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ERIC Number: EJ1075815
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Oct
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 41
ISSN: EISSN-1094-3501
"I Am What I Am": Multilingual Identity and Digital Translanguaging
Schreiber, Brooke Ricker
Language Learning & Technology, v19 n3 p69-87 Oct 2015
This paper presents a case study of the multilingual writing practices of a Serbian university student on Facebook, examining how he uses multiple varieties of English and Serbian images and video to shape his online identity and establish membership in local and global communities. Drawing on data from stimulated-recall interviews, online participant observation, and rhetorical analysis, this study shows how Aleksandar, a hip-hop artist, appropriates hip-hop codes and employs the "gate-keeping" function of posting links (Baek, Holton, Harp, & Yaschur, 2011) by embedding links to music videos in his own highly personal code-mixed text in order to establish himself as a distinctly Serbian member of the global hip-hop community. The findings suggest that Aleksandar's language practices and attitudes might be better understood as translingual (Canagarajah, 2011), as the student integrates diverse linguistic and semiotic resources into a unified expression of identity, relying on the multimodal affordances of digital writing to accomplish his communicative goals. However, these sophisticated textual practices go undervalued in his EFL writing courses, where formal, monolingual, non-digital literacy remains primary (Saxena, 2011). These findings suggest a need to re-evaluate what it means to have a second language-mediated identity, and to expand the focus of EFL writing pedagogy.
University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center. 1859 East-West Road #106, Honolulu, HI 96822. Tel: 808-956-9424; Fax: 808-956-5983; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Serbia