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Language and Identity

Language is one of the most prominent markers of identity. Countries establish official languages to unify the national identity of their people, immigrant groups maintain their heritage language to preserve their ethnic identity, and individual speakers utilize symbolic linguistic forms to express their social identities. Whether it is the actual choice of a language or the use of various linguistic features such as accents, vocabulary, pronunciation of vowels, or grammatical structures, language conveys specific social information about the identities of its speaker. Our identities as social beings are reflected in the ways in which we use language, and the languages we use are shaped by our identities.

The relationship between language and identity has significant implications for the study of educational processes. Language and identity matter ...

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