PROFESSIONAL IDENTITY FORMATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF IMAGINED COMMUNITIES IN AN ENGLISH LANGUAGE MAJOR IN MEXICO
Committee ChairWaugh, Linda R.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractRecent work has shown the importance of identity in language learning and how the desire to belong to an imagined community drives individuals to invest in their learning (Norton, 2000). This work has documented that a mismatch between students' imagined community and the community envisioned by the teacher can have negative outcomes on students' learning trajectories. Other research has explored how institutional policies and their linked educational practices reflect differences in the imagined communities each institution sees their students potentially joining in the future (Kanno, 2003) and how reading materials and the discourses reflected in them can affect learners' visions of themselves(Pavlenko, 2003). However few studies have tried to document how an `imagined community' might be collectively constructed for others through a complex interaction of social and cultural structures, circulating discourses, institutional discourses, educational practices, group dynamics and personal histories that produce visions of potential identities (I) and their respective imagined communities (IC's) in which newcomers get socialized. There is a gap in current research on how `imagined communities' and `identities' for second language learners get constructed, circulated and made available to learners within institutional contexts.Through this qualitative study involving questionnaires and autobiographical research I studied the construction of imagined communities in an English language major in Mexico. I explored how professional identities and their related imagined communities are collectively constructed and made available to students in order to understand how institutions, programs administrators and faculty members could enhance the spread of successful professional identities and inspire/stimulate L2 speakers in their educational and professional trajectories.
Degree ProgramSecond Language Acquisition & Teaching