Student Negotiation of Discourse Differences
This study explores cultural-identity conflicts among bilingual students at San Francisco State University. The aim of this study was to understand how students perceive and negotiate the differences between their home discourse and the Academic discourse used in college writing courses. Seventy-three bilingual students completed a language questionnaire, and seven of these students were later interviewed. In the end, students felt more American after speaking English and thought that English facilitated new friendships but, at the same time, hindered family relationships. Students also struggled to participate and write in their composition courses, and most students felt they had a unified or duel identity. However, others expressed the need to create a hybrid identity. Students negotiated these language tensions/difficulties by using both languages frequently, by code switching, or by using their first language in their composition classroom. On the whole, this study seeks to promote bilingual awareness and calls for an expansion in cultural-identity repertoire.