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ERIC Number: ED551280
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 255
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2677-5891-0
Talking about Writing: Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Adolescents' Socialization into Academic Literacy
Gilliland, Elizabeth A.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Davis
This dissertation describes and analyzes the academic language socialization of culturally and linguistically diverse adolescents through a multi-case ethnographic study of high school writing instruction in California. I argue that there is a significant gap between the norms for writing in English language development classes and those in the mainstream college prep English classes into which students transition, especially with respect to students' access to academic language and development of independence as writers. I observed and recorded classroom talk about writing over one academic year in two English language development classes (Transitions to English) and one mainstream English language arts class (Senior Literature and Composition). Follow-up interviews with graduated seniors considered their transition into college writing. Data were analyzed using a grounded theory approach (Strauss, 1987). Further deductive analyses consider classroom discourse patterns (Bloome "et al.", 2005; Gibbons, 2006) in order to identify patterns and particularities in teacher responses to student writing. Findings suggest that multilingual students' language learning experiences in Transitions were not socializing them to be fully competent or proficient members of the Senior Lit classroom. Rather, the contradicting norms for writing created a gap for multilingual students between their opportunities to learn academic language in Transitions and the ways they were expected to use academic language in writing for Senior Lit. Language socialization in both Transitions and mainstream classes was only partial: the students learned academic content through language, but did not learn new language that they needed to develop stronger understanding of the content or an ability to express that content independently. Teachers' beliefs about curricular requirements and students' academic proficiency played a central role in the language and writing socialization of their students; data about these beliefs helped to explain the gap between concepts of writing and language taught in Transitions and Senior Lit. Graduated seniors reported varied feelings of readiness for college writing: the multilingual graduates all placed into some form of developmental or support composition classes in their first semester of college. Implications of this study recommend that teacher education and professional development must address the language socialization needs of diverse student populations. Further implications address the need for state and local policy that supports more coherent writing curriculum for all students and for further research into adolescent academic language socialization. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A