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ERIC Number: EJ948631
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Sep
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 19
ISSN: ISSN-0039-8322
Language Learning Careers as an Object of Narrative Research in TESOL
Benson, Phil
TESOL Quarterly: A Journal for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages and of Standard English as a Second Dialect, v45 n3 p545-553 Sep 2011
One of the strengths of narrative research in TESOL is its potential to provide insight into long-term language learning experiences that cannot be investigated in real time. Reliance on retrospection, however, brings two problems that are addressed in this article through the concept of "language learning careers". The first problem is methodological and concerns the duration of experiences described in narrative data, which can be as short as a few minutes or as long as a lifetime. The second problem concerns the status of first-person narratives as accounts of actual language learning processes. Narrative researchers are urged to avoid treating narratives as "factual" accounts and to focus more on their discourse and less on their content. Is it possible, however, to conceptualize the content of language learning narratives such that one acknowledges their problematic status as "fact", but retain the option of insight into actual language learning processes? In this article, the author argues that the concept of language learning careers can help individuals to address this question. He argues for the value of the concept of language learning careers as an analytical tool in TESOL narrative research. Because this argument is largely based on the experience of analyzing interviews that aimed to elicit accounts of long-term language learning experiences, the concept is most likely to be valuable in such research. (Contains 1 footnote.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hong Kong