Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 13. Number 4 December 2022                                          Pp.24-37

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Investigating a Language Learner Identity
in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

  John McKeown
English Coordinator, Üsküdar American Academy
Istanbul, Türkiye

Maria Ramadori
IB English Teacher, Üsküdar American Academy
Istanbul, Türkiye


Received:09/16/2022         Accepted:11/8/2022                   Published: 12/15/2022

This localized, classroom-based, qualitative ethnographic study, conducted during 2019-2021 at a foreign national, English-medium high school in Türkiye investigates the development of a language learner identity in the English courses of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. The target population is mixed-gender high school students enrolled in the Diploma Programme. In the entrance and exit course surveys, students disclosed their views about themselves as language learners, their impressions of language learner assumptions, tacit and explicit teacher expectations, and their reactions to the International Baccalaureate syllabus and their perceived progress. Each of these factors had a significant but not equal impact on their choice to study English A: Literature and Language, either at standard level or higher level or English B: Language Acquisition higher level. The extent of the development of a language learner identity aligned to the language policies of the International Baccalaureate is seen through the student survey responses and the instructors’ anecdotal commentary. A language learner identity can be seen to develop within the context of the program as students experience improvement in their language skills, make shifts in perspectives, and interact in the target language with others in the school environment. The study begins to fill a gap related to language identity development in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme English courses and may be of interest to Diploma Programme teachers, coordinators, and school policymakers.
Keywords: English A higher level, English B higher level, English language learning, International Baccalaureate
Diploma Programme, language learner identity

 Cite as:  McKeown, J. & Ramadori, M. (2022). Investigating a Language Learner Identity in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.  Arab World English Journal, 13 (4) 24-37.


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Received: 09/16/2022
Accepted: 11/8/2022
Published: 12/15/2022   

John McKeown is English Coordinator at the Üsküdar American Academy, Istanbul. In addition to extensive K-12 teaching and school administrative experience, in tertiary education he has served at MEF University Istanbul as Director of the School of Foreign Languages, Coordinator of Teaching Practice at Bahrain Teachers College, and curriculum designer at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.ORCID:

 Maria Ramadori has taught English literature and language for the past twenty years. She graduated from University of Ottawa, Carleton University, and University of Toronto (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, OISE). From Canada, Maria has lived in India, South Korea and Turkey where she taught in the IBDP program, as well as AP courses.