The article include the consideration of social functions of higher education for indigenous minorities living in the Arctic. Particular emphasis was placed on reconstructing educational practices and the language policy that is implemented toward indigenous minorities in Alaska, Canadian Arctic, Greenland, northern regions of Scandinavia and Northern Russia. An attempt was made at examining the relationship between higher education, language policy, and the development of ethnic identity.
Our purpose in this paper is to show how the output of academic student-writers demonstrates the different ways in which they react to the discipline’s discoursal demands and how that, in turn, forms their writer identity. We also argue that the current Second Language Acquisition (SLA) theory fails to adequately integrate notions of second language (L2) academic writer identity and the social contexts in which L2 writers produce their texts.
Becoming more and more a multidisciplinary domain of study, the development of research in second language acquisition, and even more visibly in multilingualism, has moved away from its sole focus on cognitive aspects to social-affective dimensions. Consequently, research in these areas makes more extensive use of research methodology characteristic of social sciences. The focus on identity brings together issues of social context and the construction of one’s identity through negotiation of who we are, how we relate to the outside world and how we position ourselves in relation to others (Pavlenko 2001). Language is the main tool in this construction/ negotiation through the acquisition/learning and use of multiple languages. In relation to the development of one’s multilingual identity, the major distinction has to be made between acquiring a language in its natural context (the case of one’s mother tongue or immigration) and learning it in formal contexts. Block (2014) believes that the issue of identity can only be studied in a natural environment of language acquisition, and not in a formal instruction context. This article aims to confi rm or reject the above belief, based on evidence from various studies of bi- and multiple language users and how they perceive their identities and their relation to the languages in their possession. It includes a pilot study of trilingual language learners and their understanding of how the individual languages they know (L1, L2, L3) build their identities and the way they enrich, impoverish or challenge who they see themselves to have been by birth (Gabryś-Barker 2018). The issues discussed relate to external (other people, situations, contexts) and internal identity-building factors (individual affectivity, personality features).