In this study, we explored how positioning, power, and resistance might have possible impacts on learners’ identity construction. We conducted this study in a 6-month language and culture program from August 2018 to January 2019 involving one teacher and 24 English major undergraduate students at a public university in Thailand. Using Kumaravadivelu’s (1999) Critical Classroom Discourse Analysis (CCDA) as an analytical framework and Braun and Clarke's (2006) thematic analysis approach to analysing data , we found three themes that illustrate how participants demonstrated positioning, power, and resistance: (a) learners’ choice of code as passive resistance, (b) circulating power in interaction and struggles of power, and (c) multiple positioning in classroom interactions. The findings suggest classroom context serves as a learning space to shape the contours of learners’ identity positioning and dynamics of power negotiation. This study contributes to the growing research on language learners’ identity in classroom interactions from a CCDA perspective. It suggests that EFL teaching should incorporate learner identity as an explicit goal that serves as an interpretive frame for learners’ on-going academic growth as English users within and beyond classroom contexts.


Learner Identity Construction, Positioning, Resistance, Power, Critical Classroom Discourse Analysis (CCDA), Thematic Analysis

Author Bio(s)

Wenwen Tian holds her MA and Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics as well as certificates in CELTA and TEFL. She is currently working as an English lecturer in the Department of Language Studies, School of Liberal Arts, King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, Thailand. Over the last 20 years, she has worked as a teacher of English and a coordinator for international affairs in China, Saudi Arabia, and Thailand. She is interested in discourse analysis, academic supervision, intercultural communication, and teacher development. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: wenwen.tian@mail.kmutt.ac.th (working); wwtianpsu@gmail.com (personal).

Mr. Remart Padua Dumlao is a foreign lecturer in the Faculty of Education, Muban Chombueng Rajabhat University, Thailand. His research interest includes cultural studies within EFL classroom settings, discourse analysis, and linguistics. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: dumlaoremart25@gmail.com.


We would like to thank Dr. Nopithira Jawaut and Dr. Thiti Nawapan for their invaluable expertise and precious time in translating Thai utterances into English at our data transcribing stage. Our gratitude goes to Prof. Ronald J. Chenail, Editor-in-Chief of The Qualitative Report (TQR) and two editors (Prof. Troy Crawford and Prof. Jennifer Wolgemuth) for their constructive comments on our initially submitted manuscript and final copyediting version. Our heartfelt appreciation particularly finds Prof. Sally St. George, the Senior Editor of TQR, for her insightful comments, pertinent suggestions, and professional guidance on revising and refining our manuscript for a successful publication.

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