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A Dyadic Autoethnography of a Learner of English via Chinese Open Access


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Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Feng, Flobert Rui
Supervisor and department
Iveson, Margaret L. (Secondary Education)
Examining committee member and department
Leggo, Carl (Language & Literacy Education, University of British Columbia)
Johnston, Ingrid (Secondary Education)
Wiltse, Lynne V. (Elementary Education)
Dunn, William (Secondary Education)
Department of Secondary Education

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
The plethora of research on ESL, L1, L2 and ethnography has left under-reported autoethnographies borrowing mathematics as a tool for thinking. In response to the multiplicity, this dissertation explores personal and academic experiences to expose my own development of an L2 learner, in transcultural, translingual, and transnational identity formation and construction, via the learning and teaching of a second language. The methodology I have chosen to use is autoethnography, a relatively new momentum-gaining research tool that combines characteristics of ethnography and autobiography in the latter part of the twentieth century. It is very useful in writing about the dialectical personal and professional creative experiences of fixity and fluidity because, in autoethnographic writing, the observer and observed, the researcher and the researched, the emic and the etic, or the insider and the outsider, are the same. The central issue in this dissertation lies in three questions: In what ways has a person with a Chinese cultural background formed his thoughts and ideas about his English language learning and teaching experiences via exposure to English as a linguistic system and culture? How have the said thoughts and ideas influenced how he performs or reveals his learning and teaching experiences? In what ways can the efficiency of learning an additional language be reached or at least improved based on the dyadic relation between a first language and a second language? The transcultural, translingual and transnational adjustment to a foreign culture in keeping my growth in academia, started with an aim to understand changes in human nature wired by culture and language. Such life-altering cultural and linguistic changes forced the formation and construction of an identity to speed up with presentable performances. By using reflective and available tools for thinking, the speed of gaining quality performance can be efficiently reached. Thus, this research endeavours to provide a model for the development of a critically self-reflexive tool for thinking, so that a second or additional language, and the superstructure of a cultural identity that changes with a new culture, can be organically advanced with synergy and efficiency.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Feng, F. R., & Xu, I. H. (2010). The Last Word Hypothesis: Failure of (Grammar)-Translation Method. Paper presented at the 8th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Education, Honolulu, HI.

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