A Critical Interpretation of Study Abroad, Participant Identity, and Second Language Learning
Imported from ProQuest Edwards_ilstu_0092E_11238.pdf
In this study I explore the history of study abroad as a sojourn for the privileged, notions of whiteness, institutional racism and inequality, and nationality and linguicism, and apply theory from critical applied linguistics and post-colonialism to analyze and interpret data collected from five participants of either a semester or year-long study abroad at the Centre International d’Études Françaises (CIDEF) in Angers, France. The principal research questions are: What is the nature of how students negotiate their identities (racial, national, and gender), L2 learning, and engagement (or lack of) with various communities of practice while studying abroad in a non-English dominant country? How can an understanding of study abroad students’ identities and participation in communities of practice abroad inform administration and implementation of study abroad programs to encourage L2 learning? Findings include that study abroad participants’ approach to their experience is highly influenced by socially learned and accepted understanding of nationality, race, language, and gender, and most choose communities of practice and language based on investment in reifying these identities.