Identity Processing Styles as Predictors of L2 Identity Dimensions: The Interplay of Sociocognitive and Sociolinguistic Inclinations

Document Type : Original Article


Imam Khomeini International University, Qazvin, Iran


Because of the importance of the second or foreign language (L2) identity and its role in L2 development on one hand and the significance of the identity processing styles, examining the under-researched relationship between these two dimensions of identity is a highly valuable for the SLA literature. Therefore, the current study investigated how identity processing styles were related to various dimensions of L2 identity among L2 learners. Following a purposive snowball sampling, 1,018 Iranian EFL learners took part in this study. A validated Multidimensional L2 Identity Questionnaire (MLIQ) and Identity Processing Style Inventory (IPSI-4) were filled out to explore the predictive power of the learners' identity processing styles (informational, normative, and diffuse-avoidant styles) at the personal level on seven dichotomized L2 identity dimensions. The data analysis using multiple regression showed that identity processing styles significantly predicted learners’ L2 identity dimensions. The normative style was a strong predictor of aspects of the L2 identity, the diffuse-avoidant style was a moderate predictor of four L2 identity dimensions and the informational style was a weak predictor of two different dimensions of L2 identity. Building upon these socio-cognitive identity styles, EFL learners can utilize the maximum information coming from different potential sources to develop their L2 identities more systematically.