Chinese Students Negotiating L2 English Writing Identity: Navigating Introductory Composition at a U.S. University

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Jennifer Lund

Abstract

This small scale ethnographic study explores the L2 English academic writing identity negotiation of three Chinese students within the context of an introductory composition course at a U.S. Midwestern university focused on the needs of international students. Through individual interviews and classroom observations, it was investigated whether participants’ previous language learning experiences and current language ideologies play a significant role in their attitudes towards acquiring L2 academic literacy skills in English. Another point of interest was how these students shape their ‘imagined communities’ in respect to second language writing and whether they experience any kind of ‘inferiority of identity’. Results
concluded that students were implicitly and explicitly aware of English as a dominant discourse and were able to describe specific stylistic differences between Chinese and English argumentative writing that seemed to have some effect on their conscious development of thought patterns in organizing writing assignments in a given socio‐‐‐cultural setting. Further notice of how L2 students accommodate or resist English academic writing conventions and how they may self‐‐‐marginalize their own L1 merits greater attention.

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