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ERIC Number: EJ1111860
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1535-0517
The Meaning of "Citizenship": Tests, Policy, and English Proficiency
Loring, Ariel
CATESOL Journal, v24 n1 p198-219 2012-2013
This paper addresses the ideal of "citizenship" in the US and how particular meanings of history, culture, and language are encoded in government policy and practice. The US government (Citizenship and Immigration Services) presents citizenship as a commitment to shared knowledge and values, and it requires applicants to possess competence in "ordinary English language." However, a critical discourse analysis of the naturalization test material reveals a "de facto" policy of higher English proficiency than is claimed. Furthermore, the history and civics requirement of the citizenship test demands memorization of only certain historical facts deemed important. Citizenship policy analysis is paralleled by a localized ethnographic study of an adult ESL/citizenship class, where the instructor's teaching perspectives and pedagogy reveal how a different set of citizenship meanings is understood and transmitted to the students than is officially promoted. The paper concludes by offering suggestions for citizenship curricular reform.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A