Integrating Duethnography with Ethnolinguistics in the Endeavour to Reconstruct the Profiles of Education in the Discourse of Third Year Students of Linguistics: A Case Study
Extending Research Horizons in Applied Linguistics - Between Interdisciplinarity and Methodological Diversity - Hadrian Aleksander Lankiewicz
Magdalena Grabowska [+]
University of Gdansk
All words have the "taste" of a profession, a genre, a tendency, a party, a particular work, a particular person, a generation, an age group, the day and hour. Each word tastes of the context and contexts in which it has lived its socially charged life (Bakhtin, 1981:293). The quoted passage from Bakhtin brings to the fore a very essential property of language, namely its socially established ties. Ahearn (2013) strongly contradicts the long-held belief about language as a neutral means of communication and offers a view on it as a conglomerate of socially-determined practices. Reversing the situation, the author notes, we can view human interactions as affected by the functioning of language which mediates the sphere of communication between its users. This is not to say, however, that the study of language systems should cease (Ahearn, 2013). Quite the contrary, the contribution of formal linguistics to the study of language systems still holds its value, yet, as Duranti (1997) claims, now the scholarly focus should be on the touch points between grammar and the sphere of society, politics and emotions. With this in mind, we may seek to embrace research methods which offer opportunities to study socially and culturally-interfaced language properties. The proposed research method, known as duoethnography, encourages people of different stance to reconceptualise their understanding of particular phenomena in the course of interaction (Werbińska, 2018). Although the method is traditionally associated with the realm of researchers, its application may extend to encompass a collaborative researcher-student context. Once people gain the opportunity to interact in dialogic circumstances, they discover the need to reflect upon their past experiences and attitudes. This, in the word of Pinar (2004), may evoke self-reflection which in turn yields a transformative result. The present study focuses on the issue of education, a topic that seems to occupy the attention of students, however with varying intensity and to a different degree. Hence it would be interesting to learn how students define and evaluate this notion. More importantly, through dialogic interaction we will try to examine whether its participants develop deeper reflection about the notion. The main thrust of the current chapter is directed towards the reconstruction of a commonsensical picture of education in the narratives of third year students of linguistics. The data for analysis will be collected in the course of student-student interactions (approx. 7 B.A. seminar students will be involved) that will take the form of short, recorded interviews with peer students in which the participants will try to respond to a basic question: “What does education mean to you, personally?”.