WP39 Exploring linguistic and ethnic self among Korean students learning English

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During the past decade, identity has become one of the significant constructs in educational research. In particular, the recognition of learners? identity in the process of language learning marks a paradigm shift in Second Language Acquisition (SLA) research. This study explores how second grade Korean students of middle-class families make sense of who they are while learning English as a Second Language (ESL) in a specific social setting, using theories of subjectivity to understand participating students? sense of self and their multiple and situated identities in multi-layered social interactions and discourses. This study is a qualitative research effort and discourse-oriented ethnographic inquiry involving interviews, long-term observations, and discourse analysis. The discursive data of the study not only described Korean ESL students? literacy practices along with language development, but also documented the participating students? subjectivities associated with literacy practices. The findings of the study demonstrate that the participating students negotiate their multiple social identities in discursive processes of language learning and their understandings of the language, culture, and self are shaped by discursive interactions in their social settings.