‘What a dolt one is’: language learning and fieldwork in geography
Abstract:This paper discusses aspects of the theory and practice of foreign language learning for fieldwork in geography, a rarely discussed set of issues despite the personal investment that language learning requires from the researcher. In some cases of cross-cultural research, it may be particularly desirable to learn a vernacular language for which there are few (or no) study aids. However, there is little guidance about how learning such a language should be approached, or discussion of its significance for the subsequent research. Through a discussion of personal experience in Ethiopia, the paper describes one way of learning a vernacular language, and explores the advantages that this brought to the fieldwork and to the resulting research understandings.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB3 2EN, Email: email@example.com
Publication date: March 1, 2004