We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

Experiencing multilingual identities and interculturality through learning and socialising in languages: The ecologies of two “language cafés”

POLO-PEREZ, NURIA (2022) Experiencing multilingual identities and interculturality through learning and socialising in languages: The ecologies of two “language cafés”. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

PDF - Accepted Version


This study investigates two “language cafés” (LCs), i.e., public events which provide an informal learning space for (foreign) language socialisation. Underpinned by social constructionism, an ecological approach to language research, and ethnographically-inspired methods of data collection, the study sheds light on the co-construction of the LCs as meaningful sites for languaging and language socialisation, and explores their affordances for experiencing and performing one’s multilingual identities and interculturality. Adopting a reflexive stance, the researcher participated in the LCs as a language learner drawing on her multilingual repertoire and subjectivities, thus contributing to researching multilingually praxis by demonstrating the affordances of translanguaging as methodology. Data were collected through participant-observation, audio-recording of naturally-occurring conversations in the LCs, semi-structured interviews and focus groups, participants’ written reflections, and a researcher’s reflective journal.
The findings show that participants co-constructed the LCs to seek out alternative and decentred ways of dwelling in their languages by making them part of their everyday lives and leisure activities, regardless of proximity to “target language” countries. The pleasure of languaging and the value of LCs as an intellectual and social hobby often outweighed the instrumental value of these events for the development of language skills. Further, the LCs mobilised participants’ multilingual identities and their sense of multilingual social selves which prompted them to draw on their previous language socialisation experiences. Finally, the LCs offered a safe space to engage in multiperspectivity and learn about each other’s worldviews, as well as to connect with like-minded, cosmopolitan, multilingual speakers.
This doctoral thesis contributes to the field of language learning beyond the classroom by focusing on how languages are lived intersubjectively, rather than merely learned or acquired. This is consistent with a poststructuralist view of language and intercultural learning as experiencing new ways of being in the world, and much more than the development of skills.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Language cafés, multilingual identities, interculturality, languaging, translanguaging, researching multilingually
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Education, School of
Thesis Date:2022
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:07 Nov 2022 13:59

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter