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Title:Investment in and use of English: a case study of Egyptian Twitter users
Author(s):Mohamed, Mai Mohamed Mohamed
Advisor(s):Sadler, Randall W
Contributor(s):Yan, Xun
Department / Program:Linguistics
Discipline:Teaching of English Sec Lang
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):English as a Foreign Language
Identity and Investment
Abstract:The rise of popularity in Social Network Platforms has led language researchers to explore the effectiveness of Social Network Sites (SNS) in providing learners with opportunities for language practice and learning. In the literature, there has been a consensus towards the usefulness of SNS tools in language learning and practice (Reinhardt, 2019). On the other hand, coined in the 90s by Bonny Norton, investment has been a growing concept in SLA. Investment in L2 learning has been demonstrated through qualitative studies exploring the intersection of socio-economic factors and language learning in different contexts. To refine the notion of investment to better accommodate the constant changes of globalization and digital platforms, Darvin and Norton (2015) developed a model of investment to encompass ideology, capital, and identity, emphasizing the role of these aspects in affording learners with ways to position themselves in their communities. While most of the literature explores investment in L2 learning in ESL contexts, studies on investment in EFL contexts are limited. The present qualitative study explores four Egyptian Twitter users’ use of English to better position themselves and express their identities on Twitter. Approximately 3000 tweets are gathered from Twitter and coded in relation to the topics they tweet about and the language they tweet in. After coding the tweets, interviews were conducted with the participants to further triangulate the data exploring their experiences in relation to the topics they tweet about and the languages they tweet in. Results show that while Arabic is their native language, using English has afforded them a different identity, one that offers opportunities for self-expression and acceptance of change and other cultures. The implication of this study highlights how the L2 can afford learners opportunities to position themselves inside and outside the language classroom, which may affect their investment in their L2.
Issue Date:2020-07-24
Rights Information:Copyright 2020 Mai Mohamed
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-10-07
Date Deposited:2020-08

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