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2009.12.27 (16:57:03)
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Choe, Hohsung. 2004. Social Identity, Personal Identity, and Language Learning. English Language and Linguistics 18, 85-104. In this article, the researcher argues for the applicability of social identity theory in terms of language learning and the influence of social and personal identity on language learning based on his examination of data from case studies of two Korean nonnative English speaking (NNES) graduate students. The research questions for this study include: (1) How useful is social identity theory in understanding NNES student identity? (2) Can personal identity be inconsistent with social identity? (3) If so, what are the reasons for the inconsistency? The results of the study show that the participants' social identity as a NNES overwhelmingly affects their understanding of themselves and their interactions. They, as NNESs, accepted a negative social identity because being a NNES in graduate school forced them to accept a marginalized position. The results also demonstrate that although they belong to non-powerful and non-prestigious social categories, their reactions to their social identities are different from each other. One participant’s personal identity is consistent with his social identity while the other shows the opposite result, resisting the assigned social identity. The different reactions to social identity are caused by different experiences with the target language speakers. One had negative experiences with native English speakers (NES) while the other had a number of positive experiences with them. Their different experiences have had great effects on their language learning strategies as well as their self-identity construction.

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