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ERIC Number: EJ936255
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jun
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 36
ISSN: ISSN-1949-3533
Language Lessons on Immigrant Identity, Food Culture, and the Search for Home
Santos, Maricel G.; McClelland, Jeff; Handley, Margaret
TESOL Journal, v2 n2 p203-228 Jun 2011
The concept of transnationalism in many disciplines has deepened appreciation for stories of immigrant adaptation in today's globalizing world--stories that reveal shifting conceptualizations of "home," the everyday practices (e.g., cooking) that help families establish meaningful connections to home, as well as the struggles to maintain those connections. Adult English as a second language (ESL) learners' story, however, has been overlooked in transnational research, despite the great potential that the ESL classroom holds for documenting the relationship between identity, changing traditions, and learners' perceptions about home. This article highlights an interdisciplinary partnership between adult ESL and public health that explored the power of learners' stories of home and the implications for ESL teaching and improved immigrant health. Using a classroom-based ethnographic approach, we found that learners' interpretations of health-related texts can promote language learning and critical engagement around texts. Moreover, the learners' talk about stories of home provides evidence that ESL classrooms are valuable sites for the expression of transnational identity and critical dialogue on the challenges of staying healthy in the United States. (Contains 1 table, 5 excerpts, and 2 footnotes.)
Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. 1925 Ballenger Avenue Suite 550, Alexandria, VA 22314. Tel: 888-547-3369; Tel: 703-836-0774; Fax: 703-836-7864; Fax: 703-836-6447; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A