Transnational Identity and Migrant Language Learners: The Promise of Digital Storytelling


  • Ron Darvin University of British Columbia
  • Bonny Norton University of British Columbia


As technology enables migrant learners to maintain multi-stranded connections with their countries of origin and settlement, they engage with the world with transnational identities that negotiate a complex network of values, ideologies, and cultures. How teachers and peers recognize that migrants come with specific histories, knowledges and competencies shapes migrant learners’ investment in learning. By building on their transnational literacies, the language learning classroom can be a Third Space which acknowledges and affirms their fluid, multidimensional identities. Digital storytelling, by allowing them to share their personal histories, their stories of migration and assimilation, and the material conditions of their lived experiences, holds great potential for enabling migrant learners to be fully invested in their transnational identities and to claim their right to speak.

Author Biography

Ron Darvin, University of British Columbia

Ron Darvin is a graduate student at the Department of Language and Literacy Education at UBC.  His research interests include digital literacy, critical pedagogy, transnationalism, and social class.


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