applied to SLA. I believe that grit and growth mindset help students persevere and succeed in their language learning.

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The Role of Grit and Growth Mindset in Second Language Acquisition

  1. 1. Patrice Palmer, M.Ed., M.A., TESL July 2016
  2. 2.  Thank you  What is Grit?  Mindsets - Fixed vs. Growth Mindsets  How it applies to Language Learning and Student Motivation  The Role of Instructors  Recap  Questions?
  3. 3. 1. What is your favourite activity/hobby? 2. When did you do it for the first time? 3. What was your skill level when you began? 4. How often do you do this activity? 5. What are two things that you did to get better? 6. What is your skill level like now?
  4. 4.  teaching in a post-graduate program - 4 cohorts of international students  lack of interest/unmotivated  little improvement in skills, no effort
  5. 5.  https://www.facebook.com/angiewardonline/ videos/10153412707574699
  6. 6.  Motivation: realization that it wasn’t the smartest students who improved but the ones who persevered despite failure and challenges  Positive Psychology (grit)  Neuroscience (growth mindset)  SLA (role of T in Ss motivation)  tried growth mindset in 3rd cohort…
  7. 7. “Efforts equals to Results”. I have a positive attitude to learning. I love to gain new experiences and knowledge (growth mindset)”. Kulwinder
  8. 8. leading grit researcher Angela Duckworth defines grit as “perseverance and passion for long-term goals.” (Duckworth, Peterson, Matthews & Kelly, 2007) (
  9. 9. • research in the area of grit suggests that IQ is not necessarily a predictor of academic success however grit is • the gritty individual approaches achievement as a marathon…his or her advantage is stamina… and stays the course Language learning - a sprint or a marathon?
  10. 10. 1. I have difficulty maintaining my focus on projects that take more than a few months to complete. 2. I am a hard worker. 3. I have overcome setbacks to conquer an important challenge. 4. I often set a goal but later choose to pursue a different one. Source: https://www.sas.upenn.edu/~duckwort/images/12- item%20Grit%20Scale.05312011.pdf
  11. 11. growth mindset
  12. 12. For the past twenty years, Dweck and colleagues at Stanford University have been conducting research in the area of student success related to their beliefs regarding intelligence
  13. 13. Mindsets are beliefs that individuals hold about their most basic qualities and abilities.
  14. 14. Malleable Intelligence Theory Grow your brain Every time you work hard, stretch yourself and learn something new your brain forms new connections and over time you actually become smarter.
  15. 15. A growth mindset message appeared to “unleash students’ motivation” (Dweck, 2007)
  16. 16. Growth Mindset Fixed Mindset People believe they can develop their brain and abilities. This view creates a love for learning, a drive for growth and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishments. People believe their intelligence and abilities are fixed, and can't be developed. “I am not very good at learning languages”
  17. 17. Growth Mindset Fixed Mindset • Setbacks highlight issues/problems that need to be dealt with and learnt from • Actively seek out learning opportunities • Avoids trying something new • Finds it extremely hard to cope with setbacks • Seeks to blame others for their setbacks “the teacher is a hard marker!”
  18. 18. Growth Mindset Fixed Mindset • Learn from criticism and suggestions • Seek strategies to improve • Act on teacher feedback • Respond poorly to feedback from others • Jealous of the success of others • Seek to put people down “He is teacher’s pet”
  19. 19. Do you think your students have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset? Why?
  20. 20.  motivation in SLA is the driving force that enables learners to expend continuous sustained effort (Moskovsky, Alrabai, Paolini, & Ratcheva, 2012).  without motivation even the most capable and competent learners may be unable to accomplish their long term language learning goals (Moskovsky et al., 2012).  needs to be maintained during the lengthy process of second language learning as learners can lose sight of their goal - decrease in their initial motivation (Celce-Murcia, Brinton, & Snow, 2014).
  21. 21.  two categories of motivational strategies in SLA: instructional interventions applied by the teacher; and self-regulating strategies used by learners (Guilloteaux and Dörnyei, 2008)  a strong positive correlation between teachers’ motivational teaching practices and their learners’ learning motivation (Guilloteaux et al., 2008)  participants in this study ranked motivational strategies such as the teacher recognizing students’ effort and achievement and consistently encouraging students by believing in their effort to learn and succeed  “You can do this”. I can help you by…
