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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19165

Title: Critical Ethnography of a Multilingual and Multicultural Korean Language Classroom: Discourses on Identity, Investment and Korean-ness
Authors: Shin, Jeeweon
Advisor: Labrie, Normand
Department: Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
Keywords: Identity
Investment
Korean-ness
Korean as a foreign/heritage language
Critical ethnography
Critical discourse analysis
Issue Date: 25-Feb-2010
Abstract: Following critical/post-structural perspectives in conducting ethnographic research on the political dimension of language learning, this study examines language learners’ identity and investment in a post-secondary Korean language classroom in Canada. First, this study explores the ways in which Korean-ness is produced through the curriculum, how an instructor’s linguistic and teaching practices in the Korean language classroom function to include some students and exclude others, and how the students on the periphery cope with their marginalization. I argue that peripheral students’ coping strategies are strongly tied to their investment into certain aspects of Korean language and culture, as well as their desire to gain symbolic resources in the Korean language. Second, my study examines the ways in which Korean heritage language learners (re)negotiate their hyphenated Korean Canadian identities by looking at three different discourse sites - Korean home, Korean church, and Canadian schools - and how their hyphenated identities are connected with their investment in maintaining their heritage language. The data for this study includes classroom observations, semi-structured interviews, bi-weekly written journals and focus group interviews. By adopting critical discourse analysis (CDA) as a means of analyzing the data, this study shows that language learners’ race, ethnicity and gender are salient parts of their identities, and thus impact their learning experiences to varying degrees and levels. My research findings also suggest that the ethnic identity capital that the heritage language learners embrace in relation to their perceptions of their native speech community as well as its status, is intertwined with the maintenance of their heritage language. Pedagogical implications from this study enable educators to equally empower students from diverse backgrounds, and help them to be sensitive to the relations between ideologies and power in the language classroom. Central to these pedagogical implications is that it is the role of the teacher to adequately capitalize on the multilingual and multicultural practices that each student brings to the language classroom, and to identify the social and cultural voices present in the class.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19165
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning - Doctoral theses

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