Identity Negotiation in Chinese University English Classroom

  •  Nan Zhou    


Through a theoretical framework that builds on the Community of Practice construct and the concepts of identity negotiation, imagined identity and investment, this case study examines how one English-as-a-foreign-language student negotiated the identity as an English learner in the Chinese university classroom setting. Then the extent that the student’s oral communication behaviors in the English classroom community were influenced by the negotiated identity is presented. The analysis shows that a student may have multiple identities in the educational setting. By constantly shifting identities in the English learning process, the focal student struggled with the English learner identity perceived by herself and that identified by her English teacher. As a result, the student’s investment in English class oral tasks and communication behaviors in EFL classroom may change with the shift of identities. Suggestions are made for EFL teachers to help students construct desirable identities in order to improve their involvement in English class oral communication activities.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1925-4741
  • ISSN(Online): 1925-475X
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: quarterly

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