Foreign language learner identity : a sociocultural perspective
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Second language acquisition has seen a shift toward sociocultural approaches over the past fifteen years (Block, 2007). Sociocultural theory (Offord, 2005), language socialization (Schieffelin and Ochs, 1986), and “communities of practice” (Lave and Wenger, 1991) highlight how language learner identity, like language itself, is both socially and individually constructed. As learners acquire a foreign language, they also gain a new awareness of who and how they are—they develop a second language (L2) self (Granger, 2004). How language learners identify themselves depends on contextual factors (Norton, 1995). This report focuses on how language learner social identity is negotiated in three contexts: the foreign language classroom, the study abroad setting, and in face-to-face interactions.