The Complexity and Hybridity of Social Identity



This chapter illustrates how bilingual preservice teachers’ multiple and hybrid identities are brought into the conversation through class discussions, both online and face-to-face. It primarily focuses on bilingual teacher identity and heritage language identity as socially and culturally constitutive practices. In classrooms where English was the one and only language of communication, both oral and written, their first language competence was not usually recognized or acknowledged. Instead, they were merely viewed as limited, deficient second language learner who was supposed to be socialized into the dominant academic discourse community. The participants challenged the undesirable imposed identities and reconfigured what was valued and legitimate. An emergence of the varying degrees of bi- or multicultural identities associated with the heritage language should be further examined to move beyond essentialist discourses surrounding heritage language identity. I argue that heritage language identity and bilingual teacher identity should not be simply dismissed as a relic of the past nor be undoubtedly valorizing constructs of social identities. Rather I suggest the multiplicity and the hybridity of identities that we negotiate and carry with us to understand the issues of bilingual preservice teachers in teacher education.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Curriculum and TeachingThe University of KansasLawrenceUSA

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