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Acknowledging Learner Multiple Identities in the EFL Classroom

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Author(s): Nugrahenny T. Zacharias

Journal: K@ta : a Biannual Publication on the Study of Language and Literature
ISSN 1411-2639

Volume: 12;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 26;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: identities | imagined communities | bilinguals | multicompetence | community of practice

ABSTRACT
Students in any educational settings represent a wide array of social and cultural identities: as men/women, as foreigners or locals, as native speakers or non-native speakers, as individuals with particular beliefs, as members of families, organization, ethnic groups or society at large. Despite their multiple identities, English language pedagogy continues to subsume these diverse identities into a single linguistic basket labeled non-native speakers. Although the label has now been widely challenged (see, among others, Jenkins, 1996; Phillipson, 1992; Seidlhofer, 1999; & Shuck, 2006), the label persists because suggestions have not been accompanied by microlevel classroom techniques on how to address students’ various identities in the classroom. This paper seeks to address this gap by recommending practical classroom techniques to accommodate learners’ multiple identities.

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