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+ Acts of identity during online collaborative interactions in foreign languages João A. Telles, Ph.D. UNESP – Universidade Estadual Paulista, Brazil Center.

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Presentation on theme: "+ Acts of identity during online collaborative interactions in foreign languages João A. Telles, Ph.D. UNESP – Universidade Estadual Paulista, Brazil Center."— Presentation transcript:

1 + Acts of identity during online collaborative interactions in foreign languages João A. Telles, Ph.D. UNESP – Universidade Estadual Paulista, Brazil Center for Languages and Teacher Development FAPESP – São Paulo State Foundation for the Support of Research Teletandem and Performativity

2 + 2005 www.teletandembrasil.org Teletandem Brasil Foreign languages for all

3 + Concerns and reflections weaknesses of foreign language education in the countries; quality of foreign language teacher development digital literacy exclusion: restrict access to technology hegemony of English in relation to other languages; geographical isolation [linguistic and cultural isolation] restricted access of the economically challenged students to the existing languages and cultures of the world; social and educational exclusion the importance of developing students’ oral competence (production and comprehension) along with writing and reading abilities in FL learning.

4 + Our partner institutions Georgetown University Virginia Commonwealth University University of Miami University of Georgia University of Washington – Seattle University of Hawaii at Manoa Truman State University University of Arizona Northwestern University Hillmar Middle School (California) Hillmar High School (California) Università del Salento (Italy) Università di Bologna (Italy) Università degli Studi Roma III (Italy) Université Charles-de-Gaulle, Lille III (France) Université de Lyon (France) University of Stockholm (Sweden) Johannes Gütenberg Universität (Germany) University of Southampton (England) Universitatea Babe ş -Bolyai (Romenia) NORTH AMERICA EUROPE LATIN AMERICA Universidad Autonoma de Mexico (Mexico) Universidad Argentina de la Empresa (Argentina) Universidad del Trabajo (Uruguay) MIDDLE EAST SOUTH ASIA King Saud University – Ryad (Saudi Arabia) University of Bankok (Tailand) ASIA University of Hubbey (China)

5 + A bit of what we have learned about teletandem interactions teletandem conversation emphasizes themes of interest to partners, vocabulary meaning negotiation and, grammar input or discussion about grammar rules (Santos, 2008, 2009; Brocco, 2009); frequently, discussions on these differences are repetitive, common sense and essentialist in nature – what Pennycook (2012:526) calls cultural ascriptions; teletandem conversation sessions are frequently and essentially focused on contrasting daily life in each of the partners’ countries – highlighting differences - and talking about them (Benedetti et al, 2010; Telles & Maroti, 2006).

6 + How do we “perform” national identities with words, during teletandem sessions? The making of the subject in Butler’s thinking The highlighting of differences Teletandem as Performance

7 + Butler’s concept of Performativity draws on BUTLER Performativity AUSTIN Speech Acts Felicity conditions DERRIDA Citationality Iterability BOURDIEU Ho it is that words come to have power ALTHUSSER Interpellation PENNYCOOK, 2007

8 + Butler’s main ideas on performativity Identites of gender. The performance of gender. Gender is performative. Interpellation: “Girls are not born girls, they are girled” (Gender Trouble) Gender is the effect and not the cause of discourse (Salih, 2002:103) “(…) the action of gender requires a performance that is repeated (iterability of gender). This repetition is at once a reenactment and reexperiencing of a set of meanings already socially established (…)” GT:190) [systems of categorization – Woodward, 2000) Normativity, heteronormativity, heterocentrism, parody, sedimentation Performativity: an aspect of discourse that has the power to put into action that that it names. “It is not a singular act, but a repetition and a ritual, which achieves its effects through its naturalization (….)” (GT:198) The conditions for the emergence of the subject in discourse Is the theory of performativity (a theory of agency) transposable onto national identity???

9 + Pennycook’s insights on Butler‘s work “Discussion on performativity provides a way of thinking about relationships between language and identity that emphasize the productive force of language in constituting identity rather than identity being a pregiven construct that is reflected in language use” (p.70-71); “We are not as we are because of some inner being but because of what we do” (p.70); Drawing from Butler’s works: “Identities are a product of our ongoing performances of acts that are largely pre-scribed (…) within highly rigid regulatory frames” (p.70). Pennycook, Alastair (2007) Global Englishes and Transcultural Flows. London: Routledge.

