1. bookVolume 19 (2021): Issue 1 (November 2021)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2335-2027
First Published
01 Jan 2012
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

I Participate; Therefore, I Am (And I Learn): Researching Learners’ Multilingual Identity in the Multilingual School Context

Published Online: 15 Nov 2021
Volume & Issue: Volume 19 (2021) - Issue 1 (November 2021)
Page range: 1 - 18
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2335-2027
First Published
01 Jan 2012
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
Summary

This study examines the relationship between the participation of multilingual students in FAL (French as an additional language) classroom and language learners’ identities associated with the related community of practice. Classroom participation, a key concept of the study, is defined as a verbal form of learners’ investment in language learning, which can both enhance language learning and change the identity of language learners. The research was conducted in an international multilingual school in Croatia among eight 5th grade multilingual and multicultural students learning French as an additional language. For data collection purposes, French language lessons and twelve video recordings with a total length of approx. 480 minutes were observed and taped. A qualitative analysis of the participation of each student was conducted with the regard to the power relations among members of the classroom. The analysis revealed that, from the chosen theoretical perspective where an additional language is seen both as a tool of power and a tool for power, the identity of language learners can be described as a dynamic combination of some of the following identity positions: a language learner in a position of power, a language learner in a higher position of power than others, a language learner in a reduced position of power but eager for a position of power, a language learner in a reduced position of power but not eager for a position of power. The results of this study are consistent with the main assumptions about the identity of language learners made by other socially oriented authors in SLA (Norton-Peirce, 1995; Pavlenko & Blackledge, 2004; Darvin & Norton, 2015), according to which language learners’ identity is multiple, dynamic, discursively shaped and context-dependent.

Keywords

Block, D. (2007). Second Language Identities. Continuum. Search in Google Scholar

Bourdieu, P. (1977). The economics of linguistic exchanges. Social Sciences Information, 16(6), 645–668.10.1177/053901847701600601 Search in Google Scholar

Bourdieu, P. (1984). Distinction: A social critique of the judgement of taste. Harvard University Press. Search in Google Scholar

Bourdieu, P. (1991). Language and symbolic power. Harvard University Press. Search in Google Scholar

Caranagajah, S. (2004). Multilingual Writers and the Struggle for Voice in Academic Contexts. In A. Pavlenko, & A. Blackledge (2004). Negotiation of Identities in Multilingual Contexts, (pp. 266–289). Multilingual Matters. Search in Google Scholar

Carazzai, M. R. (2013). The process of identity (re)construction of six Brazilian language learners: A poststructuralist ethnographic study [Doctoral dissertation, The Federal University of Santa Catarina]. https://repositorio.ufsc.br/handle/123456789/105150 Search in Google Scholar

Chang, Y. J. (2011). Picking one’s battles: NNES doctoral students’ imagined communities and selections of investment. Journal of Language, Identity and Education, 10(4), 213–230.10.1080/15348458.2011.598125 Search in Google Scholar

Darvin, R., & Norton, B. (2015). Identity and a Model of Investment. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 35, 36–56. https://doi.org/10.1017/S026719051400019110.1017/S0267190514000191 Search in Google Scholar

Darvin, R., & Norton, B. (2017). Language, Identity, and Investment in the Twenty-first Century. In T. L. McCarty, & S. May (Eds.), Language Policy and Political Issues in Education, Encyclopedia of Language and Education, (pp. 1–15). Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02320-5_18-210.1007/978-3-319-02320-5_18-2 Search in Google Scholar

Garcìa, O. (2009). Bilingual Education in 21 Century: A Global Perspective. Basil/Blackwell. Search in Google Scholar

McKay, S. L., & Wong, S. L. C. (1996). Multiple discourses, multiple identities: Investment and agency in second-language learning among Chinese adolescent immigrant students. Harvard Educational Review, 66(3), 577–609.10.17763/haer.66.3.n47r06u264944865 Search in Google Scholar

Norton-Peirce, B. (1995). Social Identity, Investment, and Language Learning. TESOL Quarterly, 29, 9–31.10.2307/3587803 Search in Google Scholar

Norton, B., & Toohey, K. (2001). Changing perspectives on good language learners. TESOL Quarterly, 35(2), 307–322. https://doi.org/10.2307/358765010.2307/3587650 Search in Google Scholar

Ollerhead, S. (2012). “Passivity” or “Potential”? Teacher responses to learner identity in the low-level ESL classroom. Literacy and Numeracy Studies, 20(1), 1–13.10.5130/lns.v20i1.2620 Search in Google Scholar

Pavlenko, A., & Blackledge, A. (2004). Negotiation of Identities in Multilingual Contexts. Multilingual Matters.10.21832/9781853596483 Search in Google Scholar

Potowski, K. (2004). Student Spanish use and investment in a dual immersion classroom: Implications for second language acquisition and heritage language maintenance. The Modern Language Journal, 88(1), 75–101.10.1111/j.0026-7902.2004.00219.x Search in Google Scholar

Reeves, J. (2009). Teacher investment in learner identity. Teaching and Teacher Education, 25(1), 34–41.10.1016/j.tate.2008.06.003 Search in Google Scholar

Sanches Silva, J. F. (2013). The construction of English teacher identity in Brazil: A study in Mato Grosso do Sul [Doctoral dissertation, The Federal University of Santa Catarina]. https://repositorio.ufsc.br/handle/123456789/105151 Search in Google Scholar

Skilton-Sylvester, E. (2002). Should I stay or should I go? Investigating Cambodian women’s partici-pation and investment in adult ESL programs. Adult Education Quarterly, 53(1), 9–26.10.1177/074171302237201 Search in Google Scholar

Recommended articles from Trend MD

Plan your remote conference with Sciendo