Being and becoming a speaker of Japanese : an by Andrea Simon-Maeda

By Andrea Simon-Maeda

This autoethnographic account of the author's jap as a moment language studying trajectory is a crucial and distinct addition to diary experiences in SLA and utilized linguistics qualitative study circles. In-depth ethnographic information and introspective statement are skilfully interwoven all through Simon-Maeda's narrative of her reviews as an American expatriate who arrived in Japan in 1975 – the place to begin of her being and turning into a speaker of eastern. The ebook joins the hot surge in postmodernist, interdisciplinary methods to interpreting language acquisition, and readers are awarded with a hugely convincing case for utilizing autoethnography to raised comprehend sociolinguistic complexities which are unamenable to quantification of remoted variables. the great literature assessment and huge ranging references supply a worthy resource of data for researchers, educators, and graduate scholars interested in present matters in SLA/applied linguistics, bi/multilingualism, and eastern as a moment language.

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Excerpt 2 (11/10/04) 29 Shu: It’s a (chuckle), it’s a jinshu sabetsu (chuckle). “racial discrimination” 30 Andy: Yeah, that’s what I was thinking too 31 it’s a kind of discrimination. 31 Mahe: I don’t know, why. I didn’t ask. 32 Andy: It must be just for foreigners. So you’re a foreigner, (while pointing to the non-Japanese members in the group) you’re a foreigner 33 [I’m a foreigner,] 34 Shu: [You had better,] you had better, 35 Mahe: Why why do I ask. 36 Shu: You had better not kikanai hoo ga ii (chuckle).

The array changes as individuals experience variation in internal states and social circumstances. The content of the working self-concept depends on what self-conceptions have been active just before, on what has been elicited or made dominant by the particular social environment, and on what has been more purposefully invoked by the individual in response to a given experience, event, or situation. (Markus & Nurius, 1986: 957) The above view of a malleable identity adapting to changing situations, while also serving to buttress a relatively stable projection of what may be considered to be an ‘authentic self’ (Markus & Nurius, 1986: 965), allows for a more realistic understanding of life and language behavior.

In short, my social and linguistic crossovers as a Japanese speaker are the cumulative result of continuous re-enactments of my L2 self vis-à-vis other Japanese speakers in particular situations. The theme of identity construction in a new language as a kind of performance also runs throughout Burck’s collection of stories from bi/multilingual individuals who moved to a new country as adults. Different from the experiences of those who learned additional languages at an early age, adult learners are more ‘aware of processes of constructing themselves through their interactions with others, processes that were invisible and had become naturalised in their fi rst languages’ (Burck, 2005: 81).

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