“I want to speak like the other people” : Second language learning as a virtuous spiral for migrant women?
Ennser-Kananen, J., & Pettitt, N. (2017). “I want to speak like the other people” : Second language learning as a virtuous spiral for migrant women?. International Review of Education, 63(4), 583-604. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11159-017-9653-2
Published inInternational Review of Education
© 2017 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. and UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning. This is a final draft version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published by Springer. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.
This article contributes to scholarship on migrant women’s second language (L2) education in North America and Europe. Questioning reductionist understandings of the relationship between female migrants, their receiving communities and L2 education, the authors consider existing literature as well as their own qualitative work to investigate the challenges, opportunities and agency of migrant women. Weaving together and thematically presenting previous scholarship and qualitative data from interviews, participant observations and classroom recordings from a mixed-gender L2 adult migrant classroom in Austria and an all-women L2 migrant classroom in the United States, they trouble conceptualisations which position women primarily as passive recipients of education and in need of emancipation, while simultaneously elevating communities as agentic providers of these. Specifically, the authors emphasise that (1) L2 proficiency is not a guarantee for migrant women’s social inclusion or socioeconomic advancement; (2) migrant women’s complex challenges and agency need to be recognised and addressed; and (3) all involved in L2 education of migrant women do well to become learners of their own experiences of oppression, including their complicity in it. ...
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