Identity Construction and Negotiation of Classroom CoP Members in Global Englishes Course: A Higher Education Context in Thailand

  •  Poonyapat Boonyarattanasoontorn    
  •  Pimsiri Taylor    


This ethnographic study examines identity negotiation and construction inside a Global Englishes (GE) classroom community of practice in a Thai higher education context. Drawing on the communities of practice (CoP) framework (Lave & Wenger, 1991; Wenger, 1998), the study theorizes the academic GE classroom as a CoP and explores how participants construct identities while engaged in the joint enterprise of becoming English as a lingua franca (ELF) users and engaging in classroom activities using a shared repertoire of humour and shared narratives. The findings revealed the emergence of multiple identities from the overlapping characteristics of the academic classroom, and raised questions regarding legitimate peripheral participation (LPP) and identity trajectories as they intersect the egalitarian notion of ELF, including semi-expert identity, reverse identity, and bullying. Furthermore, the study highlighted the significant role of individual agency in the interplay between personal experiences and the broader Thai social structure in negotiating identities. The implications for researchers and practitioners focus on the potential of Global Englishes classrooms as a locus for positive identity construction and the importance of considering differing perspectives to create a more nuanced understanding of identity and participation in L2 learning. The study also suggests a bottom-up pedagogical approach with ELF-oriented materials for learners to develop more favourable identities as English as a lingua franca users and/or multicompetent speakers.

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