Second language acquisition and immigrant experiences

Losing My Voice and Finding Another

This is a memoir of my experience learning German, when I moved to Germany in 2003 and began to learn a second language. It emphasizes the emotional and social aspects of second language acquisition.

Available to buy from all major eBook suppliers.

e-book published by Brandes & Apsel, Frankfurt, Germany, 2015; also available in German as a paperback with the title, Deutsche Sprache, Meine Sprache?

Who Decides Sprachkompetenz?

An essay in both English and German that provides some information about how immigrants actually learn and use German.  I argue that immigrants have the right to use German and their native languages in whatever way suits their needs and desires.

Read essay     |     Read in German

Who are the Experts on Immigration?

An essay in both English and German that criticizes the extensive use of so-called experts, Germans who have academic training in the field of immigration, while ignoring the experience and knowledge of immigrants themselves. Imagine convening a commission on the status and problems of women, and staffing the commission almost exclusively with men who have studied the issue.

Read essay     |      Read in German

Using a Language That’s Not Your Own: Experiences of Multilingual Employees

This essay describes some of the challenges faced by employees who have to use English, even though it is not their native language. Includes suggestions for improving communication between native and non-native speakers and for supporting non-native speakers when there appears to be a performance issue based on language ability.

Published in The Diversity Factor, Spring 2006.

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