  22. 22. “It's been always your words, which motivates me to work hard. I will try to work hard and continue to put more effort to improve my writing skills”. Pardeep
  23. 23. “Good evening Teacher, Today I got 50%. Respected,Teacher please tell me my mistakes so that i will not repeat the same in next assignment. You are very motivational teacher as you told me my weak points in writing . Now, I am doing good efforts for overcome this. Thank you from my core of my heart.” Manu
  24. 24.  Establish high expectations – let Ss know that you are challenging them because you know that they have the ability  Let Ss know you value learning and effort above perfect performance  Mistakes are to be expected. We learn from mistakes.  Provide feedback and strategies.  Recognize effort over achievement. “You worked hard” instead of “You are so smart”.
  25. 25. FEEDBACKLearn from criticism and suggestions Act on teacher feedback STRATEGIES Seek strategies to improve Setbacks highlight issues/problems that need to be dealt with and learnt from EFFORT Understand that no matter what your natural aptitude; effort is essential to improve and achieve Persistently committed and motivated I can get better with effort GROWTH MINDSET ATTRIBUTES
  26. 26.  Students were more likely to have a GROWTH mindset in classrooms where teachers:  Focused praise and encouragement on process and strategy  Asked students to explain their thinking Students were more likely to have a FIXED mindset in classrooms where teachers:  Focused on speed and accuracy  Only gave students one chance to submit work for a grade (PERTS Stanford University Center on Learning Mindsets)
  27. 27. Latest from Carol Dweck – Mindsets “Growth mindsets are not a magic trick that will solve every challenge in the classroom” “There's a misconception that every student and teacher can be put into one of two categories: those with growth mindsets and those with fixed mindsets, but in reality, everyone "has a little bit of both.“ “Don't use mindsets to label students (or yourself). Some teachers have used a student's mindset as an excuse, saying things like "that child can't learn; he has a fixed mindset.“ “Tie student learning to their larger goal”. Leaders to Learn from Conference – Washington, March 2016. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/rulesforengagement/2016/03/nurturing_growth_mind sets_six_tips_from_carol_dweck.html
  28. 28. 1. One thing that I learned today is… 2. One new thing that I will try in my teaching is…
  29. 29. Patrice teslinstructor@gmail.com
  30. 30.  https://www.mindsetkit.org  https://mindsetworks.org
  31. 31. References Celce-Murcia, M., Brinton, D.M., & Snow, M.A. (2014). Teaching English as a second or foreign language. Boston, MN: National Geographic Learning Collier, V.P. (1987). Age and rate of acquisition of second language for academic purposes. TESOL Quarterly, 21(4). 617- 641. doi:10.2307/3586986 Duckworth, A.L., Peterson, C., Matthews, M. D., & Kelly, D. R. (2007). Grit: perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(6), 1087-1101. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.92.6.1087 Duckworth, A. L., & Eskreis-Winkler, L. (2013). True grit. The Observer, 26(4), 1-3. Retrieved from http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/publications/observer/2013/april- 13/truegrit.html?utm_source=socialmedia&utm_medium=sociallinks&utm_campaign=twitter Dweck, C. S. (2007). The perils and promises of praise. In K. Ryan & J. Cooper (Eds.), Kaleidoscope. Contemporary and classic readings in education (pp. 34-39). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning Dweck, C. S. (2008). Brainology transforming students’ motivation to learn. Independent school, 67(2), 110-119. Retrieved from http://www.nais.org/pubs/is.cfm Dweck, C. S., & Master, A. (2009). Self-theories and motivation. Students’ beliefs about intelligence. In K. Wentzel & A. Wigfield (Eds.), Handbook of motivation at school. New York: Routledge Guilloteaux, M. J., & Dörnyei, Z. (2008). Motivating Language Learners: A classroom‐oriented investigation of the effects of motivational strategies on student motivation. TESOL Quarterly, 42(1), 55-77. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/40264425 Marinova‐Todd, S. H., Marshall, D. B., & Snow, C. E. (2000). Three misconceptions about age and L2 learning. TESOL Quarterly, 34(1), 9- 34. doi:10.2307/3588095 Moskovsky, C., Alrabai, F., Paolini, S., & Ratcheva, S. (2013). The effects of teachers’ motivational strategies on learners’ motivation: A controlled investigation of second language acquisition. Language Learning. A Journal of Research in Language Studies. 63(1). 34-62. doi:10.1111/1467-9922.2012.00717.x Hakuta, K., Butler, Y. G., & Witt, D. (2000). How long does it take English learners to attain proficiency? The University of California Linguistic Minority Research Institute. Policy report 2000-1. Adolescence, 40, 503-512. Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/13w7m06g

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