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Open Access Publications from the University of California

ESL Teachers/ESL Students: Looking at Autoethnography through the Lens of Personetics

  • Author(s): Lapidus, Alec
  • Kaveh, Yalda M.
  • Hirano, Mamiko
  • et al.

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This qualitative, naturalistic study examines thoughts expressed in autoethnographies and accompanying notes written by ESL teachers/learners who are enrolled in a graduate teacher education program in the US. These data are then juxtaposed with the Freirean idea that English learners can be empowered if they analyze their personal paths critically. The authors illuminate the practical aspects of autoethnography as a method of introspective, critical analysis, where personetics (Brudny, 2003) can be defined as the process of looking at one’s own identity and learning. ESL learners/teachers are thus illuminated as “personal linguacultures” (Risager, 2008, p. 3) who are unique but have something in common with L2 writers from around the world. The process of writing an ESL autoethnography helps them evaluate their own objectives and goals, we postulate, and enables them to become aware of their own ESL writing as an L2 learning and teaching tool. Specific practical ramifications for the ESL writing classroom are mentioned.

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