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ERIC Number: EJ1074257
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1534-8458
"You Get to Be Yourself": Visual Arts Programs, Identity Construction and Learners of English as an Additional Language
Wielgosz, Meg; Molyneux, Paul
Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, v14 n4 p275-289 2015
Students learning English as an additional language (EAL) in Australian schools frequently struggle with the cultural and linguistic demands of the classroom while concurrently grappling with issues of identity and belonging. This article reports on an investigation of the role primary school visual arts programs, distinct programs with a specialist teacher, in a designated art room, can play in supporting EAL students' identity construction and social transition. At six Melbourne primary schools, classroom observations and teacher and student interviews revealed that the visual art programs offer clear possibilities for enhanced and empowered constructions of identity. This article focuses on four students as case studies, highlighting the powerful role visual arts programs, classrooms and teachers can play in EAL learners' identity construction. On a personal and societal level, identity construction and a positive sense of self are essential in our current era of increased linguistic and cultural pluralism, and this study offers insights into how these inclusive goals can be achieved.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A