Who am I? How Newly Arrived Immigrant Students Construct Themselves Through Multimodal Texts
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionVeum, A., Siljan, H. H., & Maagerø, E. (2020). Who am I? How newly arrived immigrant students construct themselves through multimodal texts. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1080/00313831.2020.1788147
This article presents a study of how teenage immigrant students, newly arrived in Norway, constructed themselves discursively through a number of identity texts. Drawing on theories from New Literacy Studies, Critical Discourse Analysis, and Social Semiotics, we analyzed a corpus of 97 multimodal identity texts. The study aimed to explore how the students contributed to their personal discursive construction in a society that was new to them. Our study showed that, while struggling with acquiring the dominant language, the immigrant students demonstrated linguistic and semiotic skills and talents. By analyzing the students’ use of linguistic and visual resources, we identified three main categories of identity construction in the students’ texts – spatial identity, relational identity, and functional identity. The analysis suggested that, in their identity work, the immigrant students simultaneously internalized and challenged dominant discourses of the globalized society.