While many studies have examined the perception of second language (L2) learner competence by native speakers, few consider the perspectives of L2 learners themselves. This study seeks to explore the question of whether French L2 (FL2) speakers’ self-perceived communicative competence (SPCC) influences their sense of belonging with the Francophone community. To do this, I interviewed six FL2 speakers attending university in British Columbia, Canada. Their responses, along with my own self-reflections, offer firsthand accounts of FL2 learning experiences and identity formation as French speakers in a minority French context. These narratives illustrate that the relationship between SPCC and identity is complex, multifaceted and ever-changing, and that even though participants had varying perspectives of their L2 competence, all of them ultimately felt unable to fully claim membership in the Canadian Francophone community. This raises questions of legitimacy and belonging for FL2 speakers in the Canadian context.
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Thesis advisor: Planchenault, Gaelle
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