Dual Identity or Identity Duel: EFL Context Duality Force on Identity Aspects Formation Through Learners’ Self-Reflection
Background: The link between context and identity is of paramount importance to language teaching and learning. Yet, less attention has been paid to the identity aspects in various EFL contexts.
Purpose: This study examined the identity aspects of EFL learners attending both public and private English language classes through self-reflection.
Method: In this mixed-methods design, 128 conveniently chosen EFL learners, including both genders, responded to the Identity Aspects Questionnaire, and 23 of those participants were invited to a follow-up semi-structured interview to triangulate the questionnaire data. The study conducted Paired Samples T-Test for quantitative data, whereas qualitative data underwent thematic analysis to extract and codify the themes.
Results: The results revealed no significant differences for personal and relational identity aspects over these two EFL contexts, while collective and social ones reached differences. The qualitative data indicated that the EFL learners synergically adapt and adopt some identities through retention and creation. The shared identity between the two EFL classes mainly occurred in personal and relational aspects, while social and collective ones seemed relatively varied. The participants held both individualistic and collectivistic cultural dimensions in these two EFL classes. However, they were more idiocentric in private English language institutes and more socio-centric in public high schools. The discussion concerning identity issues indicated that EFL contexts affect the socializing process. The individuals position in a context according to their shared identities, while the varied identities lead them to form or adopt new identities.
Implication: These findings could help ELT teachers and researchers to expand their perception of language learners’ identities in different EFL contexts.
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