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Language, Identity and Study Abroad: Sociocultural Perspectives

Language, Identity and Study Abroad: Sociocultural Perspectives (Hardback)

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A growing number of foreign language students are taking part in study and residence abroad programs but what actually happens when they cross cultures in an unfamiliar land? What effect can a sojourn have on their sense of self and their perceptions of the target language and culture? What factors affect their willingness to use the target language in social settings? This book is based on the premise that student sojourners and educators can benefit from a deeper understanding of the language, identity, and cultural factors that impact on the development of intercultural communicative competence and intercultural personhood, "a new, alternative identity that is broader, more inclusive, more intercultural...something that will always contain the old and the new side by side to form "a third kind" - a kind that allows more openness and acceptance of differences in people" (Kim, 2001: 232-3). Linking contemporary sociocultural/identity theories with practice, the relationship between language and cultural learning and identity reconstruction are examined through an ethnographic exploration of the actual experiences of study abroad participants.

The book provides a unique, interdisciplinary perspective, addressing issues of importance to professionals in second language acquisition, sociolinguistics, cross-cultural psychology, speech communication, and intercultural communication.

Jane Jackson is Professor in the Department of English at the Chinese University of Hong Kong

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