“AQUI NÃO É UM PARAÍSO, MAS É MUITO BOM”: imersão e identidade de jovens africanos francófonos aprendizes de português no Distrito Federal
Cañas Chávez, Fidel Armando
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Language, identity and learner were not always closely related concepts. During the years of the tradition of the structuralism, in the second half of the twentieth century, there was a separation of these concepts, making them independent, systematizable and stable. This thesis aimed to follow the theoretical flow of poststructuralist thinking in the indissoluble relationship between identity, language, learning and individuals who learn and put themselves in active process. I focused epistemologically on the field of Applied Linguistics, as a phenomenological area that gave fundamental support to the present thesis, which aimed to understand the process of identity construction of learners of Portuguese as a foreign language of a group of 23 young Francophone Africans who came to Brazil in the year 2017 to take an immersion course within the framework of the Programa de Estudante Convênio de Graduação (conventionally called as pre-PEC-G). Methodologically, the research was characterized as a case study, and the elements of data collection were the recordings of the interviews of three simulated Portuguese Proficiency Certificate for Foreigners (Celpe-Bras) conducted throughout the school year, and dense participant observation as well. The analysis was made through the stories or narratives that the youngsters verbalized about their experience in Brazil. The objective of the research was to understand how young people subjectively position themselves to narrate their processes of identity construction as learners of Portuguese in Brazil. This construction process was analyzed as a place of struggle engaged in diverse communities of practice with acts of resistance and non-participation that generated ambivalences and contradictions in the apprentices and I observed a construction of identity that was also influenced by the imagined communities that the young people previously owned and raised in Brazil. Finally, it was analyzed how the social imaginary had repercussions in the identification of the young apprentices in immersion condition in Brazil. The research also aimed to contribute as a reading to reflect on the learning processes of foreign languages, under the poststructuralist theories of the construction of identities, in order to fit the theoretical ground of Brazilian researches that embrace the teaching and learning of Brazilian Portuguese as second language or foreign language.