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Turning Points and Tensions: Emerging Adulthood for Language

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Lisa M. Dorner

on 9 June 2016

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Transcript of Turning Points and Tensions: Emerging Adulthood for Language

Turning Points and Tensions: Emerging Adulthood for Language Brokers
Language Brokering
doing .....

What happens during emerging adulthood for language brokers?

How do language brokers shape their lives, through their own choices and actions (
), as they become adults?
How does the
of particular life events shape the nature and diversity of language brokering in emerging adulthood?
How are brokers’ relationships (
linked lives
) with their parents, siblings, and communities changing throughout emerging adulthood?
(turning points, tensions)
It was sort of like, you know what? I need time for myself. I need time for me to figure out things, and I’m sorry. I can’t really, you know? So that could have been a low point for me and my family. . . . I sort of departed from [language brokering and]. . . me being there for them, at times. So that’s when my mom started to realize that I was not going to be around all the time. "Nova"

No longer serving "in between" - "Estela"
Developmental Timing
(turning points, tensions)
Young Cici did not care about brokering “too much;” as an adolescent, she felt “pride;” as an emerging adult, she called language brokering a “burden." Throughout her 20s, she sometimes felt caught between the needs of her new family, as a young mom, and her mother’s demands.
Junior reported that his mom “knows a bit of English now and she understands it . . . so she wouldn’t have to rely on me, in case I move out.”
Luz similarly reported: “my parents are becoming a little more independent and now there’s a lot more translators for services, like my dad just got the cable on his own.”
Linked Lives
(turning points, tensions)
When Luz reported her low point, she spoke about working with her dad when he filed a legal complaint on work-based discrimination. As an emerging adult, she knew that her father’s work life was stressful and that there could be retaliation for just filing a complaint. Because emerging adulthood also brings better understanding of consequences, language brokers may become worried and more aligned with parents who may need their emotional support.
Lisa M. Dorner, Sujin Kim, & Emily Crawford
Cambio de Colores, Columbia, MO, 6-9-16

cultural habits
Research suggests that
language brokering can be...
Research Methods
(for children)
still "normal" &
shared by family
for community
(into adolescence)

Dorner, L. (anticipated publication 2017). Turning points and tensions: Emerging adulthood for language brokers. In R. S. Weisskirch (Ed.), Language brokering in immigrant families: Theories and contexts, pp. X-X. New York, NY: Routledge Psychology Press/Taylor and Francis Publishers.
Dorner, L., Orellana, M.F., & Jiménez, R.* (2008). “It’s one of those things that you do to help the family:” Language brokering and the development of immigrant adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Research, 23(5), 515-543.
Dorner, L., Orellana, M.F., & Li-Grining, C.P. (2007). “I helped my mom” and it helped me: Translating the skills of language brokers into improved standardized test scores. American Journal of Education, 113(3), 451-478.
Orellana, M. F. (2009). Translating childhoods: Immigrant youth, language and culture. NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Orellana, M.F., Dorner, L.*, & Pulido, L.^ (2003). Accessing assets: Immigrant youth’s work as family translators or “para-phrasers.” Social Problems, 50(4), 505-524.
Orellana, M.F., Reynolds, J., Dorner, L.,* & Meza, M.^ (2003). In other words: Translating or “para-phrasing” as a family literacy practice in immigrant households. Reading Research Quarterly, 38(1), 12-34.
Thank you! dornerl@missouri.edu
Orellana, M. F. (forthcoming). Dialoguing across differences:
The past and future of language brokering research.
International Journal of Bilingualism.

10 case studies of Mexican American youth in Chicago area
Longitudinal data collection (2000-2003, 2005, and 2009-2010)
Semi-structured narrative interviews that followed a life-story approach (McAdams, 1995)
Research Questions
Given that research shows emerging adults in the U.S. (18-29 years old) are more likely to experience: (1) identity explorations; (2) instability; (3) self-focus; (4) feeling in-between adulthood and adolescence; and (5) feelings of possibilities and optimism (Arnett, 2015) . . . but perhaps differently for different groups . . .
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