2022 Korean Studies Lecture Series (Lecture 4) - Korean migrant women's identity negotiation as English language learners

Date Wednesday 5 October 2022
Time 5pm - 6pm
Where University of Waikato - Room S.1.02
Presenter Jinah Lee
Admission Cost Free

Korean migrant women's identity negotiation as English language learners

Language learner identities are socially constructed−fluid and ever-shifting. To a Korean migrant woman, her English language learner identity in Aotearoa New Zealand differs from the identity in Korea. Their language learning journey is to gain a sense of belonging and subsequently a sense of self-value as a migrant (Lee, 2016). This research unfolds the relationship between the identity and self as language learners through the stories of two Korean women migrants. A narrative inquiry method was used to explore how the participants negotiated their identities. The findings confirmed that the language learner identity was a barrier to their imagined identities. Also, the constrained identity was one of core identities even after many years of language learning. The outcome raises some important questions for teaching, learning, and migrant settlement. It also reminds us teaching adult language itself may marginalise learners and the teaching practice should take this into account.

Jinah Lee earned her PhD at the School of Education, University of Waikato. Her doctorate research was about Asian migrant women’s identity negotiation as language learners. Her research had a cross-disciplinary approach rooted in her diverse academic and professional experiences as well as her social identities like an Asian migrant mother. Current publications she is working on include a narrative autoethnography of otherness, multicultural aspects in NZ curriculum, and migration as forced feminisation to Asian women.

*This event is supported by the Academy of Korean Studies.