The Power of Identity and Ideology in Language Learning

Designer Immigrants Learning English in Singapore

  • Peter I. De Costa

Part of the Multilingual Education book series (MULT, volume 18)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Peter I. De Costa
    Pages 1-12
  3. Peter I. De Costa
    Pages 55-67
  4. Peter I. De Costa
    Pages 87-121
  5. Peter I. De Costa
    Pages 163-172
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 173-173

About this book


This critical ethnographic school-based case study offers insights on the interaction between ideology and the identity development of individual English language learners in Singapore. Illustrated by case studies of the language learning experiences of five Asian immigrant students in an English-medium school in Singapore, the author examines how the immigrant students negotiated a standard English ideology and their discursive positioning over the course of the school year. Specifically, the study traces how the prevailing standard English ideology interacted in highly complex ways with their being positioned as high academic achievers to ultimately influence their learning of English. This potent combination of language ideologies and circulating ideologies created a designer student immigration complex. By framing this situation as a complex, the study problematizes the power of ideologies in shaping the trajectories and identities of language learners.


Applied linguistic research on Singapore Discourse analysis English in Singapore Globalization and educational processes Immigrant students in secondary education Immigrant students learning English Language anxiety Language ideology and language identity Multicultural multilingual Singapore Poststructuralism and Bourdieu Singapore's national bilingual policy Student immigration in the Singapore education system The English language syllabus and the Singapore school The discourse of crisis and the Speak Good English Movement

Authors and affiliations

  • Peter I. De Costa
    • 1
  1. 1.Wells Hall B257Michigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Education Education (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-30209-6
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-30211-9
  • Series Print ISSN 2213-3208
  • Series Online ISSN 2213-3216
  • Buy this book on publisher's site