Pragmatics and Identity in L2 Land: Rethinking the Role of Mediation


Abstract: This presentation will review recent studies problematizing various aspects of identity in relation to mobile students’ encounters with the socio-pragmatic dimensions of language.  The talk will be organized in terms of salient demographic categories represented in the literature: nationality, “foreigner” status, gender, age, ethnicity, sexuality, and linguistic inheritance. When students encounter challenges not only to their language skills, but also to their identity, enjoining them to become more engaged or less judgmental may not be sufficient. Rather, students might benefit from concept-based instruction, an approach emerging from Vygotskian sociocultural theory, to understand how linguistic choices both reflect and create social contexts.