Learner-Language Identities: Linguistic Instantiations of Identity in Additional-Language Student Texts
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The study presented explores immigrant student identity construction in additional-language academic writing. Examining the English language academic writing of upper-secondary students in Norway, the project charts the relationship between the students’ linguistic choices and their attitudes towards textual authority, collective identifications and language retention and loss. The project unfolds within an Applied Linguistics framework, studying classroom writing for textual traces of student identity construction. Focussing on identity markers in the form of personal pronouns and referring expressions, the first two articles index linguistic choices to authorial presence and to larger social practises of identification. The first of these articles argues for the importance of task type selection in the production of authorial identity. The second article suggests that bicultural identity is signalled through inclusive and exclusive referencing patterns. The third article examines student metaphors of language acquisition, retention and loss in order to discuss issues connected to student attitudes towards the migration experience. All three articles argue that textual analysis of student writing can shed light on the connections between linguistic output and identity construction.