Learner identity in EFL: An analysis of digital texts of identity in higher education





EFL learning and teaching, digital communication, identity, learner identity


This study explores learner identity (LI) in digital texts of identity (DTI) produced by college learners in English as a foreign language (EFL). In so doing, it aims to shed light on learners’ connections of their learning experiences across time and settings, and their impact on the various learner identities that form their LI. It also intends to elucidate how learners construct powerful learner identities in and through their digital discourses. To this end, 51 DTI were collected and scrutinized, following studies on LI, critical and poststructuralist discourse analysis, and “thematic” and “dialogic/performative” analysis within narrative research. Learners established connections between their family and daily life spaces, school, and the foreign language community that account for, and shape their construction of their identities as learners in general, and language learners in particular. Students also empowered themselves by identifying with an intercultural speaker, using authority claims, and, in general, enhancing their authoritativeness in and through their texts. These findings underscore the potential of DTI to reinforce learners’ identities, and create more equitable learning spaces.

Author Biography

María Dolores García Pastor, University of València

María D. García-Pastor is a professor in the Department of teaching language and literature at the Faculty of Education of the University of Valencia. Her research interests are within English as a foreign language (EFL) teaching and learning with a focus on grammar and second/foreign language (L2/FL) pragmatics, learner identity, and foreign language anxiety along with linguistic im/politeness. Her publications include articles in language education and linguistic journals (Digital Education Review, Signos, Porta Linguarum, etc.), and chapters and books by national and international publishers (Mouton de Gruyter, Peter Lang, etc.). She has a PhD and M.A. in English linguistics (University of Valencia), and an M.A. in Communication studies (University of Iowa, USA).


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