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Title: Understanding cultures and cultural understandings: Participation in community activity


1
Understanding cultures and cultural
understandings Participation in community
activity
  • Dr. Martin Andrew
  • Swinburne University MELBOURNE

2
Overview
  • Learning in Community Placement
  • An Analogy Communities of Practice
  • Extension Imagined Communities
  • Applying the Metaphor of Investment
  • The Second Metaphor (Second) Language
    Socialisation
  • Methodology
  • Findings How do students come to know what they
    know?
  • Conclusions The structures of cultural and
    self-knowledge

3
Introduction Learning in Community Placement
  • Focus Kinds of learning ways to knowing (how)
  • Community placements context-rich participative
    opportunities to acquire cultural learning
    through a range of ethnographic, cognitive and
    situated actions
  • safe and realistic situated environment
  • passionate and engaged acting people
  • properties of cognitive communities of practice
  • cultural capital for advanced invested EAL
    learners
  • Bourdieus linguistic marketplace treasure

4
Learning in Community Placement
  • Community Placement
  • Curriculum and assessment potential
  • Organised opportunity for real, transcultural
    experience
  • Defined minimum time commitment
  • Chance for participants to attend the regular or
    particular operations premises of an
    established CoP
  • Pre-arranged supervisor/ guide/ key member
  • Apprenticeship to culture, practice, discourse
    and members

5
Learning in Community Placement
  • Grounding
  • Participative the social turn (Block 2003)
  • Cognitive transcultural cognitive
    apprenticeship (Brown, Collins Duguid 1989)
  • Social second language socialisation
    perspective/ paradigm not just what, but how L2
    pragmatic ability is acquired (Kasper 2001, 519)
  • Practical focus on practices helps describe the
    negotiation of socio-cultural knowledge of the
    additional language learner (Zuengler Cole
    2005)
  • Agential situates multiple subjectivities
    (Norton 2008) potentially confers agency
    (Manosuthikit 2008, 5)

6
Participants
  • Scope 70 students, six intakes, three years
  • Study status refugees (3) migrants (39),
    international students (19) and study abroad
    students (9)
  • Ethnic relation Chinese (37), Taiwanese (4),
    Hong Kongese (3), Swedish (6), Korean (5),
    German (4), Japanese (2), and one each of
    Romanian, Iranian, Ethiopian, Somalian, Thai,
    Malaysian, Indian, French Polynesian and Samoan.
  • Sex 42 females and 28 males
  • Age range 19 to 55, with a mean of 25.

7
Analogy Communities of Practice
  • Analogy Entering into joining a community via
    a placement is analogous to becoming apprentice
    and member in a CoP (Lave Wenger 1991)
  • Reflectivity Reflective journals capture
    connections between participation and learning
  • Elements of communities mutual interdependence,
    sense of belonging, connectedness, spirit, trust,
    interactivity, common expectations, shared values
    and goals and overlapping life histories (Rovai
    2002, 4)
  • Wenger 1998 mutual engagement, joint enterprise
    and shared repertoire

8
How do we Understand Communities of Practice?
  • Placement participants from spectators or
    apprentices with LPP to possession of engaged,
    invested interest involving the whole person
    acting in the world (Lave Wenger 1991, 49)
  • Cognitive apprenticeship students acquire,
    develop and use cognitive tools in authentic
    domain activity (Brown et al. 1989, 39)
  • Agentiality involves ability to assign
    relevance and significance to things and events
    (Manosuthikit 2008, p. 5)
  • LPP investment in situated learning of
    Discourses (Gee 1991)

9
How do we Understand Communities of Practice?
  • Discourses (Gee 1991)
  • ways of behaving, interacting, valuing,
    thinking, believing, speaking, and often reading
    and writing, that are accepted as instantiations
    of particular identities by specific groups
    They are ways of being in the world they are
    forms of life they are socially situated
    identities (161).

