Becoming and being multilingual in Australia

Alice Chik*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    This chapter traces the becoming and being multilingual in Sydney, Australia, of a group of migrants (N = 12, aged 12-72 years) from diff erent backgrounds. For this study, the participants produced selfportraits and timelines of their experiences of learning diff erent languages over the course of their lives. These pools of visual data were complemented with excerpts from written life stories and interviews. The three case studies reported in this chapter correspond to the historical pattern of migration to Australia. The project takes on the challenge of analysing the visual language portraits as small stories. The small story approach to analysis can be problematic if a participant takes a metaphorical approach to represent her language learning experiences. The analysis requires additional information. If a portrait refl ects a specifi c state in time and space, it has to be analysed together with other types of data. The fi ndings also suggest that drawing their language learning experience provides an opportunity for participants to frame how they want their stories to be told. In this sense, visual methodology provides greater equity in a collaborative research environment.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationVisualising multilingual lives
    Subtitle of host publicationmore than words
    EditorsPaula Kalaja, Silvia Melo-Pfeifer
    Place of PublicationBristol, UK
    PublisherMultilingual Matters
    Number of pages18
    ISBN (Electronic)9781788922616, 9781788922623
    ISBN (Print)9781788922593, 9781788922609
    Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Publication series

    NamePsychology of language learning and teaching


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