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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Experiences of metanoia : the relationship between second language acquisition and metanoia Ranson, Samantha Kelly


This qualitative study explores the connection between Second Language Acquisition (SLA) and metanoia in a post-secondary level English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program. Taken from Ancient Greek philosophy, metanoia refers to a fundamental shift in habits of the mind. Until now, the connection between metanoia and second language learning has not been fully examined, particularly in higher education contexts. The objective of this study is to examine the progression of metanoia in the SLA of International students enrolled in an EAP program. Specifically, the research question for this study was: How do EAP students experience metanoia, and what is the relationship with their second language acquisition? Qualitative methods were used throughout this study. The study combined both an online survey and follow-up interview to collect data, which was triangulated to analyze the data. A socio-cognitive theoretical framework supported the conception of the study and the analysis of the data. The data indicated that the best way for EAP students to acquire academic English language skills is to be taught as a “whole” learner (paying attention to the social, emotional, cultural, and academic needs of the student). From the interviews and surveys, six prominent themes were found throughout: growth, learning process, communication, emotions, relationship, and resources. Participants expressed that their academic and social success was related to these themes. It is possible that these experiences were the catalysts to their personal experiences of metanoia. This study provides insight into the lives of English language learners and how to improve or change the EAP environment. The results could assist EAP instructors in seeing differences between local and international education systems and the learning patterns of different students, thus aiding students in reaching moments of metanoia with the information and assistance of their EAP instructors.

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