This narrative study explores the ways in which identity and community influence the experiences of two Bulgarian immigrant, adult English language learners in a noncredit community ESL class in Southern California. The researcher interviewed the participants via phone and videoconferencing twice using a researcher-developed demographic questionnaire and two-part interview protocol. The researcher applied community-based participatory research as a method to involve the participants in the research process in a third interview. This study also used the class worksheets, lesson plans, a schedule, and the researcher’s field notes, stories, pictures, conversations, and life experience to explore how identity and community influence the participants experiences. The findings of this study indicated the existence of multiple identities that shift depending on historical time and context. The participants’ primary Discourses instilled values and served as a model for their social identities as well as imposed limits and delimited their investment in their imagined futures. Power relations between multiple Discourses suppressed the participants and withheld their access to social practices that would facilitate their investment in their imagined communities. The participants’ narratives revealed that the community space where they hold their ESL class and their church bible study group served as a tool to express respected values, nurture valued identities, and broker their multiple, often conflicting identities.
|Commitee:||Lewis, Trini, Chase, Megan|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/8(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||European Studies, Social psychology, English as a Second Language, Language arts, Communication, Educational leadership, Slavic Studies, Curriculum development|
|Keywords:||Community ESL, Narrative inquiry, Noncredit ESL, Social identity, English language learners, Southern California, Videoconferencing, Conflicting identities, Bulgarian immigrants|
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