Main Article Content
Having role models can benefit us in numerous ways, i.e. allowing us to observe and emulate the behavior of others we wish to acquire; providing us with significant guidelines on what we should do or follow in order to help us to achieve goals or to succeed in life more quickly; and on occasion, helping us avoid inappropriate behavior which may lead to failure or bad consequences. To a certain extent, role models can influence adolescents’ attitudes, values, and behavior. The characters of role models can even have a great impact on young people, encouraging them to do good deeds worldwide and be kind to other people. Thus, it is important for university students to have role models. However, the exploration of role models among Thai adolescents, especially Thai undergraduate students who are going to step into the world of work, has received relatively scant attention. In order to understand the current situation with regard to having a role model among Thai undergraduate students, which could possibly lead to appropriately preparing them for their future careers, this present study aims to fill this gap by exploring the role models of Thai EFL undergraduate students and the reasons for the role model selections through 66 journal entries by students from three independent groups: 25 from Group 1 (English majors), 22 from Group 2 (English minors), and 19 from Group 3 (other non-language majors). Quantitative methods of content analysis were performed in this study. Overall, the empirical findings from this study clearly revealed that role models expressed in Thai EFL undergraduate students’ journals varied and tended to be those students knew personally (51.5%, n = 34) more than those from the media (48.5%, n = 32); however, the most admired role models were actually media figures (36.4%), followed by parents (30.2%) and others known personally (21.2%), respectively. In addition, the most frequent reasons for role model selection were humanity (26.3%), strong personality (22.9%), and professional success (19.4%), respectively. Apart from the primary focus of role model selection addressed in students’ journals, this study may have also yielded some important implications for a policy on constructing particular desirable characteristics of target people in the community by providing them with role models to follow, which may help individuals achieve expected goals easily or more quickly. Furthermore, this study might benefit EFL writing instruction in terms of incorporating journal writing in L2 writing classes to increase students’ writing fluency and encourage self-discovery
Keywords: journal writing, role model, EFL, undergraduate
Self-image: Role model preference and body image. In W. F. Overton (Ed.), Early childhood television viewing and adolescent behavior: The recontact study (pp. 108-118). Boston: Blackwell.
Bordens, K. S., & Abbott, B. B. (2011). Research design and methods: A process
approach (9th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.
Brown, M. E., & Treviño, L. K. (2014). Do role models matter? An investigation of role
modeling as an antecedent of perceived ethical leadership. Journal of Business Ethics, 122(4), 587–598. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-013-1769-0
Elbow, P. (1998). Writing with power: Techniques for mastering the writing process
(2nd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.
Ferris, D. R. (2012). Writing instruction. In A. Burns & J. C. Richards (Eds.), The Cambridge
guide to pedagogy and practice in second language teaching (pp. 226-235). New
York: Cambridge University Press.
Gergely, O. (2014). New media, new idols? ACTA Universitatis Sapientiae, Communicatio,
Gibson, D. E. (2003). Developing the professional self-concept: Role model construals in
early, middle, and late career stages. Organization Science, 14(5), 591-610. doi:10.1287/orsc.14.5.591.16767
Hurd, N. M., Wittrup, A., & Zimmerman, M. A. (2018). Role models. In R. J. Levesque
(Ed.), Encyclopedia of adolescents (2nd ed., pp. 3179-3186). Springer.
Hyland, K. (2009). Teaching and researching writing (2nd ed.). Harlow: Pearson.
Kirby, D. L., & Crovitz, D. (2013). Inside out: Strategies for teaching writing (4th ed.).
Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Kosaka, M. (2016). How I have improved my English writing skills. TESOL Journal, 7(2),
Ilić, I. S., Blažanin, B., & Mojović, K. (2017). Public figures as role models of Serbian
adolescents, who are idols and why? Serbian Political Thought, 15 (1), 5-20.
Ivaldi, A. (2013). Specialist young musicians’ role models: Whom do they admire and
why? Music Education Research, 15(2), 180–195. https://doi.org/10.1080/14613808.2012.742049
Johns, A. M. (1997). L1 composition theories: Implications for developing theories of L2
composition. In B. Kroll (Ed.), Second language writing: Research insights for the classroom (pp. 24-36). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Johnson, S. K., Buckingham, M. H., Morris, S. L., Suzuki, S., Weiner, M. B.,
Hershberg, R. M., . . . Lerner, R. M. (2016). Adolescents’ character role models: Exploring who young people look up to as examples of how to be a good person. Research in Human Development, 13(2), 126-141. doi:10.1080/15427609.2016.1164552
Jopp, D. S., Jung, S., Damarin, A. K., Mirpuri, S., & Spini, D. (2017). Who is your successful
aging role model? The Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 72(2), 237–247. https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gbw138
Joseph, J. E. (2013). Cultural Identity. In C. A. Chapelle (Ed.), The encyclopedia of applied
linguistics (pp. 1586–1590). Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
Maslow, A. H. (1970). Motivation and personality. Harper & Row.
McWilliams, K. T. (2007). Role models I have known -- And why they are vital. Women
Lawyers Journal, 92(2), 12–13.
Lockwood, P. (2006). Someone like me can be successful: Do college students need same-
gender role models? Psychology of Women Quarterly, 30, 36–46. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-6402.2006.00260.x
Pfeiffer, V., & Sivasubramaniam, S. (2016). Exploration of self-expression to improve L2
writing skills. Per Linguam, 32(2), 95-108.
Richards, J. C. (2015). Key issues in language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University
Sollerhed, A. (2008). Idols and role models for young people. In 8th international session for
educators and officials of higher institutes of physical education (pp. 203-205). Athens: International Olympic Academy.
Verhoeven, M., Poorthuis, A. M. G., & Volman, M. (2019). The role of school in adolescents’
identity development. A literature review. Educational Psychology Review, 31, 35–63. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-018-9457-3
Weigle, S. C. (2013). Assessment of Writing. In C. A. Chapelle (Ed.), The encyclopedia of
applied linguistics (pp. 257–264). Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell.
Wohlford, K. E., Lochman, J. E., & Barry, T. D. (2004). The relation between chosen role
models and the self-esteem of men and women. Sex Roles, 50(7/8), 575-582.