Date of Graduation

Fall 5-8-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in International and Multicultural Education (IME)


School of Education


International and Multicultural Education (IME)

First Advisor

Monisha Bajaj

Second Advisor

David Donahue


This thesis aims to explore the directionality of the relationships between cultural identity, sexuality, ideology, and English learning. My study included three participants, and each represents a specific acculturating and immigrant group in the U.S., namely, international students, permanent residents (green card holders), and naturalized citizens. Language ideology and social positioning theory are employed to examine English hegemony and internalized oppression. I argue that English hegemony is ideological and reinforces further discrimination and social hierarchy; further, performativity provides a new cannon to view language production and acquisition as it shifts the emphasis from the technical processes of language acquisition to the discursive nature of language learning and performing. Through understanding how language is performed, we are able to capture how their cultural identity, sexuality, and beliefs are manifested, negotiated, and transformed. In regard to queering ESL education, queer inquiry and critical pedagogy are highlighted to deconstruct heteronormative assumptions in ESL classrooms and create spaces in which all sexualities and cultures can be engaged and appreciated in solidarity and mutual understanding, and all subjectivities can be self-defined and determined.

The discussion ends by reiterating the purpose of the study, valuing invisibilized Asian and Asian Americans’ stories and struggles, challenging dominant and hegemonic discourses, raising awareness, intercultural competence and advocating for adopting queer inquiry-based critical pedagogies and authentic multicultural approaches in ESL and second language education.

Available for download on Saturday, April 19, 2025

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