Chinese Students: Perspectives on their social, cognitive, and linguistic investment in English medium interaction
  • ISSN 0957-6851
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9838
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While the commodification of English as a global language may give rise to varying degrees of political and economic benefits for language learners, a simultaneous “cost” of this return may be a continued perpetuation of various forms of hegemony. In this vein, this one-year case study investigated a Canadian post-secondary English as a Second Language (ESL) program that analyzed the interconnections between language and culture through a critical dialogic approach. Classroom observations, however, revealed that disjunctions existed between the pedagogy as it was conceptualized and the practices of the instructors teaching there and suggested that the “critical” discourses mediated within the language classrooms essentialized culture and, subsequently, the identities of the students. This paper presents the voices of students from Mainland China as they attempted to negotiate their local and global identities within the larger sociopolitical contexts of the English language, generally, and English language education, in particular. I argue that classroom discourses can (re)create subordinate student identities, thereby limiting their access not only to language-learning opportunities, but to other more powerful identities. This paper thus highlights how ESL pedagogies and practices might address and contest hegemonic discourses and concomitantly reimagine student identities in more emancipatory ways.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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