Publication Date

Fall 2004

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

First Advisor

Elka Todeva


In this paper I will reflect on the role of identity as it relates to second language acquisition. My hypothesis is that second language acquisition can be slowed or even halted when students cannot adapt to the culture of the language they are studying. Student’s facing cultural conflict tend to distance themselves from the community thereby creating barriers in the learning process. This hypothesis is based upon my own experience as a third generation Canadian. I believe the effective classroom will work to reduce cultural conflict by affirming the learner’s cultural identity and sense of self as they explore the target culture. My teaching philosophy must account for this, as overcoming psychological barriers is a critical step in the process of language acquisition.


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Community-Based Learning | First and Second Language Acquisition | Linguistics