ABSTRACT

There has been a substantial amount of research on identity within second language acquisition (SLA) in recent decades. Here we focus on language identity as it develops during study abroad (SA), following a poststructuralist approach that sees identity as fluid, socially constructed, contextual, and negotiated in interaction. We take as starting point the Benson et al. (2012, 2013) framework of L2 identities. Nevertheless, conceptualising language identity in terms of only L1 and L2 seems reductive when examining the lived experiences of many mobile students today. The SA context is increasingly a multilingual experience, in which students can use all their linguistic resources to communicate with locals and other international students. For this reason, we explore the relevance for today’s mobile students of the concept of multilingual or plurilingual identity (Henry, 2017), and widen our interest beyond the traditional SLA concern with students who are language specialists.