Unraveling Multilingual Identity: The Transformative Influence of Glocal Learning Contexts in Adult ESL Education


In the evolving domain of language education, our research delves into the multilingual identity development of adult ESL learners, guided by Sociocultural Theory. We probe the interplay between 'glocal' learning contexts—where 'glocal' denotes the blend of global and local influences—and the fluid multilingual identities of learners within this vibrant milieu. The robust longitudinal qualitative approach reveals striking cognitive transformations in learners: they not only enrich their knowledge reservoir but also hone advanced metacognitive strategies, nurture multifaceted thinking skills, and amplify their linguistic and cultural acuity. Behaviorally, we observe an intensified learning engagement, communication adaptations, and a proactive drive to extend learning beyond classrooms. From an affective standpoint, the landscape is marked by a blossoming motivation for linguistic and cultural diversity, an ethos of inclusivity, reinforced linguistic confidence, and an evolving global identity that underscores a growing affinity with the broader global community. Further, these glocal contexts act as crucibles, fostering a rich tapestry of multilingual identity evolution. The interplay between glocal affordances and individual differences results in a spectrum of multilingual identity shifts, ranging from bolstered linguistic confidence and broader worldviews to a deeper emotional connection to linguistic roots and a reevaluation of cultural and linguistic beliefs.
In summary, our research elucidates the intricate relationship between glocal influences and the cognitive, behavioral, and affective metamorphoses in forming multilingual identities. Highlighting educators' pivotal role, our insights underscore the profound potential of the glocal paradigm in language teaching, paving the way for robust multilingual identity development and elevating educational outcomes.

Author Information
Mengxi Tian, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Paper Information
Conference: SEACE2024
Stream: Foreign Languages Education & Applied Linguistics (including ESL/TESL/TEFL)

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon