ABS241 - Facilitating transcultural flows through embodied language performance
Paper in a Working Group Roundtable (WGRT)
5:00 PM, Wednesday 30 Aug 2017 (50 minutes)
Convention Center - 2000 A - Table D
In this examination of Chinese children using drama to learn English, I argue that additional language learners are best understood as performing their understanding within their target language interactions. Language performance within discourse serves as a means of mediation between people involved in an activity that is always situated within specific sociocultural and institutional contexts. Pennycook (2007, 2010) investigated the varied appropriations and transformations of language and culture within transcultural contexts. He maintains his argument that language is best examined as an emergent act and is created through language performance. Rather than being fixed and prescribed, language and meaning are mediated during the very act of discourse and they are always created locally. This study will examine how 10 years old Chinese language learners created transcultural flows through language performance. Transcultural flows are essentially a dialectical synthesis between language practice and local practice, mutually informing and transforming both. As the actors co-construct meaning in their target language there occurs a flow of ideas, identities, and new meanings that arise from each individuals’ historical and sociocultural background. The act of language performance is a local practice taking place within a highly contextual setting. As the term flow suggests, these interactions are fluid, continuous, and emerging within the localized drama worlds being co-created by the actors. Drama activities provide the meditational affordances that facilitate the creation of these flows and allow us to see this happening in actual language performance.