This paper investigates the perception of ‘being yourself’ when speaking in the second language (L2) in the context of mobility-migration. Participants consist of 149 highly educated sequential Polish-English bilinguals who relocated to the UK at the average age of 23, and underwent processes of acculturation. The independent variables in this study include acculturation level, social network profile, language of attachment in adulthood, language dominance, length of residence, predicted future domicile, gender, and age of L2 acquisition (AoA). The study employs both emic and etic approaches. The findings reveal strong links between the perception of being yourself in L2 and acculturation level, social network profile, language dominance, predicted future domicile, and language of attachment. The results show that sociocultural and psychological integration into the new society and culture are strongly linked to the perception of being yourself in L2. This study adds acculturation and attachment perspectives to current research on the perception of feeling different when using languages learnt later in life.
(2003) Does cariño equal ‘liking’? A theoretical approach to conceptual nonequivalence between languages. International Journal of Bilingualism, 7(3), 305–322.
(1997) Immigration, acculturation, and adaptation. Applied Psychology, 46(1), 5–34.
(2005) Acculturation: Living successfully in two cultures. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 29(6), 697–712.
Besemeres, M., & Wierzbicka, A.
(Eds.) (2007) Translating lives: Living with two languages and cultures. St. Lucia, Queensland: University of Queensland Press.
(2006) Sojourners. In D.L. Sam & J.W. Berry (Eds.), Cambridge Handbook of Acculturation Psychology (pp. 181–197). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Boiger, M., & Mesquita, B.
(2012) The construction of emotion in interactions, relationships, and cultures. Emotion Review, 4(3), 221–229.
(1969) Attachment and loss (Vol. 11: Attachment). London: Penguin Books.
(1994) Principles of language learning and teaching. New Jersy: Prentice Hall Regents.
(2008) Deconstructing developmental psychology (2nd ed.). London and New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group.
Council of Europe
(2011) Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment. Council of Europe.
Daming, X., Xiaomei, W., & Wei, L.
(2009) Social network analysis. In L. Wei & M.G. Moyer (Eds.), The Blackwell guide to research methods in bilingualism and multilingualism (pp. 263–274). Oxford: Blackwell.
De Courtivron, I.
(2003) Lives in translation: Bilingual writers on identity and creativity. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
De Leersnyder, J., Mesquita, B., & Kim, H.S.
(2011) Where do my emotions belong? A study of immigrants’ emotional acculturation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37(4), 451–463.
(2008) The emotional weight of I love you in multilinguals’ languages. Journal of Pragmatics, 40(10), 1753–1780.
(2010) Emotions in multiple languages. Basingstoke: Palgrave-MacMillan.
(2015) Culture and emotional language. In F. Sharifian (Ed.), The Routledge handbook of language and culture (pp. 357–370). New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group.
(2016a). Emotion and multicompetence. In L. Wei & V. Cook (Eds.) Multicompetence to appear Cambridge Cambridge University Press
(2016b) Why do so many bi-and multilinguals feel different when switching languages?International Journal of Multilingualism, 13(1), 92–105.
Dewaele, J.-M., & Nakano, S.
(2013) Multilinguals’ perceptions of feeling different when switching languages. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 34(2), 107–120.
Dewaele, J.-M., & Pavlenko, A.
(2001-2003) Web questionnaire Bilingualism and Emotions. London: University of London.
Dewaele, J.-M., & Pavlenko, A.
(2002) Emotion vocabulary in interlanguage. Language Learning, 52(2), 263–322.
(2007) Research methods in applied linguistics: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methodologies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Gergely, G., Fonagy, P., Jurist, E., & Target, M.
(2002) Affect regulation, mentalization, and the development of the self. London, UK: Karnac Books.
(1967) Psychological acculturation in a tri-ethnic community. Southwestern Journal of Anthropology, 23(4), 337–350.
(2002) Interview on bilingualism, with questions asked by Judit Navracsics, Veszprem University, Hungary [February 2002] Retrieved from [URL]
(2010) Bilingual: Life and reality. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
(2016) The Complementarity Principle and its impact on processing, acquisition and dominance. In C. Silva-Corvalán & J. Treffers-Daller (Eds.), Language dominance in bilinguals: Issues of operationalization and measurement (pp. 66–84). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
(2012) Web questionnaire on language use and language choice in bilinguals (E-PLUS) (Unpublished manuscript). University of London.
