Intercultural identity transformations among Japanese learners of English

2017 IJRSLL – Volume 6 Issue 4


Capobianco, Paul*
University of Iowa, USA (


This paper examines how Japanese learners of English undergo identity transformations as they engage in the continued process of their language study. It will explain the material and conceptual changes that learners experience, demonstrate how learners develop greater intercultural orientations as a result of their study, and highlight the important role that meaningful interactions play in the progression of identity development. Concerning the lattermost objective, this paper suggests that there are at least two qualitatively different acts that account for different types of identity transformations in second language learners. The first is the act of studying a new language and the second is participation in meaningful interactions with members of the target language community. Each act serves as a discrete process through which revelations about personal identity can be realized. This paper establishes these arguments based upon intercultural communications theory, poststructuralist studies into second language acquisition, and the overall affective processes related to language learning.

Keywords: language learning; identity; intercultural communication; English as a Foreign Language; Japan; interpersonal communication



*Corresponding Author