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Bilingual Identity

Posted: Sun May 13, 2012 2:53 am
by birdy
My son came home from school yesterday and told me a girl in his class wants to go back to Mexico. She does not like it in the US. He wanted a reaction from me. The young girl’s statement presents a challenging problem. Obviously she has her reasons for making that statement; however, she may just be frustrated. Adapting to a new culture and language is difficult. I read a chapter in a book (Brown) that actually defines the language problems emigrants have very well. There is the challenge with the person’s own ego, because the person is not able to use their L1 as an advanced tool to express themselves anymore. It is frustrating if somebody is not able to use their own language skills at the level they were used to with their L1. In addition, the language and the culture are connected, and the person needs to find their language identity again. Although the task of adjusting will be a benefit, it can be problematic on the way to finding a bilingual identity. Hopefully her positive experiences on the way to finding her bilingual identity will be greater than her disappointments.
I wonder if there is a children’s book that describes the process of adjusting to a new language or culture. In a way that makes the children feel that there are many kids out there with the same problem and it’s not a choice between two cultures and/or languages. It is more of a combination between them and finding one’s own identity. Does anybody have material discussing this issue?