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1 Social inclusion and the reduced personality: Migration, identity and language learning Lynda Yates Macquarie University.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Social inclusion and the reduced personality: Migration, identity and language learning Lynda Yates Macquarie University."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Social inclusion and the reduced personality: Migration, identity and language learning Lynda Yates Macquarie University

2 2 Research Questions How are these migrants positioned and how do they position themselves in their new communities? How do they experience the renegotiation of their identities in English? What is the role of the AMEP in this renegotiation process and how can it best facilitate these transitions?

3 3 Overview Motivation for paper Theoretical frameworks Study Insights from case study of 8 women in first three years in Australia Reflections on: –Development of their English-speaking identities –Understandings of learning and language use –Role of language classes

4 4 Motivation for paper Lucia Q1 my boyfriend or and here his family. Everybodys wah wah wah What talking laughing and Im just sorry shy and he say- The shy Columbian yes. And Im not like that! Kaye Q1 Kaye: …and people thinks Im really quiet. Do they? Kaye: But in Japanese, no, Im really talkative,

5 5 Theory: Focus on the individual Personal costs of developing transnationalism –Rebuilding social, cultural and economic capital Language anxiety (Oxford, 1999) –Self-esteem (Horowitz et al 1986) Reduced personality (Harder, 1980) –Late-acquired language –Frustrations re self-expression (Winch, 2005) Motivation –L2 motivational self (Dornyei & Ushioda 2009)

6 6 Theory: Identity in context Power differentials and structures of participation –Positioning –Peripheral participation/ communities of practice –Affordances & investment (Norton-Pierce, 1995) Motivation - interaction intentionality & social context (Ushioda 2009) –People-in-context view of motivation –Engagement of possible selves English speaking identity –Migrant identities (Miller 2000) –Transportable identities (Zimmerman 1998; Richards 2006)

7 7 Language use and English speaking identity Positioning (affordances) ELL motivation (Ideal L2 self) Past self-esteem (cultural capital) + ve - ve Use of English Engagement of possible selves: Transnational English-speaking Identity

8 8 Language use and development of L2 identity Transnational English-speaking Identity Engagement of possible selves +ve or –ve experiences Use of English + ve - ve Language anxiety Reduced personality Successful self expression investment and confidence in language learning

9 9 Language training and settlement success DIAC funded project 152 migrants (134) studying in AMEP 11 centres around Australia Different levels/ backgrounds/ ages/ A range of data: –Interviews –Fieldnotes, observations, materials, assessments –Digital recordings of goal-oriented and social interactions inside and outside the classroom and the centre

10 10 Language training AMEP - national program –all eligible new arrivals who lack functional English –free –three different certificate levels to those –Certificate III –preparation for further study or improvement in employment prospects. Beyond most urgent need for basic English Language-related settlement issues Negotiate social and professional identities through English C1 linguistic expertise / economic capacity Australia: Struggle to draw on this capital

11 11 Participants

12 12 Participants

13 13 Social inclusion and settlement success: Some commonalities Social isolation and loneliness Frustration at reduced personality Insufficiency of workplace or partners for English development Goal of more challenging work Underestimation of language learning Tendency to self-blame Desire to improve English Desire for speaking and feedback

14 14 Social isolation and loneliness Frustration at: Lack of friends –Sally and son (playgroup), Anna (curfew), Tobi Inability to relate/ express E.g. –Formal phone conversations (Sally) –Parents (Kaye) –Partners friends (Lila) –Every day conversation at work (Karen) –Anybody (Anna)

15 15 Insufficiency of routine work interactions Robot - Lucia Q1 Lucia: Im just- ah feeling totally like stuck. Like- like when I know- you know its like Im feeling like Im expressing myself always in the same way or always- [….] Using the same words and using the same- Yes, so its a restricted range of things-that you can say and do and you want to expand that, yeah. Lucia: Exactly because I feel like robot, you know? Sally (take-away)/ Lucia (café)/ Karen (office)/ Anna (factory) But increases confidence? (Sally/ Karen cf Tobi) (also Miller 2000)

16 16 Karen Q2: Yeah (laughter) because I think if I work for an Aussie company at least I have a good- good situation and every time I listening, every time I- I read I- I writing something, always learning English, so is good. ………………………. I think I- I can- … I so before- before this job I dont dare to talk with some you know Western people. But now I can, I can do this.

17 17 Goal - more challenging work Desire to build on cultural capital: –portray fuller range of skills - professional identity –Participate more centrally Lila Q1: So I was and I was and at uni they know me because I was good at uni. [….] Lila: Yeah so that why here thats why now oh I dont have and I would say to my sister I just came here and Im no-one, nobody.

