Language plays an essential role in how we portray our personalities. Through social interaction, others develop a picture of us based on our linguistic cues. However, when we interact in a foreign language and in a new country, limitations in linguistic and cultural knowledge can make self-presentation a more difficult task. This book explores the problems faced by language students embarking on 'study abroad' programmes, spending time in a foreign country and having to interact - and express their personalities - in a second language. Drawing on her extensive work with students, Valerie Pellegrino Aveni explores the factors that complicate self-presentation and the strategies students use for overcoming these, looking in particular at issues of anxiety, control, age, gender, risk-taking and self-esteem. Offering rich insights into the study abroad experience, this book will be an invaluable resource for professionals in second language acquisition, and for teachers and students preparing for study abroad.
1. Language use in a social context 2. The social dance: second language and the construction of self 3. Learners and their environment: factors affecting self-construction 4. Coming into our own: the convergence of real self and ideal self 5. Conclusion: The self in second language: implications and next steps