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ERIC Number: EJ1171160
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 33
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1814-9448
Imagined Identities and Investment in L2 Learning
Wu, Hao-yu
Taiwan Journal of TESOL, v14 n2 p101-133 2017
Imagined identity, referring to the ideal self that L2 learners aspire to become in the future (Norton & Toohey, 2011), has been identified as a critical factor that could guide learners to make a learning investment that they believe would in turn reward them with the social capital for which they yearn (Kanno & Norton, 2003). This qualitative case study explores the relationship between imagined identity and investment through the analysis of English learning histories of three high achieving EFL learners in Taiwan. The findings reveal that the participants' different imagined identities constructed under the influence of particular social and personal factors influenced their choices of investment in different learning stages. Limited imagined identities as English learners confined their learning investment to the school context while more extended imagined identities such as an expert English user and English teacher guided them to make more varied investment in both formal and informal contexts. In addition, it was found that while the participants' imagined identities could act as a beneficial impetus for action, motivating them to make corresponding investments in their learning contexts, they also play a negative force, triggering the participants' resistant acts that led to reduced learning investment. In light of the results, some practical pedagogical implications and suggestions for future research are provided to add to the field of learning and teaching foreign languages.
National Chengchi University Department of English. 64 Sec 2 ZhiNan Road, Wenshan District, Taipei 11605, Taiwan, R.O.C. Tel: 886-2-2938-7248; Fax: 886-2-2939-0510; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Taiwan
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A