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Description - Negotiating Bilingual and Bicultural Identities by Yasuko Kanno

An examination of the changing linguistic and cultural identities of bilingual students through the narratives of four Japanese returnees (kikokushijo) as they spent their adolescent years in North America and then returned to Japan to attend university. As adolescents, these students were polarized toward one language and culture over the other, but through a period of difficult readjustment in Japan they became increasingly more sophisticated in negotiating their identities and more appreciative of their hybrid selves. Yasuko Kanno analyses how educational institutions both in their host and home countries, societal recognition or devaluation of bilingualism, and the students' own maturation contributed to shaping and transforming their identities over time. Using narrative inquiry and communities of practice as a theoretical framework, she argues that it is possible for bilingual individuals to learn to strike a balance between two languages and cultures. The work: is a longitudinal study of bilingual and bicultural identities - unlike most studies of bilingual learners, it follows the same bilingual youths from adolescence to young adulthood; documents student perspectives - redressing the neglect of student voice in much educational research, and offering educators an understanding of what the experience of learning English and becoming bilingual and bicultural looks like from the students' point of view; and contributes to the study of language, culture and identity by demonstrating that for bilingual individuals, identity is not a simple choice of one language and culture but an ongoing balancing act of multiple languages and cultures. The work should be of interest to researchers, educators, and graduate students who are concerned with the education and personal growth of bilingual learners, and should also be useful as a text for courses in ESL/bilingual education, TESOL, applied linguistics, and multicultural education.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780805841541
ISBN-10: 0805841547
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x mm)
Pages: 200
Imprint: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Inc
Publish Date: 1-Apr-2003
Country of Publication: United States

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Linguistic Minority Students Go to College by Yasuko Kanno
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