English 343: Language and identity (I)- Week 4 To me, no one needs to defend their right to speech, even if its not their firstlanguage. …if we are the land of the free, why do we try so hard to controlothers?--- AmyI feel that it is a more realistic approach to a language study when you do studythe narratives of different language learners instead of just giving tests, justobservations, etc. With these narratives you can gain insight to what the mind isdirectly thinking and/or feeling and be able to somewhat experience what thewriter has experienced. With these experiences you can draw more contemporaryidea conclusions with historic background knowledge. --- JasmineIf I never learned Korean I probably would have identified myself differently. Iprobably wouldn’t have studied abroad, which helped me connect and define myidentity. I probably would not be as close to my parents as I am now…Learning alanguage can change a person’s identity. When someone is learning anotherlanguage, they are beginning to enter another culture as well.--- Jennifer
Goals…• To understand that linguistic communities are NOT homogenous, but often heterogeneous and conflicted (Post- structural theories of language).• To understand the relationships between individuals, communities and nations.• To re-conceptualize language learners as having multiple desires, complex social histories Social identity as a site of struggle.• To understand that when ELLs are speaking, they are “not only exchanging information, but also constantly reorganizing a sense of who they are and how they relate to the social worlds (Norton, 1995; p. 18).
AgendaPart I: 2:00-3:20• Activity on critical moments in intercultural communication• Key concepts from language & identity research• Dialogic lecture on post-structural theories in TESOLPart II: 3:30- 4:50• Presentation by Melinda and Lauren• Class analysis of immigrant narratives• Show and Tell: Sharing your Identity Narratives in groups (if time allows)• Next week’s schedule
Group Discussion: Critical Cross-cultural Incidents• Critical incident is a cross-cultural situation where communication breakdown might occur among the interlocutors.• Please read the critical incidents and discuss what has caused the conflict. How would you approach to this incident?
Key concepts• Investment vs motivation• Social identity• Identity as a site of struggle• Social distance• Post-structural aspect of SLA• Critiques of Krashen, Schuuman• The use of autobiographies in class• Classroom based social research (CBSR)
Brain explains his experiences as sound technician in Europe…• In the classroom of course, the implementation of tough-love is highly unlikely it may be encountered "beyond the four walls of the class room" (Norton 355). In reading some of the turn-of-the-twentieth-century autobiographical accounts from Pavlenkos "The Making of an American", I realized that I had been creating my own identity narrative for my L2 experience. The European crew member narrative I created enabled me to integrate and maintain respect from my colleagues, and it required a de-Americanization of my native-identity narrative. I had to embrace the idea of multilingualism (as Americans are so adamant mono-linguists) and, for this particular social situation, to perform an unnatural toughness. Ironically I found that nearly every crew member was also performing this toughness, and in reality we were all empathetic, open-minded, and compassionate people. Without the creation of my European crew narrative, I would not have survived the two-years of being the only American in Holiday on Ices over fifty international, mostly European crew members. I think that opening up this unconscious act of identity narrative creation, that we all do when entering new social situations especially those that are outside of our native culture, would be an essential exercise in helping students make conscious, and thereby more directed and positive, decisions about the narrative they choose to compose for themselves.
Shawn says…• Even many immigrants these days try very hard to assimilate themselves to the American culture that they, too, forget their own culture (compared to the Great Migration). If a student from a different country enters a new classroom in America, what is the first thing they notice? The difference in the language and appearance (which both can be associated to culture). If the students culture is not recognized and appreciated in the classroom, just like during the Great Migration, the students original culture will surely be washed away (just like the Great Migration!). As teachers, we need to appreciate each and every child’s identity and value it. We need to encourage students to value their own culture; at the same time, introduce them to the culture they are at, here in America.• As for a question for this chapter, how would you know a student is giving up their culture to fit in with the American mainstream or just assimilating to the American culture?
Amy says…Both of Norton’s articles were very similar with content andfocusing on the importance of race, class, gender, and power.Before I read her articles, I was one of the people who focusedon the importance of motivation because that is all I was evertaught, but the idea of investment makes much more sense tome. Investing is the physical work one does with expectations tohave a good return, not just with language but also with one’ssocial identity. I have also been taught (or at least been giventhe impression by other teachers) that our social identity issomething that is constant, yet we are constantly changing overtime and have a multitude of views and qualities thatcontinually are being transformed. I had never really processedour “sites of struggle” which Norton writes about, but it isabsolutely spot on. The relation of power has a big effect onone’s use of English, especially as a second language learner.
Immigration Stories asClassroom ResearchSee the documentary and discuss some of the benefits of usinglife stories (life writing/speaking) of ELLs in the classroom. Howwould you connect this documentary to class readings?• http://www.youtube.com/watch v=33OINi3xVbc&feature=related
Identity and language:Sites of struggle and resistance • Languages are not only markers of identity but also sites of resistance, empowerment, solidarity, or discrimination. • Giddens says our identities are reflexively organized information about possible ways of life (how to act and how to be). What a person is understood to be varies across cultures—do you agree with this? • One’s identity is not set and stone; it is not only in the behavior or people’s reactions, but it’s in the narrative you tell about yourself. It integrates events which occur in your world—It’s an ongoing story about self. Question to Reflect: Do you see your identity(ies) as a matter of keeping “a particular narrative going”, or would you use another metaphor? What metaphor would you use to describe your identity as a pre-service/in-service teacher? Why? Feel free to refer to your Language and Culture Trajectory assignment.
