Language-learning holidays: what motivates people to learn a minority language?

Bernadette O'Rourke, Renee dePalma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)
106 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

In this article, we examine the experiences of 18 Galician language learners who participated in what Garland [(2008). The minority language and the cosmopolitan speaker: Ideologies of Irish language learners (Unpublished PhD thesis). University of California, Santa Barbara] refers to as a ‘language-learning holiday’ in Galicia in north-western Spain. We examine what motivates these learners to travel abroad to study Galician and in some cases to become new speakers of this minoritised language. We explore the ideologies and practices of these students, who as edutourists [Yarymowich, (2005). ‘Language tourism’ in Canada. A mixed discourse. In F. Baider, M. Burger, & D. Goutsos (Eds.), La Communication touristique. Approches discursives de l’identité et de l’alterité (pp. 257-273). Paris: L’Harmattan], are the targets and potential consumers of cultural and linguistic commodification. We explore the ways in which students themselves commodify Galician culture and language, in their attempts to capture what they perceive as an authentic learning experience and as a means of accessing a minoritised linguistic and cultural group.

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