Language and Identity Workshop I: Theory and Methods of Linguistic Identity - Tokyo College

Language and Identity Workshop I: Theory and Methods of Linguistic Identity

2023.02.02 @ 18:30 – 19:30
Language and Identity Workshop I: Theory and Methods of Linguistic Identity
Zoom Meeting
Date(s) February 2, 2023 18:30-19:30 JST

Zoom Meeting (Register here)

Registration Pre-registration required
Language English

Jeconiah Dreisbach (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, PhD Candidate)

 An Ethnographic Linguistic Landscape Analysis of Transnational Migrant Spaces: A Study on the Filipino Community in the United Arab Emirates” 

The Filipino diaspora is the fourth largest migrant community and consists of ten percent of the population of the United Arab Emirates. Beyond the Philippine schools that were established to cater to the needs of the community, transnational brands and local business establishments were also founded by the Filipino population which creates a transnational ethnolinguistic space for the people to practice their cultures and speak their mother tongues beyond the official Arabic language and English as lingua franca in the Emirates. Moreover, the only Roman Catholic Church in the Emirate of Sharjah says their Holy Mass in Tagalog multiple times a week for the Filipino Christian faithful. This study will present the preliminary findings of an ethnographic linguistic landscape analysis by the researcher on the linguistic accommodation and creation of transnational ethnolinguistic spaces by the Filipino people in the Emirate of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. Through a multilingual linguistic landscape analysis of signs, sights, and spaces in the mentioned area, this work will impart the ways in which the multilingualism and multiculturalism of the Filipino population are negotiated in an Arab public space.


Yao Sun (University of Oxford, DPhil Candidate)

“Apologies for My Ese-Kansai-Dialect”: Language Ideologies and Language Ownership of Kansai Dialect in Online Space

 Following its national popularity since 1980s, the Kansai dialect has been a valuable linguistic resource seen on screens and expressions from the dialect are often nominated as buzzwords of the year. Issues of authenticity and language ownership arouse as the regional dialect became spoken and heard outside of the region. Ese-Kansai Dialect (Ese-Kansai-ben, EKD) is a word coined in recent years to denote the Kansai dialect used by non-natives with “unnatural traits”. Literature on this subject refers to the so-called EKD as a variation of the “real” Kansai Dialect. However. common linguistic features of EKD were not found to support the existing argument about EKD.
To understand what is EKD, this study investigates the public narratives on EKD from Twitter and analyses how and what people talk about it. Analysis demonstrated that shared insecurity among non-native users of the dialect is prominent and many would apologise or ask for permission when trying to use the dialect. EKD is used as a shelter term to deny oneself of their language ownership before potential criticism. In addition, criticism towards EKD is rarely on linguistic failures in using the dialect but on the identity of the speakers. This study concludes that EKD is an ideologically constructed notion that reclaims ownership of the dialect for the native speakers and to mark the illegitimate speakerhood of non-native speakers. In an age where dialects in Japan began to transcend regional boarders, language ideologies are playing a much bigger role in shaping the future of the dialects.


Diana Romero (Columbia University, PhD, Lecturer)

“Critical Sociolinguistics in the Spanish as a Heritage Language (HL) Classroom: Empowering Heritage Spanish Learners Ethnolinguistic Identity”

Heritage language instructors concerned with how to make our practice relevant within a social justice framework must constantly examine how our language and pedagogical practices, even when well intentioned, might be reproducing dynamics of social exclusion. (Zavala, 2019)
In this talk I will explain how a sociolinguistic approach to HL instruction, while being an invaluable tool to empower heritage language learners´ ethnolinguistic identity, might contribute to perpetuating linguistic ideologies of exclusion by focusing on appropriateness. I will elaborate on how a truly empowering pedagogy anchored in critical language awareness and critical pedagogy (Freire; Parra, 2016) can provide us and our students with essential tools to help unveil monoglossic and prescriptive linguistic ideologies with their underlying discriminatory and oppressive social practices. Such a framework can help keep our own practice in check while providing students with the necessary tools to help them not only question but also change oppressive power structures.
I will end with a brief description of ways to integrate key concepts of sociolinguistics, critical language awareness, and critical pedagogy in the design of activities for a more inclusive HL classroom, one where US Spanish and multilingual practices and repertoires are freed from monolinguistic deficit perspectives of language acquisition.


For more information about the keynote of this workshop please click here 

To learn more about the “Language and Identity” Series click here




18:30-18:50 (15 min talk+ 5 min Q&A)

Jeconiah Dreisbach (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, PhD Candidate)

 An Ethnographic Linguistic Landscape Analysis of Transnational Migrant Spaces: A Study on the Filipino Community in the United Arab Emirates

18:50-19:10 (15 min talk+ 5 min Q&A)

Yao Sun (University of Oxford, DPhil Candidate)

“Apologies for My Ese-Kansai-Dialect”: Language Ideologies and Language Ownership of Kansai Dialect in Online Space

19:10-19:30(15 min talk+ 5 min Q&A)

Diana Romero (Columbia University, PhD, Lecturer)

Critical Sociolinguistics in the Spanish as a Heritage Language (HL) Classroom: Empowering Heritage Spanish Learners Ethnolinguistic Identity


Speaker Profile


Jeconiah Dreisbach
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, PhD Candidate


Yao Sun
University of Oxford, DPhil Candidate


Diana Romero
Columbia University, PhD, Lecturer


Maria Telegina
Project Assistant Professor, Tokyo College, The University of Tokyo

Organized by Tokyo College, The University of Tokyo

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