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Wanzheng Zhu is a research student at the School of Education, Durham University. She is under the supervision of Prof Nadin Beckmann and Prof Jens Beckmann. Prior to her PhD study, she completed her undergraduate degree in English (International Economy and Trade) at Dalian University of Foreign Languages, and a master’s degree in TESOL Studies at University of Leeds. Wanzheng has three-years of teaching experience in a public senior high school in China. She taught English to first year and second year students.

Her PhD research aims to longitudinally investigate changes in English (as a second language) learning motivation of Chinese learners during the transition from senior high school to university. In particular, she attempts to account for motivational dynamics from a complex dynamic systems theory (CDST) perspective. Her research is expected to detect distinctive between-person differences and within-person fluctuation in English learning motivation trajectories. She hopes her research will provide an insightful understanding of how L2 learning motivation develops over time as impacted by an interplay of internal and external factors.

Research interests

  • Second language acquisition
  • Second language learning motivation
  • Complex dynamic systems theory
  • Longitudinal study