Action Research

As a writer and teacher of English language and literature, I have always been interested in the relationship between language and identity. When given the opportunity to conduct action research in TESOL 6286, I had one question in my mind: To what extent does cultural identity impact language development? 

Both my research partner and I teach in English-medium schools with predominantly host national students.  We wanted to understand how our students’ own beliefs about their home language, culture, and identity might be impacted by studying in an English-medium environment.  We saw this as the inverse of Pollock and Van Reken’s study of Third Culture Kids who live outside of their home culture.  We were surprised in our research to find little conflict between home culture and their Western schooling culture, the data suggested a great desire among students for opportunities to develop their home languages in the context of school. 

Harper,Tom and Gohl, Lukas. “Linguistic and Cultural Impacts on Identity Formation.”