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A Narrative Literature Review of the Identity Negotiation of Bilingual Students Who are Labelled ESL

  • Shana Sanam KhanEmail author


English as a second language or ESL instruction is said to be for students who have moved to the United States (or Canada) from another country and temporarily need assistance in learning the English language. However, statistically, a vast majority of ESL students in the United States were born in the US and are US citizens. When students are labelled as ESL and placed in this tract of alternative education, there is an othering process going on. This narrative literature review questions how do these ESL students negotiate their own identity. It is shown that ESL students are socialized into a deficit model, placed in classrooms where the discourse is hegemonic and are placed in location of constant power play where the system is set up against them.


Identity construction Bilingualism ESL Bilingual students Classroom discourse 



No funding was received in the preparation of this manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The author would like to declare that there was no conflict of interest in the preparation of this manuscript

Ethical Approval

Approval from an IRB is not applicable as no human subjects were involved in the study.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA

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