This autoethnography delineates how, I, as a bilingual researcher proficient in Korean and English, negotiated the tensions between conforming to English-only academic writing norms for survival in academia and embracing translingual writing practices during the composition of my dissertation. Based on the salient themes and repeating experiences that I penned in analytic memos, field notes and diaries, I meticulously rearranged the thoughts and emotions, weaving them into stream-of-consciousness-style narratives. Through this method, I aimed to vividly portray the inevitable tensions that might be experienced by numerous bilingual researchers speaking English as a second language. This autoethnography particularly portrays the troubles of conveying intricate cultural nuances when translating my research partners’ Korean responses into English. Also, I detail the process of how I negotiated the dilemmas between artistic translingual writing and writing solely in English for a broader readership. Such detailing processes eventually prompted me to contemplate whether I truly embodied the transformative linguistic practices that I kept advocating for in my research projects. This autoethnography, although entailing vulnerability, ultimately underscores the significance of practicing self-reflexivity through crafting authentic and vivid narratives.


self-reflexivity, autoethnography, dialogism, heteroglossia, bilingual researcher

Author Bio(s)

Eun Young Yeom holds a PhD from the University of Georgia with a major in Language and Literacy Education. Her research focuses on linguistic justice for transnational emergent bilingual youth residing in the United States, who encounter various forms of social injustice related to language, culture, and race as their English proficiency develops. Her research also delves into how young adult literature written in English can be integrated into English teaching at middle and high schools in South Korea. She addresses these challenges by creating a dialogic translanguaging space through the incorporation of culturally relevant young adult literature. Please direct correspondence to eyyeom0412@gmail.com

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