Transnationalism and Identity in Study Abroad: Multilingual Sojourners in Barcelona
Tullock, Brandon Durant
Study abroad (SA) research has interrogated the assumption that a temporary sojourn abroad implies immersive access to language leading to dramatic language gains. The robust finding that SA outcomes and experiences vary widely has led scholars to investigate variable opportunities for language use arising from the interaction of particular SA settings and factors related to the identity and agency of individual sojourners. Multilingualism and transnationalism, while prevalent among SA sojourners and settings, have received little attention in this literature. This dissertation examines the lived experiences of bi-/multilingual students learning Spanish on a U.S.-based summer program in Barcelona, an officially bilingual and de facto multilingual city where local linguistic and identity practices are shaped by widespread bilingualism in Spanish and Catalan and often English and other transnational languages. I adopt a longitudinal, qualitative multiple-case study approach, combining ethnographic and introspective methodologies, which afforded a rich and nuanced perspective on sojourners’ orientations and responses to individual and societal multilingualism, their negotiations of ideologies and identities, and how these orientations and negotiations shape students’ lived experience and their access to language while abroad. Triangulated analysis of interview and diary data for eight focal participants revealed how the multilingual SA environment challenged sojourners’ ideologies, often leading to surprising personal discoveries. Sojourners exhibited varied orientations to multilingualism, ranging from viewing it as an obstacle to construing it as an affordance. Individual case studies of three ethnolinguistically diverse sojourners demonstrated the diverse ways in which biographies, identities, and ideologies interact to mediate learning opportunities. For Ben, monoglossic ideologies clashed with multilingual realities, resulting in isolation and disappointment. For Lucia, SA entailed skillful negotiation, reconstruction, and development of a cosmopolitan Cuban American identity. And David’s lived experiences as a multilingual, mixed-race Korean-White American and social justice orientations profoundly shaped his learning approach, perceptions, and interaction abroad. Together, these findings hold relevance for SA research by problematizing the ideology of monolingual immersion as an ideal to strive for, stressing the importance of racialized identities in shaping access to language, highlighting friendship as a driver of social networking, and revealing how a language pledge is best treated as a negotiable affordance.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Multilingual Identity Development and Negotiation Amongst Heritage Language Learners: A Study of East European-American Schoolchildren in the United States Seals, Corinne A. (Georgetown University, 2013)Previous research in the field of heritage language (HL) acquisition has focused on the connection between frequency of language use and HL speakers' connection to and maintenance of their HL. This dissertation introduces ...