Transnational spaces and the negotiation of identities: The Japanese language learning experiences of English – Japanese bilingual youths in Australia


10 April, Wednesday, 12 noon to 1 pm, Japanese Studies Centre, Auditorium. Building 54, Monash University Clayton campus, Wellington Rd, Clayton [map]

Speaker:  Kenta KOSHIBA, LCL, Monash University

 Abstract: With an increase in the number of “heritage learners” or “background speakers” enrolling in language classes, the social and affective factors influencing these students’ language development have become a widely debated issue both nationally and internationally. This study aims to contribute to this field by examining the Japanese language learning experiences and identity negotiations of Year 12 and tertiary level background speakers who were enrolled in a “Japanese for background speakers” subject that was offered by an Australian university. Through an analysis of data derived from semi-structured interviews with the participants, I will illustrate the complex ways in which these students draw on their linguistic and cultural resources to position themselves and others in the class, claim legitimacy as a speaker of Japanese and construct “transnational(ised) identities” (Vertovec, 2001) that dis-align the fixed connection between language and ethnicity.


Author Bio: Kenta Koshiba is a PhD candidate in the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics at Monash University. His interests include heritage language education, bilingualism and the use of translation and interpreting in language education.