Spring 5-14-2015



Degree Name


Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Susan Bosher

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Anne DeMuth

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Joyce Stockton


The research question addressed in this project is, what does research say about identityfocused second language acquisition (SLA) as applied in the classroom? The aim of this study is to provide stakeholders in ESL contexts with an overview of existing research on identity-focused SLA with particular emphasis on classroom applications. This information is investigated in the hopes of uncovering practical tools and strategies for educators to use in support of both SLA and identity development. Identity-based SLA is defined and discussed using Bonny Norton’s (2006) five beliefs about identity as a framework. Twenty-four studies with classroom applications of identity-focused SLA are investigated and analyzed. Though the 24 studies have different purposes and identityapplication foci, seven themes are identified as characteristic of classroom applications. The systematic review revealed positive results for both identity development and SLA.


Adult Education, ESL/ ELLs, Multicultural Education, Teachers/ Teaching

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