oa Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology - Distress and turmoil - learning a language, ego states and

Volume 13, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1445-7377



This paper suggests that learning a language is accomplished through the formation of new language identities and explains this process through the use of existential phenomenology. In order for learning (and specifically, the learning of a language) to happen, a permanent change in the identity of the learner must occur. The paper suggests the introduction of the concept of linguistic ego states as a model for such a change in learner identity which, in turn, brings about the embodied (not just cognitive) retention of the acquired knowledge. In order for such retention to occur the situation must bring about anxiety, an existential crisis, or the distress and turmoil mentioned in the article's title. This leads to a leap of faith, or an irreversible, qualitative personal change, a move to a different existential mode of being.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error