Original article | International Journal of Progressive Education 2005, Vol. 1(1) 50-51
Mustafa Yunus Eryaman
pp. 50 - 51 | Manu. Number: ijpe.2005.004
Published online: February 01, 2005 | Number of Views: 302 | Number of Download: 567
In today’s global world, it is no longer uncommon for people to live in several different countries or socio-economically and culturally different communities, or move between two countries frequently during their lifetime. Negotiating Bilingual and Bicultural Identities provides a unique opportunity to examine the development of bilingual and bicultural identities of students who spend their adolescent years in a host country and then return to their home country.
The book presents findings from a longitudinal study of four teenage Japanese students who spent several years in North America and then returned to Japan to attend university. Using narrative inquiry and communities of practice as a theoretical framework, the author, Yasuko Kanno explores the intimate link between language, experience, identity and culture by analyzing the narratives of the Japanese students who are the sons and daughters of Japanese businessmen. The focus of this longitudinal study is mainly on how identities of young bilingual “returnees” (called kikokushijo) and their relationship to their two languages and two cultures change as they move from adolescence to young adulthood. According to Kanno, the study is significant and unique in that three characteristics of it differentiate it from other studies on bilingual and bicultural identities. First of all, this is a longitudinal study in which Kanno had followed the same bilingual students over a long period of time. And as oppose to the other studies, Kanno mainly focus not only on how learners grown-up as bilingual and bicultural individuals, but also on where they decide to place themselves between two languages and cultures. Second, this study documents student voice, which is lack in bilingual research in general. Third, although studies on bilingual and bicultural identities focus mainly on immigrants who move to a new country and stay there, this study focuses on the bilingual students who go back to their home country. It is also striking that the book is written in a language accessible to a wide readership.
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