HAAL Seminar (APRIL 17, 2018)


Date:                         Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Venue:                       V303, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Time:                         6:00 – 7:00 pm

Life happens: How life circumstances affect cultural identity and commitment to bilingual competence

Diane D. Belcher

Department of Applied Linguistics and ESL,  Georgia State University

   Postmodernist approaches to identity, including cultural identity, conceive of it as fragmented, hybrid, and fluid. Yet others, notably social psychologists, have observed that individuals have a powerful need to create a cohesive life story with a certain amount of stability, a continuing sense of identification with valued reference groups. The impact that cultural identity, in turn, has on commitment to bilingual competence has attracted growing research attention, but few have attempted to examine how such commitment is sustained (or not) over an extended period of time. This presentation will describe the findings of a longitudinal (eight-year) multi-case study that explores the interplay between cultural identity and commitment to use of more than one language in bilingual speakers as their life circumstances change over the course of time. Strategies developed by the focal participants to sustain L1 and L2 competence in the face of perceived challenges will be presented. Implications for those who seek to provide support for or maintain and grow their own bilingual competence will also be discussed.

Diane D. Belcher Professor and Chair, Applied Linguistics and ESL, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, USA. Former co-editor of the journals English for Specific Purposes and TESOL Quarterly, Diane D. Belchershe has also guest edited three special issues of the Journal of Second Language Writing and currently serves as co-editor of a teacher reference series titled Michigan Series on Teaching Multilingual Writers. Her publications include eight edited volumes, chapters in a number of books, and articles in such journals as the Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, Applied Linguistics Review, and Journal of English for Academic Purposes. Her research interests mainly focus on advanced academic literacy.


Refreshments Served. All are Welcome with Limited Seats Available.
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HAAL would like to thank the Department of English at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University for their generous support to HAAL events.