The Relationship between Culture Exposure and the Identity Types of Learners of English as a Foreign Language

Akbar Afghari, Zahra Tavakkoli, Fatemeh Rakhshandehroo, Mohammad Ali Izadpanah


The way mankind defines himself is believed to be highly sensitive to the cultural norms and values of the culture he
is brought up in. The present study was carried out in order to explore any probable impact of foreign culture
exposure on identify types of EFL learners. The participants (N=98) consisted of male and female intermediate EFL
learners who were studying English at two language institutes in Shiraz. They were randomly selected from the same
proficiency level and randomly divided into two experimental and two control groups. The participants in the
experimental groups were exposed to the target language culture, roles, values, and beliefs for ten weeks in order to
observe whether they had moved towards the target language identity based on Erikson's theory of psychosocial
development (Erikson, 1958, 1963). Two versions of the Ego Identity Process Questionnaire (EIPQ), as an ego
identity type recognizer, were administered both at the beginning and at the end of the semester. The difference in
mean between the groups involved in the present research was measured by a T-test. Further analysis was based on
P-value as a scale used to retain or reject the null hypothesis. The findings of the present study revealed that the learners’ identities do not change significantly through exposure to foreign culture, beliefs, values, and roles,
although some minor changes were detected which were not statistically significant. Some pedagogical suggestions
were also made for Iranian educational policy makers.

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World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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