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Hawai‘i Imin International Conference Center
University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawai‘i

17th International Conference on Pragmatics & Language Learning

NEGOTIATING THE SELF IN ANOTHER LANGUAGE: IDENTITY FORMATION AND CROSS-CULTURAL ADAPTATION AMONG SECOND LANGUAGE USERS

Convener: Christina Higgins, University of Hawai’i

Colloquium Abstract

This colloquium examines how experiences of L2 learning and use operate as sites for transformations of the self through the formation of new identities. The papers extend current understandings of how L2 learning is shaped by, and shapes, who learners are, as well as the consequences this identity formation has on L2 use.

When life is off the hook: Hip-Hop, (Black)ESL, and the pedagogy of pleasure- Awad Ibrahim (Bowling Green State University)

This critical ethnography of a group of French-speaking immigrant and refugee continental francophone African youths who are attending an urban Franco-Ontarian high school in southwestern Ontario addresses the impact of becoming Black on ESL learning, and the interrelation between identity formation, identification, race, culture and second language learning.

Learners as agents in the construction of gender in the Japanese as a foreign language classroom- Yumiko Ohara (University of Hawai‘i at Hilo)

Through an anime script-writing activity in a JFL classroom in an American university, this study probes learners’ perceptions of Japanese culture and to challenge them to recognize and accept their own agency in gendered identity constructions.

National identity and language learning abroad: American students in the post 9/11 era- Celeste Kinginger (Pennsylvania State University)

This paper is a narrative case history of an American student in France during the U.S. invasion of Iraq when sociopolitical tensions between Europe and the United States were high. Though the student was a highly motivated language learner, her disposition toward encounters with French people emerged from and served to perpetuate an array of negative representations derived from her socio-cultural background.

Mutuality, engagement, and agency: Negotiating identity on stays abroad- Jane Jackson (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)

As part of a larger ethnography on stays abroad, this paper traces the experiences of a Hong Kong university student during a five-week sojourn in England, and it reveals that her motives, investment in learning English and English culture, and her evolving sense of self must be understood in relation to her personal history and the socio-historical context.

“You’re a complete Swahili!”: Western women’s resistance to in-group identity in Tanzania- Christina Higgins (University of Hawai‘i at Manoa)

This paper uses narrative inquiry to examine how three Swahili L2 users who reside in East Africa respond to opportunities to ‘become Swahili.’ The narratives offer the somewhat rare opportunity to examine a community of practice that seems to strongly encourage cross-cultural adaptation and cultural belonging through identity transformation.

 

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