Wednesday, September 7, 2011

L2 Identity, pronunciation and body imaging

 One of the effects of haptic anchoring and attention to the felt sense of the L2 sound system for many learners is an inevitable refining or consolidating of their L2 image and identities. There has been a great deal of research on the nature of L2 identity and its socio-cultural dimensions in the field but relatively little in our field on the dynamics of how language, and especially one's pronunciation or accent figure in to that process. (There is, however, a great deal of research and writing in the general  area of embodiment theory and identity.)
Clip art: Clker
Clip art: Clker

We need only turn to professional actors for insight. Here is the "mission" statement from an ongoing project at the University of London: "In a long-term enquiry this project is investigating the best methods of maintaining psychological and physical health within the acting community, regarding informed and intelligent awareness of self/body/identity within the complexities of professional and industry contexts." Much of the discussion could apply as well to our work where the learner's professional image and identity, from any number of perspectives, come into play.

1 comment:

Bill Acton said...

If you'd rather not deal with the identity issue, perhaps here is a place to go: http://accentpros.com/2009/09/27/will-i-change-my-identity-if-i-lose-my-natural-accent-while-speaking-american-english/

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