QJER logo 2
[ Contents Vol 13, 1997 ] [ QJER Home ]

RESEARCH BRIEFS Abstract of best poster at the Annual Research Forum of Queensland Institute of Educational Research, August 1997 in the category of beginning researcher (joint winner).

Second language acquisition and social identity

Jenny Miller
PhD Candidate, Graduate School of Education
University of Queensland

This poster provides an overview of a PhD study in progress. The study concerns the interplay between the acquisition of English as a second language (ESL) and issues of social identity. ESL acquisition is routinely identified by teachers and others as the major hurdle to mainstream integration of students of non-English speaking backgrounds. Although it has long been recognised that language and issues of social identity are closely bound together, educational researchers have produced little systematic evidence of how migrant students actually construct social/cultural identity as they are learning English. In what sense is learning a new language related to the construction of a 'new' identity? This study of ten newly arrived migrant students is centred on the premise that the development of second language competence can not be viewed in isolation from social practices both within and beyond the school.

As this is a longitudinal, interpretive study, the research design is based on naturalistic, qualitative methods of inquiry, using multiple data sources. In the thesis, data and analysis will be presented in the form of cases studies. The poster will first outline briefly the theoretical perspective of the study and will then present the aims and research questions, together with an overview of the methodology. The poster will also introduce some of the participants and fragments of interview data, 'what the kids have to say'. There will be a handout on the notion of identity and audibility, which is a current preoccupation of the researcher.

Please cite as: Miller, J. (1997). Second language acquisition and social identity. Queensland Journal of Educational Research, 13(2), 84. http://education.curtin.edu.au/iier/qjer/qjer13/miller2.html

[ Contents Vol 13, 1997 ] [ QJER Home ]
Created 17 Mar 2005. Last revision: 17 Mar 2005.
URL: http://education.curtin.edu.au/iier/qjer/qjer13/miller2.html