• PhD Studies

    PHD Year One – Done!

    My first year as a doctoral researcher is now behind me and it is time to look back on what I achieved in 2023. If you want to read more about my first semester, check out my review of Spring 2023 here. My Ph.D. courses I applied to university pedagogy courses, but they are very popular and I was not chosen this time, therefore I didn’t have any courses this semester. In hindsight, that was probably for the best as I was very busy with both work and my research. My research Autumn 2023 was a very important semester for my research, as I finished data collection for both substudy…

  • PhD Studies,  Studying Chinese

    Analyzing my own Chinese language learning motivation

    As I am conducting my Ph.D. research on Chinese language learning motivation, I am also looking back on my journey of learning the language. I believe that being an L2 speaker of Chinese myself, I can have a unique lens into learning, teaching, and researching Mandarin. I feel that with the cooperation of both native and non-native teachers and researchers, we can together paint a comprehensive picture of what it is like to learn Chinese. My first memory of being interested in the Chinese language and culture is from primary school, when we had to do notebook presentations by designing a poster in our A4 notebooks complemented with text, photos,…

  • PhD Studies,  Studying Chinese,  Teaching Chinese

    What makes a successful language learner?

    What makes an exceptional language learner and how can we achieve native like fluency? Late 2022 a book was published on the topic of motivation, cognition and identity with a title “Lessons from Exceptional Language Learners Who Have Achieved Nativelike Proficiency” by Zoltán Dörnyei and Katarina Mentzelopoulos. They interviewed 30 participants that had achieved nativelike fluency in a foreign language as adults. Through analyzing the interview data, they categorized different variables explaining why these learners had achieved something that only few language learners are able to achieve. When looking at the data, we of course first need to define what nativelikeness means. At this study, the research participants had to…

  • PhD Studies,  Studying Chinese,  Teaching Chinese

    Should L2 Chinese learners learn how to write Chinese characters by hand?

    After listening to an interesting podcast episode by David Moser in a discussion with Matthew Coss about handwriting Chinese characters and whether students should be expected to learn handwriting, I’m interested in continuing this discussion as a Chinese language learner, teacher, and Ph.D. researcher. My own current research focuses on learning motivation, but learning characters is also an important element in the complex topic of motivation. Perceived difficulty in the Chinese language definitely affects learning motivation. Two of the most difficult aspects of the language that students report themselves is the pronunciation, especially tones, and the Chinese characters. As a teacher I understand that the characters can seem very intimidating…