Learner Agency in China’s Program for Interdisciplinary English Talents: A Sociocultural Perspective

  •  Fengju Dai    
  •  Xiao Lin    


Aiming to develop a sociocultural understanding of learner agency as defined by Ahearn (2001), this study asks the questions: How do English majors under the Program for Interdisciplinary English Talents in Chinese universities with international or regional orientations experience their English learning and exert learner agency differently? Which factors influence learners’ agentive activities and what differences exist in the influencing strength of those factors? Interview data were collected from 14 student participants from two representative universities in the eastern part of China. Analyzing the data using the framework proposed by Dang and Marginson (2013) revealed that learners’ agentive activities are mediated by the sociocultural context, in which the global, national and local factors exert great influences and their influencing strength varies. Among all the factors, the influence of the microgenetic domain, to be specific, the institutional context is the greatest. Implications and suggestions are provided based on the results.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1923-869X
  • ISSN(Online): 1923-8703
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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