An Ecological Exploration of Iranian English as a Foreign Language Learners’ Goal-directed Visions

Document Type : Original Article


1 Imam Reza International University, Mashhad, Iran.

2 Foreign Languages Department, University of Bojnord, Iran

3 English Langauge, Imam Reza International University, Mashhad, Iran



Recent conceptualizations of L2 motivation have regarded target language learners’ goal-directed visions as the core feature of directed motivational currents; that is, a period of intense and enduring motivation in pursuit of a favorable personal vision. This study reports on a multiple-case study designed to explore the effective factors on  language learners’ vision generation process in the context of Iran based on the framework developed by Dörnyei and Kubanyiova (2014). Taking into account that the notions of motivation and vision are no longer seen as stable individual difference factors, but as dynamic and continuously fluctuating ones, the present study takes an ecological analytical framework towards the issue applying Bronfenbrenner's (1979, 1993) nested ecosystems model, involving four layers of context as: microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, and macrosystem. The participants of the study were four university students and the data were collected through semi-structured interviews, learning journals, and classroom observations during a period of six months. The results of the study revealed the existence of different eco-systemic agents and affordances in the emergence of the participants’ goal-directed visions. They were parents’ expectations and teachers’ behavior at the microsystem, learners’ background experiences at high school at the mesosystem, types of tests and materials at the exosystem and Iranians’ competitive spirit at the macrosystem.