Global and Local Contexts

We also recognize that it is not enough, in our analysis, to merely point out the common literacy markers of these multilingual narratives. We are guided by Aneta Pavlenko’s critique of contemporary trends in the analysis of autobiographic language acquisition narratives, in which she stresses the importance of further analysis of “contextual influences” (175). Indeed, her assertion offers a comprehensive means of analysis:

The global or macro-level of analysis should attend to historic, political, economic, and cultural circumstances of narrative production. The local or micro-level should attend to the context of the interview or manuscript writing, and thus to the influence of language choice, audience, setting, modality, narrative functions, interactional concerns, and power relations on ways in which speakers and writers verbalize their experiences. (175)

To that end, we attempt to address both local and global contexts of production in the narratives, extending our discussion of the patterns, or landmarks, we observe across the narratives to an in-depth analysis of the global context of Medarka’s literacy narrative interview and a detailed consideration of the local context of the production of Keunho’s literacy narrative film.

As a final consideration, throughout the exhibit, we attend to Suresh Canagrajah’s positioning of the multilingual competence as “always evolving and creative” (“Lingua Franca” 933). As Canagarajah and others persuasuively argue, multilingualism is a bonus, not a deficit; it is the norm, not the exception. This framework allows us to explore the ways that our subset of second language, multilingual, and audio-visual literacy narratives, particularly when gathered together as they are in the DALN, offer rich diversity and an opportunity to put multiple narratives in conversation with one another and highlight the “practice-based, adaptive, emergent . . . multimodal, multisensory, multilateral, and therefore, multidimensional” aspects of literacy experiences (Canagarajah “Lingua Franca” 924).

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