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Title: The narrative identity construction of three multilingual students at an American-style university in the UAE : an examination of motivational, ideological, attitudinal, and sociocultural factors that impact writer identity in academic English
Author: Sperrazza, L.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7654 8603
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2019
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This study explores how multilingual students at an American-style university in the UAE construct their narrative identities as academic writers in English. I use a case-study approach on three first-year writing students by examining written journal responses, questionnaires, and semi-structured interviews about their past, present, and imagined-future experiences as writers. The study uses multiple theoretical frameworks to examine the writing motivations, linguistic ideologies, attitudinal beliefs, and sociocultural influences surrounding English as an academic discourse that are specific to the UAE, with particular focus on how English as the medium of instruction impacts writer identity and narrative identity construction in multilingual students. The study reveals that the participants' motivations as academic writers were impacted by their investments in English rather than their sole abilities as academic writers. Thus, English as the primary language of instruction in the UAE plays a significant role when understanding writer identity in the region. The study also reveals the challenges that can arise when educational practices in the UAE demand mastery of academic discourse in English without considering the potential impact on multilingual students' perceptions of their English-language abilities. This was highlighted when the participants encountered difficulties common to all academic writers, such as gatekeeping practices, formulaic teaching methods, and standard-language correctness, yet their English-language abilities were perceived to be the cause, either by themselves or their teachers, rather than the overall challenges of mastering an academic discourse. By having the participants construct their writer identities in narrative form, their unique experiences can offer important perspectives on the ways in which English impacts writer identity in multilingual students in the UAE.
Supervisor: Durrant, P. ; Jones, S. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available