AbstractsEducation Research & Administration

First Languages and identity: Multilingual Learners in the Multilingual Learning Context

by Cynthia Penner

Institution: University of Regina
Year: 2014
Record ID: 2028756
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10294/5294


This qualitative study explores the relationship between multilingual learners??? identities (Norton, 2000; 2010) and their first languages. In this study, an examination of urban Saskatchewan students??? use of first languages in a multilingual classroom was investigated. In addition, the ways in which notions of identity and investment (Norton, 2000) impacted the students??? use of first languages in the classroom was explored. Data were collected from nine multilingual learners, in grades seven and eight, using a questionnaire, interviews and my research journal. The interviews asked about student awareness, attitudes and use of first languages in the multilingual learning context (Lytra & M??ller, 2011). The findings indicated that multilingual learners view first languages in a way that impacts their identities. Multilingual learners also invest (Norton, 2000) in first languages in the multilingual learning context and create a community of learners (Denos, Toohey, Neilson, & Waterstone, 2009; Rogoff, Goodman Turkanis, & Bartlett, 2001), where a variety of first languages is used. Some implications for provincial education policy and classroom planning are mentioned.