Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

The Shifting Self: Negotiating the Constraints and Possibilities of Identity and Culture in the Language Classroom

Joanna Carr, Jane Crawford.

This paper is based around conversations with language students in diverse formal language learning contexts, and looks at the impact of learning another language on students’ sense of identity and cultural purpose. It explores different perceptions of the purpose and authenticity of language programs, the relevance of the status of the language studied and the degree to which such study is perceived to facilitate the development of intercultural competence. While language is recognised as a precondition, product and mediator of culture, the nature of intercultural experience via other-language learning often remains unexamined. Critical approaches to L2 pedagogy currently challenge traditional targeted L2 program objectives (e.g. native-speaker-like proficiency), arguing for recognition of the hybridity and complexity of movement between languages and cultures. Data collected in the study suggest interesting variables in learners’ perceptions and attitudes, which relate closely to the different ‘investments’ associated with the current dominance of English as the global lingua franca.


Joanna Carr  (Australia)

Queensland University of Technology

Jane Crawford  (Australia)
Senior Lecturer in TESOL/LOTE
School of Cultural and Language Studies in Education
Queensland University of Technology

Jane Crawford is a senior lecturer at QUT where she coordinates the TESOL/LOTE teacher education programs within the Faculty of Education. Her research interests include second language acquisition, curriculum design, teacher change and technology in language education.

  • Identity
  • Other-language learning
  • Intercultural competence

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)