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Title: L2 creative writers : identities and writing processes
Author: Zhao, Yan
ISNI:       0000 0004 2723 9660
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2011
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L2 creative writing research is a relatively unchartered area. Pedagogical discussions on L2 creative writing activities often focus on manifestations of L2 learners' language learning, writing improvement, or expressions of emotion. There is a lack of research investigating the underlying identities of L2 creative writers as social agents. The present research targets the L2 creative writers who are interested and experienced in certain forms of creative writing. It investigates if and how L2 creative writers' emergent identities enacted in their online cognitive writing activities under particular tasks are mediated by the writers' 'autobiographical identities' (Clark and Ivanič, 1997) rooted in their life histories. Fifteen L2 creative writers from diverse sociocultural and academic backgrounds participated in the research. Firstly, the participants' 'autobiographical identities' were explored through eliciting their retrospective life-history accounts in in-depth interviews. Secondly, the research implemented two think-aloud story-writing sessions (Autobiographical writing & Prompted story-continuation writing) to capture the writers' emergent identities instantiated in their cognitive writing processes. Subsequently, the interconnectedness between these two types of identities was sought. Two parallel data analyses were conducted: 1) quantitative data coding targeting all fifteen L2 creative writers and 2) qualitative discussions concentrating on five selected focal participants. These two levels of analyses together show that the participants' cognitive writing processes as evinced through their engagement in these creative writing activities (i.e. their task-situated emergent identities) are mediated by the writers’ previous participation in multiple discourses and social worlds up to the moment of writing (i.e. their autobiographical identities formed throughout their life histories). The findings suggest certain directions for theory development in L2 creative writing research as well as in L2 writer identity research. Regarding L2 creative writing research, L2 teachers' practice could be enhanced by a deeper understanding of how creative writing is employed by L2 individuals not only for language or literacy acquisition purposes, but also as a self-empowering tool to achieve particular social positioning. Secondly, regarding L2 writer identity research, more research needs to be done regarding this micro and dynamic view of writer identity which resides in the movements of the writers' emerging thoughts situated in an immediate creative writing context and mediated by the writers' previous sociocultural experiences.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PN Literature (General)