(2015) Life in a new language: An acculturation perspective on language shift in bilinguals (Unpublished PhD thesis). University of London.
(2004) Bilingual speakers in the lab: Psychophysiological measures of emotional reactivity. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 25(2-3), 223–247.
Harris, C.L., Aycicegi, A., & Gleason, J.B.
(2003) Taboo words and reprimands elicit greater autonomic reactivity in a first language than in a second language. Applied Psycholinguistics, 24(04), 561–579.
Harris, C.L., Gleason, J.B., & Aycicegi, A.
(2006) When is a first language more emotional? Psychophysiological evidence from bilingual speakers. In A. Pavlenko (Ed.), Bilingual Minds: Emotional experience, expression, and representation (pp. 257–283). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
(1989) Lost in translation: A life in a new language. New York: Penguin Books.
Hong, Y., Fang, Y., Yang, Y., & Phua, D.Y.
(2013) Cultural attachment: A new theory and method to understand cross-cultural competence. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 44(6), 1024–1044.
(2011) Attachment across the lifecourse: A brief introduction. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Ivaz, L., Costa, A., & Duñabeitia, J.A.
(2015) The emotional impact of being myself: Emotions and foreign-language processing. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, Advance online publication. Retrieved from
(2015) Language, culture, and context. In F. Sharifian (Ed.), The Routledge handbook of language and culture (pp. 473–492). Oxford: Routledge.
(2001) Comparing bilinguals’ quoted performances of self and others in tellings of the same experience in two languages. Language in Society, 30(04), 513–558.
(2006) Feeling in two languages: A comparative analysis of a bilingual’s affective displays in French and Portuguese. In A. Pavlenko (Ed.), Bilingual minds: Emotional experience, expression, and representation (pp. 84–117). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
(1998) Two Languages in the self/the self in two languages: French-Portuguese bilinguals’ verbal enactments and experiences of self in narrative Discourse. Ethos, 26(4), 410–455.
(2009) The multilingual subject. What language learners say about their experience and why it matters. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
(2015) Language and culture in second language learning. In F. Sharifian (Ed.), The Routledge handbook of language and culture (pp. 403–416). Oxford: Routledge.
(2004) Footnotes to a double life. In W. Lesser (Ed.), The genius of language: Fifteen writers reflect on their mother tongues (pp. 206–217). New York: Pantheon Books.
Marian, V., & Kaushanskaya, M.
(2004) Self-construal and emotion in bicultural bilinguals. Journal of Memory and Language, 51(2), 190–201.
Marian, V., & Neisser, U.
(2000) Language-dependent recall of autobiographical memories. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 129(3), 361–368.
Matsumoto, D., LeRoux, J.A., & Yoo, S.H.
(2005) Emotion and intercultural communication. Kwansei Gakuin University Journal, 991, 15–38.
Matsumoto, D., LeRoux, J., Ratzlaff, C., Tatani, H., Uchida, H., Kim, C., & Araki, S.
(2001) Development and validation of a measure of intercultural adjustment potential in Japanese sojourners: The Intercultural Adjustment Potential Scale (ICAPS). International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 25(5), 483–510.
(2010) Emoting: A contextualized process. In B. Mesquita, L.F. Barrett, & E. Smith (Eds.), The mind in context (pp. 83–104). New York: Guilford.
(Ed.) (1988) Families and social networks. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
(1987) Language and social networks (2nd ed.). Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Milroy, L., & Wei, L.
(1991) A social network approach to code-switching: The example of a bilingual community in Britain. In L. Milroy & P. Muysken (Eds.), One speaker, two languages: Cross-disciplinary perspectives on code-switching (pp. 136–157). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Ochs, E., & Schiefelin, B.
(1989) Language has a heart. Text & Talk, 9(1), 7–25.
(2004a) Bilingual emotions: The untranslatable self. Estudios de Sociolingüística: Linguas, Sociedades E Culturas, 5(1), 1–20.
(2004b) Switching codes, switching code: Bilinguals’ emotional responses in English and Greek. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 25(2-3), 124–139.
(2013) The affective turn in SLA: From ‘affective factors’ to ‘language desire’ and ‘commodification of affect’. In D. Gabrys-Barker & J. Belska (Eds.), The affective dimension in second language acquisition (pp. 3–28). Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.
(2014) The bilingual mind: And what it tells us about language and thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
(2006) Do bilinguals have two personalities? A special case of cultural frame switching. Journal of Research in Personality, 40(2), 99–120.
