Writing and Identity: A Narrative Inquiry on Two Saudi Arabian ESL Females

  •  Mustafa A. Hersi    


Writing in a second language is considered extremely challenging for several reasons. Concerns that perplex second-language learners include cognitive complications, the composing process, building arguments, and constructing an identity as a writer. Cultural issues related to writing also pose problems for second-language writers This paper focuses exclusively on how international students, female Saudi ESL students, construct their writing identity in the ESL milieu and navigate critical issues in cross-cultural writing. This paper explores how two ESL Saudi Arabian female students in an English program in the United States negotiate and construct their identities while writing in English. The study will also investigate challenges faced by those students in acquiring English writing skills and how those challenges inform their thinking and shape or reshape their identities as writers. 
The study involves two female Saudi students who are studying the English language at a mid-size diverse Southwest public university in the United States. The researcher collected the data through semi-structured interviews with the participants and then performed a textual analysis of their responses. The researcher transcribed and analyzed the data and describes the results thematically herein. The findings of this study augment our understanding in how female Saudi ESL students construct their identities as writers. The analysis covers some sociocultural factors that shape their writing. The paper concludes with pedagogical implications for ESL teachers and suggestions for future study. 

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