The Dynamic nature of positional identites in an EFL classroom a conversation analysis-led case study

Özbakış, Özlem
Throughout the past decades, socially-oriented studies have become the leading topics in the fields of SLA and Applied Linguistics. Within this framework, in particular, identity has attracted its deserved attention following Norton’s work (1995, 2000, 2013) as Block (2007) puts forward. In line with this case, an extensive body of research has provided significant insights into the links between identity and language learning. However, analyzing classroom interactions in an EFL context has been the core subject of very few scholars in identity literature. In that sense, this study aims to understand how positional identities were constructed and negotiated in interaction in an EFL setting, and further to explore how these positional identities interact with learners’ getting access to language learning opportunities. Guided by positioning theory (Davies and Harre, 1990), this study has been conducted in an EFL classroom of a preparatory English program of a private university in Central Anatolia in Turkey and a conversation analytic approach is utilized to analyze 55 hours of audio-video recordings of classroom interactions.Displaying different identity negotiation from other members of the class during the term, three students were chosen as focal participants. The findings reveal that by adopting and being assigned a variety of positions in the sequential organization of interaction, students constitute and negotiate certain identities such as being competent, talkative or humorous and these identities are quite dynamic and play a vital role in students’ language learning opportunities. By bridging the gap with a different methodology and context, this study contributes to the existing knowledge of identity research.


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Citation Formats
Ö. Özbakış, “The Dynamic nature of positional identites in an EFL classroom a conversation analysis-led case study,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2015.