ABSTRACT

This study adopts a biographically oriented approach using language portraits, to examine the case of “Denisa”, a Slovak student with extensive experience of mobility, including two instances of study abroad (SA) in Japan. Denisa’s successive portraits showed nuanced changes to her linguistic repertoire and contradictory dispositions towards her languages. She always juxtaposed her English and Japanese. English covered her entire body because she used it to present herself even in Japan (to an extent), where she was seen as a “foreigner”, an identity strongly associated with English. Rarely seen as a Slovak, she drew her Slovak language as a red heart (depicting her affection) surrounded by blue English. Japanese, the language of her long-term investment, was depicted on her eyes, ears, and fingers in grey, parts of the body where she persevered with Japanese despite stress and embarrassment.