Shifting learning strategies and future selves of Arab postgraduate students in Britain: a qualitative inquiry

Research output: Working paper


This paper explores Arab postgraduate students’ situated experiences and
their actual and dynamic use of learning strategies at a UK university. The
qualitative data collected from a written narrative and five subsequent
rounds of individual semi-structured interviews suggest that most
participants initially clung to their ‘aschematic’ future selves as they
articulated relatively distant goals without employing the appropriate
learning strategies to get to them. They anticipated achieving native-like
proficiency in English and forming meaningful friendships with locals
once they were in the host environment. In response to the changes in
assessment mode and the practice of some influential actors, however,
the participants gradually began to articulate proximal goals until they
visualised their ideal self and embraced the appropriate strategies. The
findings of the current study underline the significance of introducing
pedagogical interventions in all phases of study abroad to avoid student
sojourners’ maladaptive behaviour, such as the setting of unrealistic or
impractical goals, and deepen their language and intercultural learning.
Directions for further research are also suggested.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - Mar 9 2020


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