Presentation Title

Understanding Multilingual Identities

Format of Presentation

15-minute lecture to be presented the Saturday of the conference

Abstract

In a world with 6500 languages and only 195 countries it is almost impossible to have been exposed to only one language. In some way most people have heard or seen languages other than their native language, whether that is through work, school, global news, a subtitled movie, borrowed words, online friends, tourism, or food. Inherent to this exposure is knowledge of other cultures, which can have an impact on identity. Understanding Multilingual Identities is about the intersection of language, culture and identity. This study collected original data on university students who spoke more than one language, at any level, who had also lived in the culture of their second language. Students were asked to self-identify any area of change to their identity or language use due to living in another culture and using another language. They were also asked to identify whether, and under what circumstances, those changes persisted after their return to their home country and main language. Data was collected through interview methodology which will be supplemented with survey data.

Department

English and Modern Languages

Faculty Advisor

Annette Dominik

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Understanding Multilingual Identities

In a world with 6500 languages and only 195 countries it is almost impossible to have been exposed to only one language. In some way most people have heard or seen languages other than their native language, whether that is through work, school, global news, a subtitled movie, borrowed words, online friends, tourism, or food. Inherent to this exposure is knowledge of other cultures, which can have an impact on identity. Understanding Multilingual Identities is about the intersection of language, culture and identity. This study collected original data on university students who spoke more than one language, at any level, who had also lived in the culture of their second language. Students were asked to self-identify any area of change to their identity or language use due to living in another culture and using another language. They were also asked to identify whether, and under what circumstances, those changes persisted after their return to their home country and main language. Data was collected through interview methodology which will be supplemented with survey data.