Language and Culture: Reflective Narratives and the Emergence of Identity (Paperback) book cover

Language and Culture

Reflective Narratives and the Emergence of Identity

Edited by David Nunan, Julie Choi

© 2010 – Routledge

232 pages

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About the Book

This state-of-the-art exploration of language, culture, and identity is orchestrated through prominent scholars’ and teachers’ narratives, each weaving together three elements: a personal account based on one or more memorable or critical incidents that occurred in the course of learning or using a second or foreign language; an interpretation of the incidents highlighting their impact in terms of culture, identity, and language; the connections between the experiences and observations of the author and existing literature on language, culture and identity.

What makes this book stand out is the way in which authors meld traditional ‘academic’ approaches to inquiry with their own personalized voices. This opens a window on different ways of viewing and doing research in Applied Linguistics and TESOL. What gives the book its power is the compelling nature of the narratives themselves. Telling stories is a fundamental way of representing and making sense of the human condition. These stories unpack, in an accessible but rigorous fashion, complex socio-cultural constructs of culture, identity, the self and other, and reflexivity, and offer a way into these constructs for teachers, teachers in preparation and neophyte researchers. Contributors from around the world give the book broad and international appeal.

Table of Contents


Bonny Norton



David Nunan & Julie Choi





Language, culture and identity: Framing the issues

David Nunan & Julie Choi


Coat hangers, cowboys, and communication strategies: Seeking an identity as a proficient foreign language learner

Kathleen Bailey


Speaking Romance-esque

David Block


空 Collaborating on community, sharing experience, troubling the symbolic

Michael Brennan


Achieving community

Suresh Canagarajah


Another drink in Subanun

Mark Cherry


Nonghao, I am a Shanghai noenoe: How do I claim my Shanghaineseness?

Alice Chik


Living on the hyphen

Julie Choi


Negotiating multiple language identities

Mary Ann Christison


Minna no Nihongo? Nai!

Martha Clark Cummings


Elaborating the monolingual deficit

Julian Edge


The foreign-ness of native speaking teachers of colour

Eljee Javier


Otra estaciòn – a first Spanish lesson

Rod Ellis


Bewitched: A microethnography of the culture of Majick in Old Salem

Bud Goodall


Am I that name?

Stacy Holman-Jones


English and me: My language learning journey

Angel Lin


Adaptive cultural transformation: Quest for dual social identities

Jun Liu


On this writing: An autotheoretic account

Allen Luke


Changing cultures and identities in bicultural names: From parents to children

Steve Marshall and Tim Mossman


The festival incident

Michael McCarthy


Berlin Babylon

Stephen Muecke


Changing stripes—chameleon or tiger?

Denise Murray


Vanishing Acts

Cynthia D. Nelson


Dog Rice and Cultural Dissonance

David Nunan


‘Where am I from’: Performative and metro perspectives of origin

Emi Otsuji


Sweating cheese and thinking otherwise

Alastair Pennycook


Multilingual couple talk

Kimie Takahashi


Transforming identities in and through narrative

Sumiko Taniguchi


A short course in Globalese

Nury Vittachi



Claire Kramsch

About the Editors

David Nunan is Vice President for Academic Affairs at Anaheim University, California, Emeritus Professor at the University of Hong Kong, Professor in Education at the University of NSW, and Senior Academic Advisor to Global English Corporation in San Francisco.

Julia Choi is Teaching and Research Assistant in the Faculty of Education at the University of Technology, Sydney.

About the Series

ESL & Applied Linguistics Professional Series

This series provides essential texts on teaching English as a second language and applied linguistics. It includes authored and edited volumes to be used as primary or supplementary texts in graduate-level and teacher training courses to enhance students’ and practicing teachers’ professional qualifications and knowledge. Each text is designed to promote the current and growing body of knowledge in applied linguistics and second language teaching, including advances in teacher education and the study of language.

Specifically, the series includes, but is not limited to, current uses of applied linguistics research in teaching a variety of second language skills, such as reading, writing, speaking and listening; materials and curriculum design; literacy; English for academic purposes; and research methods.

The texts also deal with broad domains of professional preparation related to socio-cultural perspectives and current issues/topics in teaching and learning a second language.

Books in the series benefit not only students, but experienced teachers, curriculum developers, teacher trainers, program administrators, and other second and foreign language professionals seeking to advance and update their knowledge and expertise.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
FOREIGN LANGUAGE STUDY / English as a Second Language
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General