Presented by: Carla Benson Jennifer Robison Katie Woodson What comes to mind when you think of the concept of identity? “ a sense of ‘belonging’ to a particular social group, whether defined by ethnicity, by language, or any other means (Mitchell and Myles, p. 246) “how people understand their relationship to the world, how that relationship is constructed across time and space, and how people understand their possibilities for the future” (Norton, 1997, p. 410) “Identity can be seen as the dynamic interaction between the fixed identity categories that applied to social groupings (such as race, gender, ethnicity, language, and other more subtle representations that are activated in certain discourse settings) and the way individuals think of themselves as they move through the different discourses in which these are salient.” (Thesen, 1997, p. 488) What comes to mind when you think of identity as it relates to SLL? Communicative competence includes cultural norms of appropriateness SLLs have to negotiate the fact that they are essentially adopting a new identity (Chick, 1996) “Our social identity of the moment is situated in the interaction at hand; we perform it as we go along and we do so conjointly with the other interactional partners.” (Erickson, 1997, p. 292). Goal of a SL teacher is not to change a learner’s identity, but give them the tools to build the social identities they choose. (McGroarty, 1996) A broad, multi-faceted topic: • Motivation, investment • Renegotiation of identity • Class interaction • Gender identities • Teacher identities • Power relations • Language ideology Adolescents Adults Language socialization and families The Objective: To discuss two of the various studies to show how language and identity are constructed by second language learning adolescents in different ways. Ibrahim, K.M. (1999). Becoming black: Rap and hip-hop, race, gender, identity, and the politics of ESL learning. TESOL Quarterly, 33(3), 349-367. McKay, S.L. & Wong, S-L.C. (1996). Multiple discourses, multiple identities: Investment and agency in second-language learning among Chinese adolescence immigrant students. Harvard Educational Review, 66(3), 557-608. Main focus was looking at how continental African adolescent refugees living in Ontario, Canada constructed their identity. SOCIAL IMAGINARY: defined as “a discursive space in which they are already imagined, constructed, and thus treated as Blacks by hegemonic discourses and groups” (p. 349). Research Questions: “What does it mean for a Black ESL learner to acquire Black English as a second language (BESL)? What symbolic, cultural, pedagogical, and identity investments would learners have in locating themselves politically and racially at the margin of representation?” (349-353). Participants Ethnographic study between January-June in 1996. Participants consisted of a total of 16 students 10 male, 6 female. The predominate language spoken in school was English There were 27 teachers, all of whom were White. Quote: “We have to wonder why we try to really follow the model of the Americans who are Black. Because when you search for yourself, search for identification, you search for someone who reflects you, with whom you have something in common (Amani, p. 364). Findings: Students were conscience that their identities were being shaped by Black culture. Television helped to learn English quickly. Identified with rap and hip-hop as a tool for cultural identity and acquiring English. White population had already perceived them to be “Black” they were fulfilling that role in how they constructed their identities. Teaching recommendations are to bring in rap/hip-hop into the classroom as a valid approach to learning English and culture of a minority group. In this way, the minority group has validation by the dominant group and culture. This study looked at 4 recent Chinese immigrants to California and how they constructed and reconstructed their identities in different discourses. The study was an ethnographic longitudinal study that took place over a 2 year time frame (1991-993). Research Questions: “Why do some learners, in some contexts draw upon every available strategies to makes themselves understood and to progress in the target language, while in other contexts they do not?” (p.578) “Why, do some learners seem to act counter-productively, using strategies that subvert or oppose the language performance expectations of the situation rather than fulfill them?” (p.578) Definitions: DISCOURSE refers to “a set of historically grounded statement that exhibit regularities in presuppositions, thematic choices, values, etc; that delimit what can be said about something, by whom, when, where and how; and that are underwritten by some form of situational authority” (p. 579). INVESTMENT developed by Peirce (1995), “which conceives the language learner as having a complex social identity and multiple desires…when language learners speak, they are not only exchanging information with target language speakers, but they are constantly organizing and reorganizing a sense of who they are and how they relate to the social world” (p. 579). CONTEXTUALIST PERSPECTIVE Participants: Chinese/Taiwanese Immigrants: Michael Lee Jeremy Chang Brad Wang Jessica Ho Teachers/Aides Mr. Thomas: 7th grade ESL teacher Mrs. Phillips: Mr. Thomas’s aide. Mrs. O’Brien: Part time 8th grade ESL teacher, Mrs. Romero: Full time 8th grade Sheltered Core ESL teacher Discourses: 1. Colonist/Racialized Discourse on Immigrants 2. Chinese Cultural Nationalist Discourses 3. Social and Academic Discourses 4. Gender Discourses 5. Model Minority Discourse. Findings Michael Lee: Model minority discourse evident Did not succeed with reading/writing English