This autoethnographic account of the author's Japanese as a second language learning trajectory is an important and unique addition to diary studies in SLA and applied linguistics qualitative research circles. In-depth ethnographic details and introspective commentary are skilfully interwoven throughout Simon-Maeda's narrative of her experiences as an American expatriate who arrived in Japan in 1975 - the starting point of her being and becoming a speaker of Japanese. The book joins the recent surge in postmodernist, interdisciplinary approaches to examining language acquisition, and readers are presented with a highly convincing case for using autoethnography to better understand sociolinguistic complexities that are unamenable to quantification of isolated variables. The comprehensive literature review and wide ranging references provide a valuable source of information for researchers, educators, and graduate students concerned with current issues in SLA/applied linguistics, bi/multilingualism, and Japanese as a second language.
Andrea Simon-Maeda is an Associate Professor in the Department of Early Childhood Education at Nagoya Keizai University where she teaches English as a foreign language. She has published articles in TESOL Quarterly and the International Multilingual Research Journal and served as a coordinator and editor for the Gender Awareness in Language Education Special Interest Group of the Japan Association for Language Teaching. Her main research interests are bi/multilingualism and gender issues in societal and educational contexts, and her professional educator career in Japan spans 35 years of tertiary level EFL instruction.
PART I Introduction Chapter 1 The Postmodern Basis of Autoethnography Chapter 2 Narrative Inquiry in SLA and Applied Linguistics PART II Chapter 3 In the Beginning: Situating the Story Chapter 4 In the Middle: Love, Marriage, Family Chapter 5 Career Discourse(s) Chapter 6 Where I Am Now: Two Days in the Life of an Expatriate Closing Discussion