“I’m Still Angry!” A Korean Student’s Self-Negotiation in her Canadian Classroom

Jennifer Burton


Grounded in poststructuralist understandings of language and identity and Davies and Harré’s (1990) positioning theory, this paper explores one South Korean student’s educational experiences in her English as a Second Language (ESL) classroom, specifically related to subject positions and identity construction pertaining to language. Using a researcher diary, semi-structured interviews, and dialogue journals with one Korean university student, this paper reports findings from a qualitative study. The findings suggest a critical awareness of the effects of positioning on language learning experiences. The results indicate that although a student may exercise  agency to take up or resist subject positions, this positioning is part of a greater discourse, generally outside the control of the student that constructs identity through particular social experiences. The results of this study will be of interest to researchers in the areas of language identity, second language learning, and higher education in the 21st century.  

Keywords: power; positioning; subject positions; identity; English language; discourse; international students


power; positioning; subject positions; identity; English language; intercultural communication; international students

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