Discussion questions onidentity• How is identity of one individual created?• To what extend is any one individual’s identity a matter of personality and to what extent do influences from the socio- cultural context impact?• If identities do change, what factors are responsible for such change?
Identity research in TESOL• SLA researchers have not adequate addressed how relations of power affect the interaction in target language.• The notion of “individual” needs to be conceptualized!• Artificial distinction are drawn between the individual and the social- lead to arbitrary mapping of particular factors. Why is it that learners can sometimes be motivated and extraverted sometimes the other way?• More attention needed on poststructural theory of identity as multiple, “a site of struggle”, ad “subject to change”—We need a more comprehensive theory of identity!
Restrictive look at identity and language usein earlier years of TESOL/AppliedLinguistics….• Social Distance Theory: Shumann (1976)“When there is great social distance between two groups, littleacculturation takes place” (p. 11) (minimal congruence between theculture of the target language speakers and the culture of thelanguage learner)- You can be in contact, but there may still be agreater social, cultural and economic distance.• Krashen’s language learning theories:1) Affective Hypothesis 2) learning vs acquisition 3) natural orderhypothesis 4) The input hypothesis-Krashen suggests thatcomprehensible input in the presence of a low affective filter is one ofthe most important causal variable in SLA All pertains to individualrather than the social context. Are we portraying learners incategories? (motivated vs unmotivated, introverted vs extraverted• Dell Hymes’ communicative competence:Hymes defines communicative competence as the goal of achieving aneffective and appropriate communication. BUT- Ability to claim theright to speak should be an integral part of an expanded notion ofcommunicative competence. Who are legitimate speakers/listeners?
Moving from motivation toinvestment…• The concept of motivation (instrumental vs integrative) does not capture the complex relationships between the relations of power, language learning and identity.• If learners invest in a second language, they do so with the understanding that they will acquire a wider range of symbolic and material resources.• You can be very motivated, but still experience disempowering relations with the target language community due to asymmetrical power relationships (similar to the participants in Norton’s research)Notron (1995) asks: why is it that a learner may sometimes bemotivated, extraverted, and confident and sometimes unmotivated,introverted, and anxious; why in one place there may be socialdistance between a specific group of language learners and the targetlanguage community; whereas in another place the social distancemay be minimal; why a learner can sometimes speak and other timesremains silent” (p. 11)
Investment• “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. Thus an investment in the target language is also an investment in a learner’s own social identity, and identity which is constantly changing across time and space” (p. 18)• The notion she’s advocating is not SIMILAR to instrumental motivation. The notion of instrumental motivation presupposes an ahistorical language learner. The notion of investment captures the relationship of the learners with the changing social world.
Who is Bonny Norton? Look who’s at the TESOL Bonny Norton conference?!• Professor & Distinguished University Scholar and the Department of Language & Literacy Education at The University of British Columbia• Research interests: Issues related to language, identity, gender, power, popular culture in the context of learning and teaching English as a global language.• http://educ.ubc.ca/faculty/norto n/
Who is Aneta Pavlenko? Aneta Pavlenko• Professor of TESOL at Temple University, NY.• Winner of the 2009 TESOL Award for Distinguished Research and of the British Association• Research Interests: Multilingualism, bilingualism, immigrant narratives, language and identity.• Check out her website: http://astro.temple.edu/~apa vlenk/
Pavlenko’s study• Analysis of 11 narrative of immigrant memoirs and autobiographies published between the years of 1901 and 1935.• Methodology: A sociohistoric approach to study personal narratives” which sees autobiography as a literary and sociological form that creates particular images of subjects in particular historical moments” (genre that is shaped by the local contexts)• Research questions: which identities are negotiated? What is the role of language? Does the portray of second language learning in 20th century differs from those in immigrant autobiographies?
The analysis of earliernarratives• Inequality between immigrants.• Some felt the need to establish and argue for their Americanness.• English was seen as the key of assimilation, but the omission of “language” in the earlier narratives is intriguing. (see the examples)• Stories of “happy linguistic assimilation”: Second language learning as a successful and easy process. No mention of linguistic discrimination.
The analysis of later narratives• Linguistic hybridity• Recognition of ethnicity, race and gender.• Linguistic identities are negotiated in different ways according to the narrators sociohistorical realities.• National identity became strongly bound to monolingalism in English.• Present immigrants find themselves in a situation where learning English means giving up the first language.• Accounts of painful experiences
Identity narrative analysis • In your groups read the narratives from three different groups. What are some of the emerging themes do you see in these narratives? How do they negotiate their identities? How is second language and culture learning represented?1. Narrative excerpts from “The inner world of the immigrant child”2. Narrative excerpts from Eva Hoffman, Fen Shen, H.Kim
Group Work: Narrative analysis Analyzing language choices and content of the immigrant narratives: • What identities are narrated in this excerpt? Which events in their learning trajectory have become particularly signiﬁcant and which have likely been omitted as a result of this choice? • What are some of the emerging themes you see in these narratives? How do they negotiate their identities? How is second language and culture learning represented? • Examine the audience the narrator chose to address. • What are the implications of this linguistic choice for their narrative? Were the stories elicited in two languages or just one? Is it possible that proﬁciency or attrition have inﬂuenced the manner of the presentation or the amount of detail offered by the narrator? (Pavkenkov, 2009) REPORT YOUR FINDINGS TO THE WHOLE CLASS
Assignments• Read “ A step from heaven”• IMPORTANT:Remember that we will have a guest speaker in class: Pleasecreate at least two questions based on Dr. Kang’s article. Bringyour questions to class. It would be ideal if you could findconnections between the novel and Kang’s research.