10 + We perform identities with words (rather than reflect identities in language). We also perform languages with words (p.73). Identities are formed in the linguistic performance rather than pregiven (p.76). Language and identity are constantly performed and remade. (p.76) Pennycook’s work suggests a move from the performative to the transformative: performativity understood as neither merely the playing out of the public roles nor the acting out of sedimented behavior, but the refashioning of futures (p.77). Pennycook, A. (2007) Global Englishes and Trancultural Flows. London: Routledge. Pennycook’s theoretical reflections: Links with teletandem discourse and activities

11 + Teletandem is a special collaborative and autonomous mode of telecollaboration. Performative Theory can shed light into the constitution of subjectivities and of national identities of foreign language students. During these online interactions, students engage into linguistic performances of highlighting and discussing differences between their countries. Marking differences during teletandem sessions

12 + The marking of differences during teletandem sessions A: (…) And when do you play soccer for your team? B: We play on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Wednesday we have a match. (…) A: Okay. Are you guys, are you guys very good? B: Yeah. Kind of, because it’s a university team, college team, so it’s not like great because we don’t have too much time to play, you know? A: Is it, is it um. Is it intramural? Is it like the professional university team? B: No, it’s not professional. A: So you guys do it for fun, right? B: We play fun, yup. A: Here they call that, intramural. B: Intramural. Oh okay intramural. A: So, like our school has the, the um… the professional soccer team that, you know, they compete with other universities and all of that stuff. And then they have an intramural soccer team that is with uh… like, I can join an intramural soccer team. B: Oh no, but but our team… we play against other universities and stuff but it’s not like its professional. It’s not the eeeuuuuh quality level, not professional level. But we still play for against the other universities, and we play championships, you know? A: Oh okay. So, is is that the only, are you guys the only soccer team in the school? B: Yeah. A: So, okay. That’s the school soccer team. Intramural or professional soccer team?

13 + The marking of differences during teletandem sessions B: We have a pizzeria in. I own, we own a pizzeria in my city and my brothers work there. My father work there. My mother’s a…, how can I say that? Funcionário publico. A: She’s a civil, uh, a civil servant. B: Yeah A: But she works for the government. B: Yup A: Okay, so she’s a civil servant. B: She’s a math teacher A: Oh, she’s a teacher! Oh, okay! Well, she’s a teacher. B: Yup. A: That’s how you would say, here, so uh… uh, so civil servants would be people who work for the government, uh, work for the government in government jobs. Teachers. For teachers you would just say “teacher”. B: Okay. A: You wouldn’t say… you wouldn’t say that your teacher is a civil servant. You would just say that she’s a teacher. B: Okay. Teacher or Civil Servant?

14 + The marking of differences during teletandem sessions A: Yes, yes, yes. And, huh... did you like X [the country where B has been]? B: You see [both laugh]… It depends. The… was interesting… The experience, many things, you know, are different from here, you see, from Brazil, many different things from [my continent]. It is REALLY different. But, I did not like the… the… the dirt… X people are a bit piggish, have you noticed that? A: Sujeira [dirt]? What does sujeira mean? B: All right. Sujeira [dirt] is, look, wait! [probably checks an online dictionary]  A: Sujeira dirty. Oh! It’s, it’s... Sucio in Spanish, sucio.  B: That’s it.  A: [surprised voice] Do you know what sucio means in Spanish?!  B: I know, I know. That’s exactly it. That’s it.  A: That’s it. So X is mui sucio [very dirty].  B: Very (laughs).  A: Are you sure this is what you mean?  B: That’s what I mean. They are... it’s too polluted. They make things dirty, they mess up the floor. They don’t care much about cleanness. (Pause). You get it? Dirt: Matter out of its place

15 + Final comments Understanding how these notions are performed are important not only to students but to language instructors. They must deal with such issues in their professional development, as they increasingly adopt technologies for transcultural and transcontinental interactions in their language classes. The online context of teletandem for transcultural communication, per se, does not educate students towards global citizenship. Rather, it is the ways that instructors use this online learning context that may promote the critical teaching and learning of foreign languages and the critical appreciation of identity and difference.

16 + jtelles@assis.unesp.br www.teletandembrasil.org Obrigado Gracias Grazie gràcies Merci Thank you Danke Спас ибо நன்றி 謝謝 شكرا لك. תודה آپ کا شکریہ ありがとう σας ευχαριστώ


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