Language Socialization and Essay Writing: The Appropriation of Academic Discourse in an Iranian English L2 University Class

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Dept. of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Humanities, Arak University, Arak , Iran

2 Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Persian Literature and Foreign Languages, Arak University, Arak, Iran


L2 language socialization asks how learners come to gain the ability to write appropriately and sufficiently in an institutional academic community of practice. In the same line, this study focuses on the process of socialization of an Iranian English L2 essay writing class in the context of higher education. The theoretical backgrounds rely on the socialization and Vygotsky's sociocultural theories. Three case studies were analyzed throughout six weeks. The learners' essays, outlines, and reflective diaries were analyzed to trace their development in appropriating academic discourse and argumentation. Also, an interview session was held at the end of the study in which the issues regarding the whole experience of socialization were discussed with the participants. The results suggested that each learner pursued their path of socialization based on their individual and social needs of the academic discourse community. Accordingly, a model demonstrating their paths of development is presented. The model shows that the new-comers to this social site of engagement were mediated by the old-timer agent of practice (instructor) to appropriate the values, principles, and behaviors of this community of practice through the activities they were engaged in.


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