Identities are constructed in discourse, and the online environment is a discourse where all kinds of interactions take place. I believe the interactions conducted in different kinds of languages, especially English, would inspire the language users online to reconsider their being in the world and explore more possibilities in life.
So this study aims to find out whether there is a connection between online interactions and users’ identities constructions, and how they are connected.
I got my bachelor degree in Shanghai International Studies University, majoring in English language and literature. Then I got my master degree from the University of Warwick, majoring in Applied Linguistics (English language teaching).
What motivated me to undertake PhD study?
My studies at Warwick University triggered an interest in doing research, conducting interviews and observations, as well as analysing data. I found academic life joyous and gratifying, and that’s what motivated me to undertake PhD study.
What makes me passionate about my subject?
When I was in high school, I found my interest in English language was closely related to my online activities, which familiarised me with the outside world. The knowledge of the diversity of the world has inspired me to seek for different possibilities in life.
Years later, when I was doing my MA, I got acquainted with the concepts and theories of identity and language learning motivation, which could perfectly explained my own experience. I believe teenagers nowadays could have similar experience owing to the technology advancement and the various activities they have get access to online. So I am determined to devote myself to this area of study.
What are my plans once I have completed my PhD?
After finishing my PhD study, I would like to carry on my research in this area and work as researcher or lecturer in a university. I hope my study will have some pedagogically implications for English teachers, particularly in terms of mutual understanding between teachers and students, and reforming language teaching methods.