Digital Literacy and Identity Formation in 21st Century Classrooms: Implications for Second Language Development

Lavern Byfield, Crystal Shelby-Caffey, Heidi Bacon, Xiang Shen


As technology is increasingly adapted for educational purposes, previous research has confirmed the impact of technology on English learners’ (ELs’) literacy development. Given the increased attention to self-based studies in second language acquisition, this paper explores how ELs are motivated to learn a second language by pursuing the imagined selves, investing in the target culture, and negotiating identities in digitally mediated contexts. The motivational capacity of identity is discussed from cognitive/psychological, social/psychological, and sociocultural perspectives. Pedagogical implications about the use of technology to facilitate L2 literacy development are discussed.



L2 motivational self systems, cultural investment, L2 socialization, digital literacy

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