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ERIC Number: EJ1013698
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0003-1003
The Role of Academic Discourse in Minority Students' Academic Assimilation
White, John W.; Ali-Khan, Carolyne
American Secondary Education, v42 n1 p24-42 Fall 2013
Many minority students enter the university without the discursive ''codes of power" that they need both to find academic success and to self-identify as scholars. High schools and college preparatory programs too often ignore the role that academic language and literacy play in success at the college level. Even when academic language is specifically taught, it is often resisted by minority students. Because language is so strongly rooted to culture and identity many minority students see the adoption of academic discourse as "selling out" or "acting White" rather than as a temporary code-switching practice. This paper presents four case studies of first-generation minority college students and how academic discourse (also referred to as academic literacy) played a part in their respective success or failure academically and socially. The paper also suggests research-based solutions for high school teachers, college counselors, and others interested in helping students adapt to the discourse community of the university.
Ashland University Dwight Schar College of Education. 229 Dwight Schar Building, 401 College Avenue, Ashland, OH 44805. Tel: 419-289-5273; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A