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Language Practices and Identity Construction by Multilingual Speakers of French L2

The Acquisition of Sociostylistic Variation


Vera Regan and Caitríona Ní Chasaide

This book presents six new studies on identity construction in the speech of older adolescents and young adults learning French. It takes a sociolinguistic approach to acquisition. First language sociolinguistic research has shown that identity construction is particularly intense during adolescence and young adulthood, and language use has been found to be an especially key resource in this dynamic construction. The contributors examine the language practices of L2, L3 and L4 speakers in multilingual and multicultural societies in Ireland, Canada, Belgium and France in order to demonstrate their use in identity construction. Several contexts of language acquisition for multilingual speakers are examined and compared, including formal and naturalistic settings for acquisition and learning. The book also investigates the speech of learners at upper-intermediate and advanced stages of acquisition of French to provide a holistic view of the way individuals use the language resources available to them to stake a claim to a new multilingual identity in their target language networks. The papers in this book combine qualitative and quantitative data on French speech and the context in which it occurs to provide detailed pictures of the co-construction of identity and complex speech patterns by multilingual speakers of French.
Contents: Vera Regan/Caitríona Ní Chasaide: Language and identity construction: Sociolinguistic variation – Françoise Mougeon/Katherine Rehner: Identity and nativelikeness in bilingual FSL learners – Terry Nadasdi/Raymond Mougeon/Katherine Rehner: Formal in, formal out: The impact of classroom input on the acquisition of sociolinguistic competence – Caitríona Ní Chasaide/Vera Regan: Irish adolescents, three languages and identity construction: Finding a voice in French – Hélène Blondeau: Bilingual language practices and identity construction: A generation of Anglophones in Montreal and its linguistic repertoire – Isabelle Lemée/Vera Regan: Gender, identity and context in French L2 acquisition: The year abroad – Jean-Marc Dewaele: The perception of French by native speakers and advanced L2, L3 and L4 learners – Vera Regan/Niamh Nestor: French Poles, language and identity: An intergenerational snapshot.