Identity Representation Strategies used by English and EL2 Political Actors and Researchers

Document Type: Research Paper


Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran


Previous literature on the study of identity representation in political discourse has been mainly concerned with the spoken discourse and the representation of self. However, the way different groups of political agents represent others’ identities across languages has not attracted much attention. Using Wodak’s (2007) Discourse Historical approach to CDA, the present study investigates the way EL2 and English speaking political actors and researchers in the context of Iran and U.S represent others’ identities in their political discourse. Through purposive sampling, 28 English political speeches and columns produced by native and non-native (Persian) speakers of English were selected for analysis. The results of CDA as well as Chi-square tests of statistical significance indicated there were differences in the quality and quantity of the strategies employed by the two groups of political agents across language groups. EL2 speakers of English used more implicit, covert, anonymous and less transparent as well as more distant representation strategies than English agents who tended to use more explicit, direct and involved strategies. Implications were drawn for ESP material development at advanced level.