Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in English Composition



First Reader/Committee Chair

Vickers, Caroline


This study explores relationships between second language acquisition (SLA), poetic language, and embodied cognition and its connection to second language speakers’ linguistic self-formation, or their distinct ways of speaking and thinking. In particular, this study examines processes by which second language (L2) learners’ subjective realities are constructed and demonstrates that these processes are inherently poetic, emerging from a combination of the constraining structures of the language system and second language speakers’ phenomenological experiences. The context of the study is a poetry-making activity the researcher designed and took place in the English Department Writing Center at California State University, San Bernardino. Data was collected from a total of four participants through video and audio recordings of the poetry-making activities. Data analysis incorporated multimodal methods associated with conversation analysis and intertextuality. Findings demonstrate that poetic features the L2 participants deploy are crucial to their sense-making and linguistic self-formation. The author encourages readers to consider the importance of creativity and self-expression in second language learning as it occurs in social activity.