10
Extending the Analogy Imagined Communities
  • Analogy parallel between nationhood (Anderson
    1983) and community membership where we create
    new images of the world and ourselves (Wenger
    1998, 176)
  • Desire We feel a sense of community with people
    not yet met and connect through the power of the
    imagination (Kanno Norton 2003, 241)
  • Imagined community learners investment in
    their learning as it impacts on future goals,
    ambitions, dream communities desires for
    belonging and recognition

11
Applying the Metaphor Investment
  • The issue of motivation Investing in
    participation, new discourses and identities
  • The framework Investment (Norton 2000, ex
    Bourdieu 1977, 1986, 1991)
  • Extending metaphors Brokerage (Pittaway 2004)
    educational, cultural social capital tastes
  • Embodied cultural capital external wealth
    converted into an integral part of the person,
    into a habitus (Bourdieu 1986, 244-245)

12
Investment In Theory
  • Learners invest in and engage with real
    imagined discourse communities and discourse
    identities
  • Learners engagement depends on their investments
    in cultural and linguistic learning (McKay Wong
    1996 Norton 2000, 2001 Pittaway 2004)
  • Socialisation As learners become more adept at
    community practices, they increase their
    responsibility in the community and become more
    active participants (Kanno Norton 2003, 242).

13
The Second Metaphor (Second) Language
Socialisation
  • Second Language Socialisation (Theory? Paradigm?)
  • real-world participative activities involving EAL
    learners
  • attends to the social, cultural and
    interactional contexts in which education and
    other kinds of knowledge are learned, both
    formally and informally (Duff 2008, i)
  • refers to the process by which novices or
    newcomers in a community or culture gain
    communicative competence, membership and
    legitimacy in the group (Duff 2007, 310)

14
(Second) Language Socialisation
  • Interaction is crucial for L2 learning (Pavlenko
    2002, 286)
  • Learners are actively engaged in constructing
    the terms and conditions of their own learning
    (Lantolf and Pavlenko 2001, 145).
  • How do learners involved in community placement
    construct such terms and conditions?
  • Does learning via SLS occur informally, as
    Zuengler Cole (2005) suggest (311)?
  • You cannot overtly each anyone a Discourse, in a
    classroom or anywhere else (Gee 1991, 171)

15
Language Socialisation/Culture Socialisation
  • Bridging a connection between a classroom
    learning event and an event in the real world
    the Anzac biscuit
  • Practicing language from classroom the rest home
    offer
  • Acquiring work skills the CAB
  • Contrasting the new and the familiar the elderly
  • Focussing surprises (Norton 2000) or points of
    significance, instants when things change
    (Pennycook 2004, 330) the window
  • Mediating themselves and their relationships to
    others in communities of practice (Block, 2003,
    109) the Maori tear

16
Intercultural Literacy
  • The understandings, competencies, attitudes,
    language proficiencies, participation and
    identities necessary for successful
    cross-cultural engagement (Heyward 2002, p. 10)
  • Heywards Stages of Culture Shock
  • Monocultural levels 1 to 3 (consciously and
    unconsciously incompetent)
  • Crosscultural level (conscious competence)
  • Intercultural level (unconscious competence)

17
Methodology
  • Bricolage essentially grounded research
    approach, informed by discourse analysis,
    autoethnographic methods and narrative study
  • Student as (auto)ethnographer
  • Method to analyse reflective and evaluative
    insights and thick description snapshots of
    real learner experience
  • Students
  • take course
  • comment on any aspects of language,
    communication, socialisation, organisation or
    attitude that seemed Kiwi
  • participate write 4 reflective entries
  • Researchers
  • analyse categorise recurrences in the dataset
    (Strauss Corbin, 1990)
  • compare cross-reference (e-text)
  • consult supervisors

18
Methodology
  • Diaries give the language teacher access to
    information about the learners opportunities to
    practice the target language in the wider
    community, their investments in the target
    language and their changing identities
  • (Norton 2000, 152)

19
Findings What do invested learners come to know
in community placements?
  • Andrew Kearney 2007
  • applied speaking skills
  • acquiring procedural knowledge
  • self-confidence in new contexts
  • applied classroom knowledge
  • surprises and re-cognitions
  • recognising difference and cultural contrasts
  • ability to describe socio-pragmatic events
  • realisations about other-accented speakers and
    their struggles
  • observing the symbols of culture,
  • recognition of desire for future communities

20
What they come to know
  • Metaphors of capital
  • Being surprised by the extent, depth and
    reality of their learning in community
  • Really touching New Zealand culture
  • gaining a window into New Zealand culture
  • Wading in increased depth
  • Gaining great rewards and cultural treasures
  • Acquiring a clear vision all measures of
    invested capital.
  • Getting concrete learning

21
Findings How do students come to know what they
know?
  • Themes
  • Participating develops multiliteracies and
    encourages skills learning
  • Observing leads to reappraisal of what you know
  • Applying language acquired elsewhere secures
    learning
  • Negotiating lexical awareness occurs via cultural
    socialisation
  • Reflecting enables cognitive contrasting