Regan, V., Diskin, C., & Martyn, J.
(Eds.) (2016) Language, identity and migration: Voices from transnational speakers and communities. Oxford: Peter Lang.
Ross, M., Xun, W.E., & Wilson, A.E.
(2002) Language and the bicultural self. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28(8), 1040–1050.
Ryder, A.G., Alden, L.E., & Paulhus, D.L.
(2000) Is acculturation unidimensional or bidimensional? A head-to-head comparison in the prediction of personality, self-identity, and adjustment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79(1), 49–65.
Sam, D.L., & Berry, J.W.
(Eds.) (2006) The Cambridge handbook of acculturation psychology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
(2014) Using correspondence analysis to model immigrant multilingualism over time. In J. Duarte & I. Gogolin (Eds.), Linguistic super-diversity in urban areas: Research approaches (pp. 27–44). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
Schrauf, R.W., & Durazo-Arvizu, R.
(2006) Bilingual autobiographical memory and emotion: Theory and methods. In A. Pavlenko (Ed.), Bilingual minds: Emotional experience, expression, and representation (pp. 284–311). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Schrauf, R.W., & Hoffman, L.
(2007) The effects of revisionism on remembered emotion: The valence of older, voluntary immigrants’ pre-migration autobiographical memories. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 21(7), 895–913.
Schrauf, R.W., & Rubin, D.C.
(2000) Internal languages of retrieval: The bilingual encoding of memories for the personal past. Memory and Cognition, 28(4), 616–623.
(1976) Social distance as a factor in second language acquisition. Language Learning, 26(1), 135–143.
Schwartz, S.J., Unger, J.B., Zamboanga, B.L., & Szapocznik, J.
(2010) Rethinking the concept of acculturation: Implications for theory and research. American Psychologist, 65(4), 237–251.
(2015a) Cultural Linguistics. In F. Sharifian (Ed.), The Routledge handbook of language and culture (pp. 473–492). Oxford: Routledge.
(Ed.) (2015b) The Routledge handbook of language and culture. New York: Routledge.
Singleton, D., Regan, V., & Debaene, E.
(Eds.) (2013) Linguistic and cultural acquisition in a migrant community. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
(2011) ‘We could be diving for pearls’: The value of the gem in experiential qualitative psychology. Qualitative Methods in Psychology Bulletin, 121, 6–15.
Sroufe, L.A., & Waters, E.
(1977) Attachment as an organizational construct. Child Development, 481, 1184–1199.
(2006) Understanding cultural differences: Relational hermeneutics and comparative analysis in cultural psychology. In J. Straub, D. Weidemann, C. Kolbl, & B. Zielke (Eds.), Pursuit of meaning: Advances in cross-cultural psychology (pp. 163–241). Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag.
(1982) Attachment in adult life. In C.M. Parkes & J. Stevenson-Hinde (Eds.), The place of attachment in human behaviour (pp. 111–184). New York: Wiley.
(2008) ‘Another language is another soul’: Individual differences in the presentation of self in a foreign language. (Unpublished PhD thesis). University of London.
Wilson, R., & Dewaele, J.-M.
(2010) The use of web questionnaires in second language acquisition and bilingualism research. Second Language Research, 26(1), 103–123.
Yoo, S.H., Matsumoto, D., & LeRoux, J.A.
(2006) The influence of emotion recognition and emotion regulation on intercultural adjustment. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 30(3), 345–363.
Cited by 6 other publications
Costa, Beverley & Jean‐Marc Dewaele
2019. The talking cure—building the core skills and the confidence of counsellors and psychotherapists to work effectively with multilingual patients through training and supervision. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research 19:3 ► pp. 231 ff.
Marten, Heiko F.
2019. How Do Views of Languages Differ Between Majority and Minority? Language Regards Among Students with Latvian, Estonian and Russian as L1. In Multilingualism in the Baltic States, ► pp. 269 ff.
2019. Do the languages migrants use in private and emotional domains define their cultural belonging more than the passport they have?. International Journal of Intercultural Relations 69 ► pp. 87 ff.
2021. Multilinguals’ use of L1 and L2 inner speech. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 24:1 ► pp. 72 ff.
2023. ‘That part of me is in a different language’: 1.5 generation migrants’ views on feelings of difference when switching languages. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 44:5 ► pp. 370 ff.
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 26 november 2023. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers.
Any errors therein should be reported to them.