Dr. Alexander Nikolaou’s conference presentation at the annual conference of the American Association for Applied Linguistics
Dr. Alexander Nikolaou, adjunct faculty member in the B.A. in English Language and Literature, M.A. in Applied Linguistics, and Ph. D. in Language and Communication programs, co-delivered a presentation at the annual conference of the American Association for Applied Linguistics, which was held in Portland, Oregon March 18-21, 2023. The presentation, titled “Critical Reflections on Qualitative Research Methods in the Study of Affect in Heritage Language Maintenance”, was co-presented by Dr. Jennifer Sclafani, a faculty member at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and Ms. Rosiane Barcelos de Oliveira, a doctoral candidate at the same institution. During their talk, Dr. Nikolaou and his colleagues presented insights gained from two ethnographic research studies with heritage language (HL) speakers, one a case study of language socialization in a Brazilian trilingual family, the other interviews with successful adult HL speakers of Modern Greek.
As Dr. Nikolaou points out, the study sheds light on how second-generation migrants in English speaking countries navigate their identities, particularly those with mixed cultural and linguistic backgrounds. “Our research,” he says, “focuses on how these individuals talk about language and use it to construct their identities and affiliations, as well as to negotiate their cultural and ethnic authenticity. We believe that our study provides a unique perspective on the experiences of second-generation migrants and illuminates the complex ways in which their identity is shaped.”
Image: Dr. Alexander Nikolaou’s conference presentation at the annual conference of the American Association for Applied Linguistics