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Document Details :
Title: Learner Agency and Identity in Second Language Writing
Author(s): LEE, Heekyeong
Journal: ITL - International Journal of Applied Linguistics
Volume: 156 Date: 2008
In this paper, I provide a critical discussion about the socio-cultural-historical dimension of a student’s struggle in the processes of learning academic writing in second language (L2). Some teachers or researchers may assume that L2 students often struggle because they do not know or do not understand the information they are taught. Therefore, teachers may feel that it is their duty to explicitly teach the information to students. I argue that some L2 students’ difficulties in their academic writing processes should not only be viewed as due to their limited proficiency of language or motivation to learn. Rather, L2 student writers’ struggles can be influenced by the process of negotiating learner agency and identity in their multiple social worlds. The primary source of the data presented is one Korean student’s personal narrative about his learning challenges and struggles in an intensive ESL program at a Canadian university. Findings of data call for a re-examination of hegemonic approaches that have become normative ways of framing, representing and describing L2 student writers and their learning challenges from a deficit view.