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Narrativa identiteter och levande metaforer i ett andraspråksperspektiv
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Language Education.
2014 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Narrative identities and living metaphors from a second language perspective (English)
Abstract [en]

This thesis consists of two separate yet connected studies which investigate how some adult second language speakers of Swedish with various backgrounds reflect on their experiences of language use. The studies are based on the same empirical data, which consists of questionnaires, diaries, essays and observations, but primarily of conversations conducted with a time interval of six years. This data is analysed from a theoretical framework based on Paul Ricœur’s ideas of interpretation, narrative analysis and identity creation, which recur as a leitmotif throughout the thesis.

In the first study, data from three second language speakers are analysed by means of the concept of narrative identity, shedding light on the interplay between a static and a dynamic identity. The result is presented in the form of life narratives, which are commented on in relation to those strategies the participants express in relation to their second language use. The analysis shows a development over time moving from defiance to acceptance, from avoidance to flexibility and from planning to simplification. Adult language learning stands out as an arduous and time-consuming process with major consequences for the learner’s ego, a conclusion confirmed and clarified in the metaphor analysis of the second study in which language learning is related to hard work, a constant struggle and a long and strenuous journey. Here it also becomes evident that the participants equate language learning and language use to physical exertion and challenge as well as to individual achievement. This becomes particularly clear in the linked chains of metaphors in which language use is compared with skiing down the steepest slopes or appearing on stage.

The participants in both studies are quoted by means of an ethnopoetic method which aims to bring out the creative aspects of their language use and to give second language speakers a voice – a voice which does not need to be corrected and gives the narratives a new dimension.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Insitutionen för språkdidaktik, Stockholms universitet , 2014. , 200 p.
Doktorsavhandlingar i språkdidaktik - Dissertations in Language Education, 4
Keyword [en]
second language speakers, language learning, second language use, strategies, hermeneutics, ethnopoetic method, life narratives, narrative identity, metaphor, voice
Keyword [sv]
andraspråkstalare, språkinlärning, språkanvändning, strategier, hermeneutik, etnopoetisk metod, livsberättelser, narrativ identitet, metafor, röst
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
Education in Languages and Language Development
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-109218ISBN: 978-91-7649-040-2OAI: diva2:763821
Public defence
2014-12-17, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2014-11-25 Created: 2014-11-17 Last updated: 2014-11-25Bibliographically approved

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Ahlgren, Katrin
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