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Imagined Identities and Communities in an EFL Context
Current Issue
Volume 5, 2018
Issue 3 (September)
Pages: 35-40   |   Vol. 5, No. 3, September 2018   |   Follow on         
Paper in PDF Downloads: 23   Since Sep. 13, 2018 Views: 1112   Since Sep. 13, 2018
Authors
[1]
Nooshin Goharimehr, Department of Education, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan.
Abstract
It is often assumed that language plays a significant role in identity construction and there is a link between language, origin, culture and identity. While the native and target culture can shape language learners’ imagined identities and future participation in communities of practice, the EFL learners’ imaginaries also impact their motivation and language learning practices. Drawing on post-structuralism in the field of foreign language learning, this qualitative case study attempts to understand how the Japanese EFL learners’ cultural identity impact the construction of L2 identity and learners’ motivation as members of imagined communities. Data were collected through an open-ended questionnaire among eleven undergraduate students in a Japanese university. The findings indicate that the learners who incorporated imagined identities and communities in their learning goals are more motivated toward language learning as opposed to those who lack confidence and imagination of their future identities or a desire to join community of practice. Moreover, EFL context as the community of practice can impact the EFL learners’ construction of new identities as English learners and act as a major factor in motivation to get engaged in language learning practices.
Keywords
Identity Construction, Imagined Communities, Motivation, Foreign Language Learning
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