Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


First Advisor

Loukia K. Sarroub

Second Advisor

Theresa Catalano

Third Advisor

Justin Olmanson

Date of this Version

Spring 4-21-2020


Emara A. (2020) Identity and technology integration in an EFL context: A case study of Egyptian teachers and adult learners. University of Nebraska, USA


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education, Under the Supervision of Professor Loukia K. Sarroub. Lincoln Nebraska: May 2020

Copyright 2020 Alia Emara


Globalization and the advent of technology have compelled many Egyptians to master the English language to participate in an increasingly competitive knowledge-centered global economy. Therefore, the demand for English language classes has been increasing in Egypt in recent years. However, English language classes alone may not guarantee that learners become technologically competent to master 21st century skills. Therefore, one purpose of this qualitative case study is to examine how Egyptian EFL teachers and Egyptian EFL adult learners utilize technology and digital resources in teaching and learning English to promote autonomous learning and 21st century skills. The study also explores the participants’ attitudes towards technology integration in the classroom and the growing importance of digital and multimodal literacies. Because the English language has played an important role in the Egyptian culture since the 1950s, its mastery is part and parcel of their identity formation as Egyptians and users of the language. Being aware of this role, the study explores how the participants perceive the English language in Egypt and how they construct their identities as English language speakers. Because there is a connection between language and technological practices (Warschauer, 2002), the study also investigates how the participants perceive themselves as users of technology to teach or learn English. Participants are 4 EFL Egyptian teachers and 3 EFL adult Egyptian learners. The study was conducted in an adult language center in Alexandria, Egypt. Data was collected through semi structured interviews and field notes. Findings indicate that social media sites and visual tech are the most common technological practices among teachers and learners. The use of the English language was indexical for power and prestige and had significant implications for how the participants constructed their identities as users of English and technology.

Advisor: Loukia Sarroub