Korean ESL(English as a Second Language) Graduate Students' Investments, Social Identities, and Imagined Communities
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The purpose of this exploratory qualitative study was to examine Korean graduate students' investments in learning and using English in relation to their social identities and how these social identities are being negotiated as they adapt to different social contexts in their lives. In the field of SLA (Second Language Acquisition), prior studies have focused on motivation when studying the characteristics of good language learners. However, language learning and usage are intertwined with sociocultural factors in complex ways and are often influenced by the social identity of individuals. Therefore, drawing upon the theoretical framework of Norton (1995)`s notion of investment and social identity, two case studies of Korean graduate students at a Pacific Northwest university in the United States (US) were studied using questionnaires, write-ups, drawing tasks, and individual interviews. In addition, the concept of imagined communities was also drawn upon because it is considered as part of creating an imagined identity, which could influence the learners' investments in their target language as well as the educational practices that they are engaged in (Norton & Toohey, 2001; Norton, 1995).
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