Took on a Resistance coping strategy, to counteract feelings of powerlessness as an ESL student Jeremy Tang: Used model minority and academic school discourses Mother taught as an aide at school to monitor Jeremy’s progress Used a coping strategy of Accommodation as an ESL student Findings Brad Wang: Multiple discourses used, but never formed one true identity. Resulted in erosion of English. Socioeconomic barriers limited contact with other students Did not favor one coping strategy. Used guessing, transfer from L1 to L2 and accommodation. Jessica Ho: Gender discourses played the most significant role in English learning. However her musical aspirations limited acquisition Accommodation was used as a coping strategy. Was the only student studied that code switched. Gaps/Limitations In Research McKay and Wong: By using the Contextualist approach it does not facilitate quick pedagogical changes in the system. It does not lead or promote quick intervention. (p. 604) In future studies may be useful to look at greater outside factors that play a role in the development of identities. Longitudinal/ethnographic study makes it difficult to replicate or generalize the results. Ibrahim: The article raised more questions than it answered Practicality of the recommendations for teaching minority students. I foreground the role of language as constitutive of and constituted by a language learner’s social identity…It is through language that a person negotiates a sense of self within and across different sites at different points in time, and it is through language that a person gains access to – or is denied access to- powerful social networks that give learners the opportunity to speak (Norton, 2000, p.5) Longitudinal study that explored changes in the participants’ social identity over time and their struggles to achieve the right to speak in SL settings Martina, a Czech-speaking immigrant in her 30s and mother Reasserted herself as an adult with authority over children Claimed her “right to speak” (Norton, 2000, p.99) Identity and Investment Identity and Imagined Communities Identity Categories and Educational Change Identity and Literacy Identity and Resistance As identified in Norton, 1997 Sachdev, 1995 Examined the struggles between language and identity of Aboriginal people in Canada "...should be brought to compete with his fellow whites, but in order that this may be done effectually he must be taught the English language. So long as he keeps his native tongue...will he remain a community apart...with this end in view children...be taught in the English language exclusively..." (Department of Indian Affairs, 1895, cited in Gardner & Jimmie, 1989, p. 7) "Language is our unique relationship to the Creator, our attitudes beliefs, values, and fundamental notions of what is truth. Our languages are the cornerstone of who we are as a People. Without our languages we cannot survive."(Assembly of First Nations, 1990, p. 39) In pre-colonial times, Aboriginal languages flourished within the boundaries of what is now Canada and the US and many Aboriginal people were multilingual Recent study alarmingly concluded that only three out of fifty-three Aboriginal languages had an "excellent chance of survival" by virtue of having more than five thousand speakers (Foster, 1982 as cited in Sachdev, 1995) Paid attention to learner face and self-esteem, and how they may be threatened or consolidated by attempts to negotiate understanding In face-threatening situations, SLLs may use a variety of strategies Resistance Using formulaic responses Threats to SLLs self-esteem can arise, when misunderstandings are too frequent in interactional data Case in point: Berta Language teacher and the language teacher educator Classroom Practices Growing interest in globalization and language learning Language socialization – 2 facets Socialization into language Socialization through language An ethnographic study of the language practices and discourse patterns of 8 Mexican-origin mothers and their children in Arizona • • • • • intergenerational transmission of knowledge to help child construct a sense of self sorting out the ambiguity of Latino identity Loyalty vs. assimilation Language ideologies Gender identities • Each mother-child dyad negotiates identity differently – resistance and accommodation – Spanish linked to emotion – social memory – School learning ideologies – not a 1 to 1 mapping between language, culture, and identity Recognize that identity formation is a “necessary component of sound and healthy child development that doesn’t threaten the unity of society as a whole” (p. 184) Critical examination of literature Validate lived experiences Open up wide range of possible identities 4 Mexican-descent families, 2 in CA and 2 in San Antonio explores the relationship of language to identity as manifested in their language socialization practices No one approach to Spanish language use and maintenance Discourse about identity in the curriculum more important than implementing a multicultural curriculum with group descriptions Interviewed 12 adults who self-identified as “halfAsian” about their educational and life experiences Purpose - to discover role that language and educators play in supporting positive identity development in mixed heritage children Encourage families to maintain home language Equip mixed heritage children with linguistic and cultural assets to enable them to find social acceptance and take pride in heritage focus on individuals and commonalities, not differences Each study recommended more research into language socialization practices of various groups More focus on specific literacy practices Chick, J.K. 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