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Second Language Learning and Identity: Cracking Metaphors in Ideological and Poetic D ...

Chapter 1:  Autobiographical Self
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Second Language Learning and Identity:

Chapter 1

Autobiographical Self

Memory is the homeland from which you are always in exile. It is the one place you can never go home to but must always remember, because while the past is forever gone it is also present.

—Chambers (2003, p. 109)

Deep within my heart

Countless faces of my-self

Staring back at me

—Yoshimoto (2005, p. 34)

This is a research study of second language learning and identity construction. Using autoethnography, I draw on my experiences learning English as a second language (ESL) to understand what it means for a Japanese woman to be an English language learner. I am interested in understanding our everyday lives, our languages, our metaphors, and our known and unknown selves as they take shape and transform. This research comes from a woman’s heart, looking back on my past and questioning patriarchal power structures in both Japanese and Canadian cultures.