18 18 Under-estimation of challenge of language learning Anna Q2: before I came here I- I never I never think English is so hard because hhmmm, we in China we just do reading, especially in our field I found that this is- is not difficult. So before I came here I think oh, English is- is easy to me I can- (laughter) I can I can learn English quickly and fast but after I came here I found not

19 19 Positive about AMEP class Lucia Q1: … theyre [English classes] great its just, you know, its, yeah, some of my first English classes here in this, yeah Karen Q2: I think … ahh, we can, we can learn some some- some words and I think we can- we can spend long time in Engla- English situation. Anna Q1: I enjoy the class-, the class because I can- I can meet and know differ different classmates from different country the- (NB Sally/ Anna - stretching)

20 20 Some commonalities Tendency to blame self (Lila, Anna, Tobi) Okay. And you said last time to Jackie that you were feeling a little bit alone. Lila Q2: Yeah. How do you feel now? Lila Q2: Ahm … I try dont think about it (laughter) yeah. Still a little bit lonely then? Lila Q2: Yeah, I think maybe my personality, I dont know.

21 21 Language use and English speaking identity Successful self expression investment and confidence in language learning Reduced personality Language anxiety + ve - ve L2 identity and Use of English

22 22 Lucia Q1 50% English Repetitive café to Cute Spanish-speaker Frustrated with reduced personality Class useful for: –structure and practice (pron and writing) –Space to speak –Make friends –Organise her English Q3 80% English Sociable trammie Independent lover Settled Job as transition Developing new strategies to communicate Still frustrated at inability to join in and limited identity in English, but….

23 23 Lucia Q3: Lucia: I, you know, but it's just … I think the English is- is, I, I remember I felt really isolate, my first- Yeah. Lucia:-months here. I didnt have friends, I didnt, I was only with family and with, I can start to talk with anyone and thats normal. You know I'm doing that with contacts- Yeah, yeah. Lucia:-I'm making friends-on the tram, making friends. I'm just- -Yeah. Lucia: -I'm talking with people. Yeah, yeah. Lucia: And this is good.

24 24 Tobi Q1 20% English Japanese travel agency Planning children Frustrated but some support Class useful for: –Place to speak English –Place for feedback Q3 15% English Soon unemployed Relationship breakdown Feels old (30), worries about health Lost interest in studying English: I dont like study English. No support, maybe returning home

25 25 Anna Q1(2) 40% English Silenced / factory QA Diligent but unrealistic Came for opportunity (misses professional talk) Class: –Useful for answers –To meet people/ engage –Feedback/ correction –(wants to make NS contact) Q3(4) 60% English Quit job for more speaking Diligent -frustrated with progress More understanding and confidence Wants more Anglo talk Refocusing goals - optician Considering returning (confident assertive cf mistakes /stupid in English) (lonely / husband) (toughened / more determined )

26 26 Jeannie Q1 95% English Family store Believes in speaking out Proud of her English Came for opportunity/husband Q3 98% English Wants to study Disappointed cant be a teacher Husband wants her to work Stays for son not husband

27 27 Karen Q1 15% (50%) English Chinese to English Wants to improve speaking Came for husband/ opportunity Class: –Safe place to speak –Not laughed at Q4 Return from work away More confident about English, but still afraid of mistakes Different place from last yr: –Content, happy, lucky –Plans to settle –More confident with clients

28 28 Role of language training Source of: –Structured language information –Feedback (handling of misconceptions) –Non-language information –Practice –Referral (plausible action plans) (Dornyei 2009) –Peer group / network

29 29 AMEP class - safe place to: Use English without being considered stupid Develop of English speaking identity which reflects their transportable identities engage directly with their possible selves as users of the L2, but within the current scope and security of their current communicative abilities, interests and social contexts (Ushioda: 2009: 225)

30 30 References Dornyei, Z., & Ushioda, E. (Eds.). (2009). Motivation: Language identity and the L2 self. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Harder, P. (1980). Discourse as self-expression – on the reduced personality of the second language learner. Applied Linguistics, 1(3), Horwitz, E. K., Horwitz, M. B., & Cope, J. (1986). Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety. The Modern Language Journal, 70(2), Miller, J. M. (2000). Language Use, Identity, and Social Interaction: Migrant Students in Australia. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 33(1), Oxford, R. L. (1999) Anxiety and the language learner: New insights. In J. Arnold (Ed.) Affect in Language Learning (pp 58-67). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Norton-Pierce, B. (1995). Social identity, investment and language learning. TESOL Quarterly, 29(1), Richards, K. (2006). 'Being the teacher': Identity and classroom conversation. Applied Linguistics, 27(1), Ushioda, E. (2009). A person-in-context relational view of emergent motivation, self and identity. In Z. Dornyei & E. Ushioda (Eds.), Motivation, Language identity and the L2 self (pp ). Bristol: Mulitlingual Matters. Winch, S. (2005). From Frustration to Satisfaction: Using NLP to Improve Self- Expression. Paper presented at the 18th Annual EA Education Conference Zimmerman, D. H. (1998). Discoursal identities ad social identities. In C. Antaki & S. Widdicombe (Eds.), Identities in talk (pp ). London: Sage.

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