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Access to language learning during study abroad the roles of identity and subject positioning /

by Whitworth, Kathleen Farrell.

Abstract (Summary)
Study abroad is generally thought to offer access to interaction with native speakers in a wide variety of settings, bringing students into close contact with the cultural practices of the host country, and resulting in dramatic increases in language proficiency, cultural awareness and intercultural communicative competence. However, recent literature in the field of applied linguistics shows that access to language learning opportunities in the field is anything but unproblematic. The data collection for the present study began in the fall of 2002 and continued through the fall of 2003. The data collection instruments used in this project allow for a qualitative report, supported by quantitative data, on the language learning experience of four American study abroad students during the spring of 2003 in France. I examine how the students positioned themselves and were positioned while abroad, and I analyze the effects that this positioning had on the participants’ access to social networks, language learning opportunities, and their overall public identity in France. The quantitative data reported herein are used to support the qualitative and narrative data. For analysis purposes, a Poststructuralist view of language socialization during study abroad is taken in this dissertation. It allows us to conceptualize language as a site of struggle in which meanings and the identities of the speaker are negotiated and renegotiated with each utterance and experience in a speaker’s life, and which may or may not involve development of second language competence. A Poststructuralist view of language socialization during study abroad is a new way of dealing with context as part of a dialectic relationship that also involves the learners’ identities. iv
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School:Pennsylvania State University

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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