If Japan was a Person
LX learning in Polly Barton’s Language Memoir 50 Sounds
The language memoir has informed a wealth of research on multilingualism. Polly Barton’s book 50 Sounds (2021), in which she narrates her experience of moving to Japan as part of the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme, is another example of autobiographical writing with rich insight into LX learning. The article examines Barton’s exploration of relationships in and with an LX and reflects on the importance of transferential phenomena in LX acquisition. Parallels between LX and L1 learning during infancy are also investigated. The findings seem relevant for a psychodynamic understanding of LX learning that takes object relations into account and will hopefully result in more research.
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