This article narrates and analyzes the author’s life experiences as a learner, teacher, and researcher of diverse languages across three contexts: mainland China, Hong Kong, and Norway. Deconstructing the influential episodes in the writer’s life trajectory, this autoethnography explores the author’s transformation from a monolingually-minded individual to a border-crossing, multilingually hearted scholar. The analysis is undertaken through the theoretical lens of language ideology and dominant language constellation (DLC) and epitomizes the profound influence of sociocultural structures on an individual’s identity search and development. Confronting the multilingual turn in education and echoing the call to centralize identity in language teaching, this self-study exemplifies autoethnography as an empowering method for an ideological shift from perceiving “language(s)-as-problem” to advocating “language(s)-as-resource.” The study also illustrates how the construct of DLC can be deployed as a tangible model of multilinguals’ ever-evolving linguistic identities.


autoethnography, dominant language constellation (DLC), language education, language ideology, multilingual identity

Author Bio(s)

Yaqiong (Sue) Xu (corresponding author) is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Teacher Education at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), in Trondheim, Norway, where she is associated with the project Acquisition of English in the Multilingual Classroom (AcEngMulCla). She worked as a language teacher to early EFL/ESL/EAL learners in Mainland China and Hong Kong before embarking on her Ph.D. study in Norway. Her research focuses on emergent multilingualism in societal and educational contexts and its influence on education. She has broad research interest and currently concentrates on studying teacher beliefs towards multilingualism, classroom practices in multilingual settings, and teacher identity engagements in multilingual contexts. Her Ph.D. project particularly engages with dominant language constellation (DLC) as a paradigm to study multilingualism and an approach to investigate teacher professional development. Please direct correspondence to yaqiong.xu@ntnu.no.

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.







To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.