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Being and Becoming a Speaker of Japanese An Autoethnographic Account Author: Andrea Simon-Maeda

Paperback - 176 pages
15 Mar 2011
Multilingual Matters
234 x 156 (R8vo)


In this postmodernist addition to diary studies in SLA and applied linguistics, an autoethnographic approach is used to highlight the mutually constitutive relationship of language acquisition, sociocultural contexts, and L2 identities. The personalized account of the authorís Japanese as a second language development is skilfully interwoven with ethnographic details and introspective commentary.


Simon-Maeda’s poignant autoethnography makes a compelling reading, whose significance transcends that of a common autobiography. Interweaving personal experiences with scholarly insights, her feminist account illuminates the socio-political situatedness of second language learning and reveals ways in which a second language self is fashioned both within and against norms prevalent in one’s adopted society.
Aneta Pavlenko, Temple University

Overall, the rich, multilayered analysis as well as the clarity and balance with which she approaches the subject, makes this book worthwhile reading for researchers, teachers, and language learners alike. She argues convincingly, and her book shows us that it is indeed so, that autoethnographies can teach us much about the relationship between language learning, identity, and social contexts.
Abigail McMeekin, University of Lethbridge in Studies in Second Language Acquisition / Volume 34 / Issue 03 / September 2012, pp 525 525

It’s a fascinating book both as a scholarly look at the nature of language learning and as a documentation of the human experience of living across two or more cultures. This book is a timely and valuable contribution to understanding the essentially social characteristic of learning a language and becoming a participant in a language community.
Michael Carroll, Momoyama Gakuin University, Osaka, Japan in JALT Journal, Vol. 34, No. 2, November 2012

Author Biography:

Andrea Simon-Maeda is an Associate Professor in the Department of Early Childhood Education at Nagoya Keizai University where she teaches English as a foreign language. She has published articles in TESOL Quarterly and the International Multilingual Research Journal and served as a coordinator and editor for the Gender Awareness in Language Education Special Interest Group of the Japan Association for Language Teaching. Her main research interests are bi/multilingualism and gender issues in societal and educational contexts, and her professional educator career in Japan spans 35 years of tertiary level EFL instruction.

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Research / Professional, Undergraduate

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