ERIC Number: ED428578
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
Creating "Vietnamerican" Discourse: Ethnic Identity in the ESL Classroom.
An ethnographic study examined how learning English and becoming more literate in the dominant discourse affects the identity or self-concept of Vietnamese immigrant students, and how new discourse may be created as students negotiate multiple literacies. It was conducted in a Seattle area high school and focused on 22 Vietnamese students in an English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) program, all of whom had lived in the United States for one to four years. Data were gathered using observation, informal conversations, a photography and writing project undertaken with the students, and formal interviews with students, teachers, and administrators. Analysis explored several issues: how students perceived their ethnic identities; what "Americanization" means to the students, their parents, and their teachers; how definitions of the concept differ among the groups, and the conflicts that may arise therefrom; and whether immigrant students need to identify with the dominant discourse or majority culture to succeed in American schools. Results challenge the assumption that assimilation means adopting elements of the new culture alongside the native culture, and suggest that a third culture is constructed with elements resembling elements of the first two but fundamentally different from either. Contains 18 references. (MSE)
Descriptors: Acculturation, Asian Americans, Discourse Analysis, English (Second Language), Ethnic Groups, Ethnicity, Ethnography, High School Students, High Schools, Identification (Psychology), Immigrants, Limited English Speaking, Literacy Education, Refugees, Second Language Instruction, Self Concept, Student Adjustment, Vietnamese People
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Montreal, Canada, April 19-23, 1999).