Identity negotiation in the third space: an analysis of YouTube channels hosted by expatriates in Taiwan

Yueh-Ching Chang*, Yu jung Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This article explores the potential of YouTube as a third space in which second/additional language learners negotiate for alternative identities. Although burgeoning research has illuminated how language learners are able to expand their identities and communicative repertoire through various digital media, relatively little attention has been paid to how video-sharing websites provide learners with discursive spaces that might differ from text-based online communities. Drawing on [Gee’s, J. P. (2000–2001). Identity as an analytic lens for research in education. Review of Research in Education, 25, 99–125] identity framework, our qualitative content analysis [Hsieh, H.-F., & Shannon, S. E. (2005). Three approaches to qualitative content analysis. Qualitative Health Research, 15, 1277–1288] examines 116 videos from three popular YouTube channels hosted by Chinese as an additional language (CAL) learners expatriating in Taiwan. The findings indicate that by utilizing mixed semiotic tools and interactional opportunities afforded by YouTube, the video hosts are able to showcase their transnational experiences and construct alternative discourse identities vis-à-vis traditionally less powerful identities such as subjugated foreigners and CAL learners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-92
Number of pages16
JournalLanguage and Intercultural Communication
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2019


  • Identities
  • YouTube
  • second/additional language learners
  • translanguaging
  • transnational habitus


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