THE IDENTITY CONSTITUTION OF REFUGEES IN SÃO PAULO: HOMES IN THE COMPLEXITY OF PORTUGUESE AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE TEACHING-LEARNING

P. Rezende

Senac São Paulo (BRAZIL)
This study aims at investigating the phenomenon of identity constitution of 21 refugees in São Paulo, revealed and registered during the activities of the in class thematic workshops in a Portuguese as a foreign language course.
In class thematic workshops are based on the concept of online thematic workshops (Rezende, 2003) developed from the concept of online workshops suggested by Freire (1998, 200). From the concept of online thematic workshops, I propose in class workshops that also present a thematic structure, considered as an input for discussions and communication in Portuguese, motivated by written and imagetic texts that foster the linguistic production process.
This study presents a theoretic-methodological structure that considers complexity (Morin, 1990) as the ground on which experiences occur, as well as two main theoretical constructs: acculturation that is subdivided into immigration and refuge, as discussed by Ogbu (1982); Berry (1995); Gibson (1998) & McBrien (2005) and Identity, considering the possible dialogue that emerges from constructs such as home, territory, ethnic, memory and language, as presented by Cooper (1974); Pollack (1982); Bosi (1987); Hall (1990); Freire (1990); Mey (1998); Nair (1998); Ralha Simões (2001); Haesbaert (2002); Moita Lopes (2002); Rajagopalan (2003) e Cunha (2007).
The experiences lived by the participants were registered as written and imagetic texts during a Portuguese as a foreign language course for refugees. The course is structured in two 60-hour modules and the activities mentioned in this investigation became part of the regular didactic material used in this course. Considering the Hermeneutical-Phenomenologic Approach, this investigation aimed at describing and interpretating the mentioned phenomenon, by using the textualization and thematization processes proposed by van Manen (1990) and the refining and re-meaning movements outlined by Freire (2007).
The experiences interpretation indicated that the phenomenon on focus in this study can be perceived from its two hermeneutical-phenomenological themes. The first, denominated Reflection, points to the way the participants reflect upon their past experiences, lived in their homeland, upon their impressions about the present refuge situation and upon their expectations for the future. The second theme, labeled as Belonging, presents the relations that reinforce the need to be part of a social context, and construct an individual and social history.