Growing and Becoming: The Expanded Self

  • Lily Lei YeEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies on Chinese Education in a Global Perspective book series (CEGP)


This chapter focuses on the impact of studying abroad on participants’ self-identity. The discussion will highlight how the participants interpreted their intercultural experiences in the UK and which issues they identified as significant to their self-definition. Bourdieuian concepts of habitus, capital and field will complement Giddens’ reflexive project of the self in interpreting the findings. Students’ narratives illustrate the various ways in which they negotiate the new intercultural field and forge their life trajectories. Significantly, these narratives move us away from the focus on student adaption to an exploration of agency and identity. The analysis suggests that the participants have actively dealt with the challenges of study abroad, accumulated various forms of capital and achieved personal growth and development.


Reflexive Project Personal growthPersonal Growth habitusHabitus Personal developmentPersonal Development Yuanyuan 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Baker, W. (2012). From cultural awareness to intercultural awareness: Culture in ELT. ELT Journal, 66(1), 62–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bennett, M. J. (1993). Towards ethnorelativism: A developmental model of intercultural sensitivity. In R. M. Paige (Ed.), Education for the intercultural experience (pp. 21–71). Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press.Google Scholar
  3. Bennett, J. M., & Bennett, M. J. (2004). Developing intercultural sensitivity: An integrative approach to global and domestic diversity. In D. Landis, J. Bennett, & M. Bennett (Eds.), Handbook of intercultural training (3rd ed., pp. 147–165). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bennett, J. M., Bennett, M. J., & Allen, W. (2003). Developing intercultural competence in the language classroom. In D. Lange & M. Paige (Eds.), Culture as the core: Perspectives on culture in second language learning (pp. 237–270). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.Google Scholar
  5. Bourdieu, P. (1990). The logic of practice. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  6. Bourdieu, P., & Wacquant, L. (1992). An invitation to reflexive sociology. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  7. Brutt-Griffler, J. (2002). World English. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  8. Byram, M. (1997). Teaching and assessing intercultural communicative competence. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  9. Byram, M., & Feng, A. (2004). Culture and language learning: Teaching, research and scholarship. Language Teaching, 37(3), 149–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Byram, M., & Risager, K. (1999). Language teachers, politics and cultures. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  11. Byram, M., Gribkova, B., & Starkey, H. (2002). Developing the intercultural dimension in language teaching: A practical introduction for teachers. Strasbourg: Council of Europe.Google Scholar
  12. Byram, M., Morgan, C., & Colleagues. (1994). Teaching and Learning Language and Culture. Great Britain: WBC.Google Scholar
  13. Canagarajah, A. (1999). Resisting linguistic imperialism in English teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Cook, V. (1999). Going beyond the native speaker in language teaching. TESOL Quarterly, 33, 185–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cook, V. (2002). Portraits of the L2 user. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Corbett, J. (2003). An intercultural approach to English language teaching. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Davey, G. (2009). Using bourdieu’s concept of habitus to explore narratives of transition. European Educational Research Journal, 8(2), 276–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Freeman, D. (1996). Renaming experience/reconstructing practice: Developing new understandings of teaching. In D. Freeman & J. C. Richards (Eds.), Teacher learning in language teaching (pp. 221–241). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Giddens, A. (1984). The constitution of society. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  20. Giddens, A. (1991). Modernity and self-identity: Self and society in the late modern age. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  21. Giddens, A., & Griffiths, S. (2006). Sociology (5th ed.). Malden, MA: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  22. Gill, S. (2007). Overseas students’ intercultural adaptation as intercultural learning: A transformative framework. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 37(2), 167–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gu, Q., Schweisfurth, M., & Day, C. (2010). Learning and growing in a ‘‘foreign’’ context: Intercultural experiences of international students. Compare, 40(1), 7–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Jackson, J. (2011). Cultivating cosmopolitan, intercultural citizenship through critical reflection and international, experiential learning. Language and Intercultural Communication, 11(2), 80–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Jin, L., & Cortazzi, M. (2006). Changing practices in Chinese cultures of learning. Language, Culture and Curriculum, 19(1), 5–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kim, Y. Y. (2008). Toward intercultural personhood: Globalization and a way of being. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 32(4), 359–368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Le Ha, P. (2008). Teaching English as an international language: Identity, resistance and negotiation. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  28. Mezirow, J. (1991). Transformative dimensions of adult learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  29. Norton, B., & Toohey, K. (2002). Identity and language learning. In R. B. Kaplan (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of applied linguistics (pp. 115–123). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Pavlenko, A. (2003). Eyewitness memory in late bilinguals: Evidence for discursive relativity. The International Journal of Bilingualism, 7(3), 257–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Pavlenko, A. (2006). Russian as a lingua franca. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 26, 78–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Phelps, J. M. (2016). International doctoral students’ navigations of identity and belonging in a globalizing university. International Journal of Doctoral Studies, 11, 1–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Piaget, J. (1972). The principles of genetic epistemology. New York: Viking.Google Scholar
  34. Roberts, C., Byram, M., Barro, A., Jordan, S., & Street, B. V. (2001). Language learners as ethnographers. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  35. Sayer, A. (2005). The moral significance of class. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Stafford, G. (2010). The unexpected transformations of Chinese international students in Australia. Ph.D. thesis, University of Adelaide.Google Scholar
  37. Valdes, G. (1998). The construct of the near-native speaker in the foreign language profession: Perspectives on ideologies about language. ADFL Bulletin, 29(3), 4–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Wang, V. C. X., & King, K. P. (2008). Transformative learning and ancient Asian educational perspectives. Journal of Transformative Education, 6(2), 136–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Weedon, C. (1987). Feminist practice and post structuralist theory. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
  40. Yuen, C. Y. M. (2010). Dimensions of diversity: Challenges to secondary school teachers with implications for intercultural teacher education. Teaching and Teacher Education, 26, 732–741.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Beijing Institute of Fashion TechnologyBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations