Identity Negotiation of Female ESL Learners: Communities of Practice Perspective

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Saima Murtaza Pandhiani
Dr.Sumera Umrani

Abstract

This qualitative study employs Communities of Practice (Lave& Wenger, 1991) framework to map out how female learner identity is built and negotiated within Post-colonial Pakistan. The study traces out the ongoing identity struggles of young Pakistani female ESL learners at The Institute of English Language and Literature (IELL), University of Sindh, Jamshoro, Pakistan, from a broadly poststructuralist perspective .Data analysis and interpretation were guided by CoP framework which views learner as essentially part and parcel of the learning environment within which learning takes places. The data revealed a complex picture of Female English Language Learner Identity (FELLI), as diverse subject positions emerged while the participants developed a sense of alignment with different CoP and displaying acts of resistance to counter discrimination. Higher education appeared as a site of identity negotiation and transition into new CoP for the participants. The participants demonstrated signs of social, linguistic and academic participation in as participating members of academic CoP.

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