This Master's thesis seeks to gain further understanding of the issues confronting Latino speakers of ESL with respect to language learning and identity. Specifically, through group and individual interviews that I conducted with Latino immigrants involved with a community-based ESL program in Southeast Michigan, I investigate the factors that shape these individuals' attitudes towards the English language as well as the ways in which pedagogical practices may foster or impede the development of ownership, confidence, and a positive sense of self in the target language. In the first chapter, I examine how recent applications of poststructuralism in second language acquisition (SLA) research serve as the theoretical underpinnings of the present study. Additionally, I outline some of the social, political, and cultural hegemonies impacting the lives of Latinos living in the United States and how SLA researchers have investigated these as they concern the social aspects of language learning. Chapter Two not only delineates the ethnographic methods I used to carry out the current research, but also aims to describe in detail many of the difficulties I encountered as a novice researcher in the hopes that it may benefit other newcomers to empirical exploration. The third chapter of this paper is dedicated to elucidation and analysis of the insights shared by interview participants. Amidst findings that life circumstances and the opinions of others (both native English speakers and Hispanic peers) often preclude these individuals from feeling they can take legitimate claim to English, I offer implications for the ESL classroom that may help students to explore their relationship to the language. Lastly, I propose the limitations of my research as well as directions for future inquiries.
|Commitee:||Kumar, Revathy, Phelps, Carmen|
|School:||The University of Toledo|
|Department:||English as a Second Language|
|School Location:||United States -- Ohio|
|Source:||MAI 55/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||English as a Second Language, Latin American Studies, Sociolinguistics, Language|
|Keywords:||Community-based ESL programs, ESL learners, Language and identity, Language learning, Language ownership, Latino/hispanic|
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