Developing our L2 and Heritage Language Learners’ Identities as Writers: Acquiring a Voice
Ana Oskoz [+]
University of Maryland Baltimore County
Idoia Elola [+]
Texas Tech University
This chapter focuses on the development of L2 learners’ and heritage language learners’ identities as writers. To date, there is limited knowledge on writing and digital literacies’ integration with the teaching of languages to heritage speakers, which indicates the need for solid guidelines and recommendations for future research and pedagogical decisions. This chapter, following sociolinguistic and sociocultural theoretical frameworks, explains how contextual factors (such as linguistic background, dialects, and mixed populations in the same classroom) and digital literacies enrich HL and L2 language learners’ socialization and identity development. It also shows how L2 and HL learners’ self-perceptions might shift from feeling inexperienced or inadequate to becoming experts as they construct their identities as L2 writers (King, 2015; Sauro, 2014). After discussing the impact that digital literacies have on L2 and HL writers’ writing practices and the development of their own voices, the chapter examines how literacies influence pedagogical and practical considerations in these educational settings. Examples of tasks and writing approaches shaped by learners’ diverse needs, identity, and interests, as well as implications for classroom practice, are included. Finally, a call for future research and pedagogical innovation with diverse populations is addressed.