Pride and Language Learning

I’m interested in how the human condition affects life-long learning. I believe that the venue of language learning is perfect for analyzing how our own beliefs and weaknesses keep us from being successful. Language seems to be a fundamental aspect of the human experience. As such, it becomes a fundamental aspect of the individual’s identity. Consequently, when one takes on the task of learning another language–and I mean really learn it, become it, own it–they are facing an identity crisis. This position is not seen favorably by critical educators who are concerned about power structures and oppression that can go along with language learning. Present-day movements encourage learners to maintain their identities, allowing their previous experience to mediate their future experience–in fact, an argument can be made that no other option exists. However, there is an important pitfall to that reasoning, especially if the student’s goal is to learn language: pride.

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