AbstractThis paper uses visual methods to explore how teenagers in two different European countries (Finland and Greece) personally relate to their first language and to English, which is widely used in the everyday lives of young people in both countries. Our data comprise sets of self-made visualizations in which 14- to 16-year-old teenagers depict their personal relationship to their first language (Finnish/Greek) and to English. Theoretically and methodologically, we subscribe to socio-culturally oriented research on (foreign language) literacy and language learning and recent studies on multilingualism. Overall, by offering a detailed account of the variety of representation forms and meaning-making symbols employed by our participants in their visual products, our analysis in this paper highlights the common but also diverse perceptions, values and attitudes that young people from two different European contexts bring to their practices and their encounters with English and other languages in their lives. By revealing the personal meanings and values attached by teenagers to English, our analysis also provides indirect insights into the multiple ways English is locally encountered, appropriated and drawn upon by young people in two different countries to serve their own purposes.
Applied Linguistics Review – de Gruyter
Published: May 25, 2018