ERIC Number: ED372633
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Apr
Negotiating Power: Critical Literacy Practices in a Bilingual Classroom.
Orellana, Marjorie Faulstich
A study investigated the interpersonal dynamics occurring in an ungraded bilingual education class of native Spanish-speaking students in an ungraded primary classroom (with 10-12 students each from grades one, two, and three) at Garamond Elementary School in a working class community southeast of Los Angeles, California. Six classroom sessions were taped for discourse analysis focusing on the language patterns used by students and the ways students positioned themselves through language in relation to each other. One session was conducted entirely by students. Data were also drawn from observation, student and teacher interviews, and written work spanning six months. Analysis of the data suggest two common patterns of verbal expression: (1) a direct, argumentative form in which individuals overtly position themselves, in relation to other students, as for or against particular arguments; and (2) introduction of new ideas into discussion without argumentative positioning, often in the forms of helpful suggestions or comments. The class session conducted by students, late in the year, illustrates these two dynamics and the fact that the students have internalized a basic framework for argumentation. Similar patterns also appeared in teacher-led classes and were influenced by the teacher's participation. It is proposed that such interactions are influential in helping students organize thinking and use language in specific ways, and can influence literacy development and self-expression. A brief bibliography is included. (MSE)
Descriptors: Bilingual Education, Bilingual Students, Classroom Communication, Classroom Environment, Classroom Techniques, Discourse Analysis, English (Second Language), Group Dynamics, Language Patterns, Language Styles, Literacy Education, Persuasive Discourse, Primary Education, Spanish Speaking
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 4-8, 1994).