English learners’ appropriation of English language policy at a U.S. university


Employing an ethnographic design, this study analyzes three undergraduate English learners’ (ELs) appropriation of language policy at a U.S. university. In this study, ELs refers to bi/multilingual students with U.S. K-12 schooling who do not meet their university’s language proficiency requirements, and who are subsequently classified as ELs and non-citizens by their university. Policy appropriation informed how ELs perceived themselves and how they repositioned themselves in relation to the policy. Their self-perception informed them of the types of capital they needed to achieve their goals, thereby largely shaping their appropriation of EL policy. This study draws attention to the ways bi/multilinguals appropriate language policy, navigate their immigrant identities, and seek to acquire capital in their efforts to succeed at a university. It also informs what it means to be a citizen of the United States and what role language policy plays in citizenship in higher education settings.

Publication Title

International Multilingual Research Journal