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'They have a go at me, that I'm a good English guy. Well, I'm Polish as well': how bilingual Polish adolescents in the UK negotiate the position of 'linguistic expert'

Young, S; (2022) 'They have a go at me, that I'm a good English guy. Well, I'm Polish as well': how bilingual Polish adolescents in the UK negotiate the position of 'linguistic expert'. The Language Learning Journal , 50 (1) pp. 17-28. 10.1080/09571736.2020.1858145. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper explores the position of ‘linguistic expert’, and how being positioned as an expert affects the linguistic and ethnic identity construction of a group of Polish-English bilingual adolescents living in the UK. Findings indicate that while the participants are often positioned as linguistic experts in English and/or Polish, this may not correspond with their own feelings of linguistic competency. In the UK, the adolescents engage in language brokering, a practice which presumes an expert knowledge of each language that the participants do not always feel they possess. At school, the adolescents resist being regarded as fluent in English; when visiting Poland, they find their knowledge of Polish lacking. Closer examination of the participants’ narratives suggests that the concept of linguistic ‘expert’ is open to negotiation, and that the adolescents both challenge and exploit notions of expertise as they negotiate their own linguistic and ethnic identities.

Type: Article
Title: 'They have a go at me, that I'm a good English guy. Well, I'm Polish as well': how bilingual Polish adolescents in the UK negotiate the position of 'linguistic expert'
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/09571736.2020.1858145
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/09571736.2020.1858145
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Bilingualism, identity, language brokering, Polish adolescents
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10119074
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