Keywords

Foreign language housing, language learning, college

Abstract

This study examined the lived experience of students participating in foreign language houses to improve their skills in Russian, French, or Japanese. American students residing in apartments with other language learners and a nativespeaking resident facilitator were required to speak with one another exclusively in the target language and participate in activities such as preparing and eating dinner together. Data sources for the study included interviews, observations, and video recordings. The data, which were analyzed qualitatively, revealed that the central experience of living in the foreign language house was the creation of a livable community and that use of the L2 was a secondary priority. A number of factors influence the livability of a given community, including the size of the community, proficiency levels, and participants’ investments in and identification with the community. Participants forged alternate identities in relationship to their new communities. Based on these findings, the study includes programmatic implications for optimizing such programs.

Original Publication Citation

Bown, J., Dewey, D., Martinsen, R., & Baker, W. (2011). Foreign language housing: Identities in transition. Submitted to Critical Inquiry in Language Studies.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2011-08-26

Publisher

Taylor & Francis Group

Language

English

College

Humanities

Department

Linguistics

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor

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