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Narratives in language learning materials of Spanish language classes for asylum seekers in Spain: modulation of Arab women's identities in a neoliberal era

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posted on 2022-11-09, 03:56 authored by Laura Sanchez Santos

The scenario of formal programs of local language acquisition for migrants is a contested space in which many factors come into play. This thesis focuses on the processes and approaches that are involved in the narratives in learning material related to the construction of the identity and the concept of otherness of Arab women who attend Spanish class in an asylum seeker program in Spain. 

Grounded on the theories of decolonialism (Mignolo, Castro-Gómez, Grosfoguel, Holas, Kusch) and postcolonialism (Said, Bhabha, Yegenoglu, Lewis) and having hybridity and biopower—in Foucault´s words—as key elements in the processes of identification, the project bases its conclusions on critical discourse analysis (CDA) of multimodal texts presented in the learning material (textbooks and website). This particular object of study is significant in this project as real material where cognitive structures presented will influence the modulation of identity alongside the construction of otherness and other realities such as culture, norms of conduct and/or sense of belonging. Firstly, this analysis highlights different elements in the discourses identified in these materials that suggest the drawing of a biased vision (reinforcing power of elites and structural inequality) in the construction of otherness about Arab women within the community. And from there, the analysis outlines the power strategies embedded in the discourse reproduced in these materials in Spanish class for migrants and how that may limit the direction of the identity modulation available to students as mere profitable beings for the community. That also involves the idea that this description of reality may encourage the exclusion of these students in the community as empowered social agents. 


Table of Contents

Introduction -- Chapter 1 -- Chapter 2: the Spanish classroom: a space for negotiation or imposition? -- Chapter 3: the material in the Spanish class for "migrants". A decolonial approach -- Conclusions -- Bibliography -- Appendices


A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Research

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


Thesis (MRes), Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Media, Communications, Creative Arts, Language and Literature, 2021

Department, Centre or School

Department of Media, Communications, Creative Arts, Language and Literature

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Jane Hanley


Copyright: The Author Copyright disclaimer:




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