Identity Archive

Results in BLC Posts

Baraza Conference

Swahili History, Culture and Identity Reconsidered I attended the Baraza conference that was held at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, UK on October 29, 2016. I was scheduled to present a paper titled, “Integrating Chat in the writing of African Languages.” Papers of interesting topics were presented by…

Results in L2 Journal Articles

Gippius, Gender, and Textual Work in the L2 Classroom

These comments make a case for the value of careful philological work with literary texts in the language classroom. I propose that grammatically sensitive close reading of literature is a valuable way to introduce students to the generative relationship between rules and originality in language use, the way that each utterance draws on the available resources of a language to intervene into a concrete situation. In support of this claim, I offer an example from my own Russian teaching, in which the alternating grammatical gender in Zinaida Gippius' 1905 poem "Ты" ("You") opens up linguistic strategies used by present-day non-binary and gender non-conforming Russian speakers.

Professional Identity (Re)Construction of L2 Writing Scholars

Little research has been conducted on the professional identities of L2 writing scholars despite the increasing number of researchers, teachers, and graduate students identifying themselves as L2 writing specialists. While the (re)construction of L2 writing scholars’ professional identities have real consequences for their career, the challenges and opportunities resulting from their work, situated in several related disciplines, have neither been explicitly nor adequately discussed. Through an analytic autoethnography (Anderson, 2006), this study examines the cases of two L2 writing faculty as they (re)construct their professional identities within their institutions and broader academic communities. Using identity in practice as its theoretical framework, the study provides a rich, in-depth account of how the focal L2 writing scholars continue to negotiate and reconcile their professional identities among adjacent fields such as applied linguistics, TESOL, composition, and education. Results reveal that L2 writing scholars (re)construct their professional identities by negotiating their identity positions within their institutional and disciplinary contexts, by defining the boundaries of their professional identities through community membership, and by participating in multiple academic communities. Drawing on these results, the study considers how L2 writing scholars’ professional identity (re)construction reflects the development of L2 writing as a field/profession.

Competing Identities, Shifting Investments, and L2 Speaking During Study Abroad

Why learners return from study abroad (SA) with varying degrees of second language (L2) gains or differing attitudes towards the target language and culture remains an open question. This study employs theories of identity (Kinginger, 2013) and investment (Darvin & Norton, 2015; Norton Peirce, 1995) to examine the case of three learners of Spanish as they studied abroad in Spain. Interviews, journals, and language-use surveys were analyzed to understand how and why these learners’ investment in Spanish and in language learning opportunities shifted throughout their program. Pre- and post-SA speaking abilities tests in Spanish were used to measure how participants’ investments related to their L2 speaking development. The three case studies suggest that participants negotiate competing and fluctuating desires, identities, and investments that often lead to contradictory behaviors regarding their language learning and use while abroad. These opposing investments and identities stem from participants’ expectations of an idealized SA experience and their belief in the capital (Bourdieu, 1986) that Spanish may offer them back home and abroad. This study further finds that participants’ ongoing investment in learning and using Spanish relates to their L2 speaking gains post-SA.

A Transdisciplinary Approach to Examining and Confidence-Boosting the Experiences of Chinese Teachers of Chinese in Finland

With the current rise of China as a political, cultural, and economic superpower, Chinese as a foreign and second language has gained popularity worldwide. Finland is also responding to this global wave, as is reflected by the increasing number of Chinese courses in formal and informal settings in the Nordic country. Yet not all actors involved in the promotion of Chinese seem to experience instruction in the language in the same way. This study investigates how Chinese teachers of the Chinese language, who represent the majority of the ‘workforce’ for instruction in this language in Finland, perceive Chinese language education and their role in it...

Introduction to Special Issue: Literary Translingualism: Multilingual Identity and Creativity

The guest editors introduce L2Journal readers to an emerging field of translingual literature--texts by authors using more than one language or a language other than their primary one. The diverse contributions by scholars of literary translingualism presented here contribute to multilingualism studies a unique lens of literary texts infused by multilingual creativity.

Subjectivity and Spirituality during Study Abroad: A Case Study

In this paper, we examine the case of Veronica, an American undergraduate studying abroad in Paris, whose struggles to negotiate linguistic and cultural differences highlight a deeply personal and emotional attempt to reconcile the symbolic values she assigns to her national, ethnic and imagined identities...

“I won’t talk about this here in America:” Sociocultural Context of Korean English Language Learners’ Emotion Speech in English

This article examines the relationship between language and emotion, especially drawing attention to the experiences and perspectives of second language (SL) learners. Informed by the sociocultural perspective on the construction of emotion and its representation, this study highlights the intertwined relationship among emotions, cultural contexts, perceived identities, and languages...

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