• Re-entry experience : how does study abroad influence international students' linguistic and cultural identifies?

      Somé, Kountiala Jean de Dieu
      Functioning in a foreign language and culture involves the learning of new language skills and the acquisition of new cultural norms and values. Throughout this learning and acquisition process, there are losses and gains which end up modeling the linguistic and cultural identities of the language learner. Individuals immersed in a foreign language and culture acquire values from both their home and the foreign cultures. In the learning process, they develop a mixed identity which can be challenging in both home and host cultures. This phenomenological research explores the reverse cultural and linguistic experience of eleven international students who visited their home country after at least one-semester study in the United States of America. English is a second language or foreign language for all the participants. I strive to understand the reverse identity challenge those participants experienced during their home visit. Findings of this research will inform international students and advocates of exchange and international programs on some of the cultural and linguistic outcomes of studying abroad. My results will also contribute to the literature on acculturation, reverse culture, and second language acquisition.
    • Second language acquistion and identity shifts in immersion contexts

      Pre, Serge Pacome Yao
      The impact of second language acquisition is a key topic within sociolinguistics. Given the fact that language is part of culture and a non-static feature of identity, second language acquisition appears as an important factor of identity construction. Based on the premise that second language acquisition reshapes identity, evidence from daily experiences will support this claim and fill in the gaps of identify change. The developments of learning English in the United States in contrast to acquiring the English language in a non-English speaking country is significant because the immersion in the culture in addition to the language, introduces various cultural shifts. My thesis provides examples of cultural identity shifts through the lenses of seven cultural parameters as outlined by H. Douglas Brown; namely, dynamic relationships between language learning and reconsiderations of the learners' cultural traits when confronted with the values of the culture of the target language. It suggests that learning English in the United States is not simply a linguistic activity to improve the learner's quality of life, but it implies that the learner will adopt the cultural traits of the new environment.