Social identity change among english language learners: a case study

Tarhan, Hakan
This case study has been conducted in order to explore social identity change among a group of language learners studying in the English language preparatory program at a private university in Turkey. The relationship between the students’ self-system types and their academic performance was also investigated. The data were collected through face-to-face interviews with eleven students and the instructors who taught them during an academic year and the assessment and performance reports each instructor prepared twice a semester. As determined by the proficiency exam administered in the beginning of the first semester, all students were in the same level of proficiency, but as a consequence of the administration’s policy of grouping students in classes by their academic performance, six participants started the second semester in the class composed of students with highest grade point average while five of them started in the class composed of students with lowest grade point average. The findings of the study indicated that the all high achievers experienced productive change and the majority of them experienced additive change and an increase in their self-confidence whereas no low achievers experienced productive change and only few experienced additive and self-confidence change. Also, the results also showed that while the transition from high achievers’ actual self into their possible self was harmonious, that of low achievers were submissive. The findings suggested that the identities of learners should be taken more seriously and that an investigation of their language learning experience and future goals related to the target language is necessary.


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Citation Formats
H. Tarhan, “Social identity change among english language learners: a case study,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2015.