Getting to the Nitty-Gritty of Grit: A Descriptive Characterization of Gritty L2 Learners from Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan and Japan

Authors

  • Mark Freiermuth Gunma Prefectural Women's University
  • Chomraj Patanasorn Khon Kaen University
  • Latha Ravindran
  • Hsin-chou Huang National Taiwan Ocean University

Keywords:

grit, perseverance, curiosity, enjoyment, anxiety, boredom, extraversion versus introversion, willingness to communicate, L2 vision

Abstract

Understanding the make-up of gritty L2 students has garnered quite a lot of attention recently. In this descriptive narrative-based study, we looked at the interview data of eight English language learners who recorded high scores on a nine-item grit questionnaire. Specifically, two female university students each from Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand and Japan were interviewed and their interview scripts were transcribed and then coded looking for common threads to emerge from the data by applying the tenets of Charmaz’s (2006) Grounded Theory. The data show that beyond perseverance, gritty L2 students enjoy learning the L2, are consistently curious about the L2, are generally not bored by the L2, are confident using the L2 (not letting anxiety dissuade them), are extraverted—encompassing a strong willingness to communicate, have focused L2 vision and have had experiences and/or encounters that bolstered their L2 grittiness. As for encouraging L2 grit development, we suggest that good L2 classroom practice include frequent communicative activities so that students can see the practical side of learning a L2 with the hopes of strengthening their L2 vision.

Author Biographies

Chomraj Patanasorn, Khon Kaen University

Chomraj Patanasorn is Assistant Professor in the English Deparment at Khon Kaen University.

Latha Ravindran

Latha Ravindran is Assistant Professor in the Department of English Language and Communication at UCSI.

Hsin-chou Huang, National Taiwan Ocean University

Hsin-chou Huang is Professor of Applied English in the Institute of Applied English at National Taiwan Ocean University.

Published

2021-12-19

How to Cite

Freiermuth, M., Patanasorn, C., Ravindran, L., & Huang, H.- chou. (2021). Getting to the Nitty-Gritty of Grit: A Descriptive Characterization of Gritty L2 Learners from Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan and Japan. JOURNAL FOR THE PSYCHOLOGY OF LANGUAGE LEARNING, 3(2), 133-155. Retrieved from https://jpll.org/index.php/journal/article/view/81