Plus qu'une langue: The construction of identity via French as an additional language in Hong Kong

Lorraine Marie Odile VEZY DE BEAUFORT

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


There is a great deal of research literature that treats language learning as a process of identity construction, but relatively few studies have investigated so-called additional languages. This article presents interview and other narrative data from a single language learner studying French as an additional language in Hong Kong. Using the methodological approach of narrative inquiry, it explores the relationship between additional language learning and identity. The data show how additional language learning plays a significant role in identity construction, and the discussion highlights three aspects of this relationship. First, the process of learning is revealed as being one of growing intercultural awareness. This is seen as an identity-related disposition that can be used to deal with certain aspects of the learner's own cultural environment. Second, the creative appropriation of an additional language is an affordance for identity construction, despite limited levels of conventional proficiency. Third, the significance of particular languages and their associated cultures is constructed in relation to other languages in the language ecology. In addition to illustrating these aspects of language learning in the age of globalisation, the article briefly considers the pedagogical implications of taking an identity-based perspective on language learning. Copyright © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Multilingualism
Early online dateJun 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jun 2019


Hong Kong
Additional Language
Language Acquisition
Identity Construction


de Beaufort, L. (2019). Plus qu'une langue: The construction of identity via French as an additional language in Hong Kong. International Journal of Multilingualism. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/14790718.2019.1629936


  • Identity
  • Language learning
  • Additional languages
  • French learning
  • Narrative inquiry
  • PG student publication