“When I speak English, I feel international”. Exchange students’ construction of social identity in Denmark

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Abstract

“When I speak English, I feel international”. Exchange students’ construction of social identity in Denmark.
Students from various countries participate in the English courses for Ph.D. and Master students at Aalborg University, Denmark. Here they try to achieve a fluency in English that permits them to participate in classes and to pass their exams in English, write their thesis in English, etc. The students have different nationalities and identities. While learning English, they try to adapt to Denmark and the Danish culture and language. English plays the role as the lingua franca per se in the globalized world and in Denmark aswell. Studies show that language influence a person’s social identity. In this paper I will present the case of a group of foreign students and the construction of identity while participating in English courses. Particularly interesting is the ‘international identity’ introduced by one of the students. I will present and discuss some possible answers to the question: What is an international identity? How do you construct an international identity? The findings are based on qualitative semi-structured videotaped group interviews with a groups of foreign students. The theories applied to the data will be identity construction, social identity and internalization/globalization.
Literature:

Anderson, B. (1983). Imagined Communities. London: Verso
Bauman, Z. (1991). Modernity and Ambivalence. Cambridge: Polity Press
Burr, V. (2003). Social Constructionism. London: Routledge
Robertson, R. (1992).Globalization: Social Theory and Global Culture. London: Sage.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date29 Oct 2015
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 29 Oct 2015
EventSiLL2015-The Self in Language Learning Çağ University, September 17-19, 2015: The Self in Language Learning - Çağ University, Adana, Adana, Turkey
Duration: 17 Sep 201519 Sep 2015
Conference number: 1

Conference

ConferenceSiLL2015-The Self in Language Learning Çağ University, September 17-19, 2015
Number1
LocationÇağ University, Adana
CountryTurkey
CityAdana
Period17/09/201519/09/2015

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