22
Participating develops multiliteracies and
encourages skills learning
  • Finding 32 learners report additional and
    incidental skills they learned how to do
  • Zheng management skills and services skill,
    because the employees need to provide a fast,
    friendly and courteous experience and very
    important rule keep smile all the time in front
    of your customers.
  • Beth the needs and characteristics of elderly
    people and how to handle and emergency
  • Radha how children learn by self-discovery
    and how important it is for parents to talk
    about their childrens progress
  • Karen I was informed to behave strictly
    according to the Volunteer Behaviour Code, which
    is a list of Dos and DONTs

23
Observing leads to reappraisal of what you know
  • Finding 47 students describe a-ha surprises
  • Walt Its only when you interact with Kiwis and
    see what they have to say that you really feel
    their pain. Some men just did not want to talk
    about the game at all till about two weeks
    after.
  • Dora One elderly dipped her Anzac biscuit in
    her tea and she was shaking. I could see a tear
    in her eye.
  • Harry Before I came to NZ, I always thought
    that Kiwis must be very lazy because NZ has a
    complete welfare system. After entering
    companys name, I found that the thinking is
    absolutely wrong. On the contrary, Kiwis are very
    industrial (sic) people.

24
Applying language acquired elsewhere secures
learning
  • Finding 56 made a bridge from the classroom
  • Shirley Besides learning English in the class,
    we should go out and experience real English so
    we can build up our confidence gradually (Im
    sorry. I didnt catch you. Could you say that
    again, please?)
  • Rebecca By working in the rest home I can get
    a chance to interact with people by the use of
    knowledge and strategies which I have learned
    from class.
  • Anna Communication opens doors, and helps me to
    leave a positive impression.

25
Negotiating lexical awareness occurs via
cultural socialisation
  • Finding all students learn lexis agentially
  • Dany The first time I heard clear skin I had no
    idea about the meaning, but when they put it into
    sentences such as if youd like to be a police
    officer, you need to have clear skin
  • Shirley seeing eye dog out of the blue
  • Les what a hoon!
  • Sophia tapu Karen whare ka
  • Andy one shot of Black coffee plus half trim
    milk plus half full blend milk

26
Negotiating lexical awareness occurs via
cultural socialisation
  • John I am worthless at chess
  • You mean useless
  • John During my community placement I found
    myself in situations where I couldnt find the
    words and expressions I was looking for, but I
    managed to explain what I meant anyway. To talk
    around words you dont have in your vocabulary is
    a very effective method

27
Reflecting enables cognitive contrasting
  • Finding 50 learners acquire learning about Kiwi
    ways by reflecting on contrast with their culture
  • Les In China, if someone saw you go to ask
    for a food parcel, you will be looked down upon
    by others
  • Harry Here, the culture is totally different.
    The company never deducts staffs payments, and
    the management didnt even punish any staff when
    their mistakes had caused hundreds of thousands
    of dollars lost
  • Mohammad A Christian woman was leading the
    prayer whereas this kind of leading prayer by
    women is forbidden in Islam. We Muslims believe
    that our lord Allah will punish us or curse us
    if women leading the prayer to men

28
Conclusions
  • Community placement
  • creates me a good opportunity to integrate with
    other culture (to) minimize the
    misunderstanding between cultures and religions
    (Mohammad)
  • is this unforgettable life experience (Dana)
  • really is an extension of our in-class learning
    (Radha)
  • Allows realisation that understanding a culture
    could help me to integrate into a society easily
    (Ivor)

29
Conclusions
  • The situated learning occurring during community
    placements can be explained by theories around
    communities of practice and imagined community.
  • The greater the investment, the greater the
    payoff.
  • A successful instance of language socialisation
    stimulates learners to seek out future
    opportunities.
  • Learners construct knowledge about the target
    culture and incidental world-knowledge through
    such key interconnected methods as observation
    and reflection, application and usage and
    realisation due to surprise.

30
Conclusions and Implications
  • Reflecting on what was observed consolidates
    empirical data into knowledge.
  • Applying strategies and language from the
    classroom and other contexts helps learners
    construct images of themselves as communicators
    participants.
  • To provide a context for language socialisation
    to occur is to offer the learner a linguistic
    marketplace of both high investment and,
    potentially, high returns.

31
Many thanks for your attention
  • Dr. Martin Andrew
  • Swinburne University MELBOURNE
  • mbandrew_at_swin.edu.au
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