Acknowledging Learner Multiple Identities in the EFL Classroom

  • Nugrahenny T. Zacharias English Department, Faculty of Language and Literature, Satya Wacana Christian University
Keywords: identities, imagined communities, bilinguals, multicompetence, community of practice


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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