Second Language Socialization and Learner Agency

Adoptive Family Talk

By (author) Lyn Wright Fogle

Publication date:

02 August 2012

Length of book:

216 pages


Multilingual Matters



ISBN-13: 9781847697851

This book examines how Russian-speaking adoptees in three US families actively shape opportunities for language learning and identity construction in everyday interactions. By focusing on a different practice in each family (i.e. narrative talk about the day, metalinguistic discourse or languaging, and code-switching), the analyses uncover different types of learner agency and show how language socialization is collaborative and co-constructed. The learners in this study achieve agency through resistance, participation, and negotiation, and the findings demonstrate the complex ways in which novices transform communities in transnational contexts. The perspectives inform the fields of second language acquisition and language maintenance and shift. The book further provides a rare glimpse of the quotidian negotiations of adoptive family life and suggestions for supporting adoptees as young bilinguals.

The book offers an innovative way of understanding and researching language socialization, and it is definitely worth attention as it does not put parents in the dominant position but highlights the role of youngsters in becoming members of a new community.