NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1152111
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Sep
Pages: 29
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1086-296X
"She Doesn't Have the Basic Understanding of a Language": Using Spelling Research to Challenge Deficit Conceptualizations of Adolescent Bilinguals
Brooks, Maneka Deanna
Journal of Literacy Research, v49 n3 p342-370 Sep 2017
This article examines the alternative English spelling practices of a student who is considered to be a "long-term English learner." It draws on a theoretical framework that integrates a social perspective on spelling with a rejection of idealized conceptions of bilingualism. The analyzed English spellings presented in this article were identified in eight texts that the focal student composed during her English language arts class. Notably, this examination was contextualized within the focal student's linguistic and schooling history. The resulting findings document that the focal student was a simultaneous bilingual who had a troubled history with formal schooling--the place where many young people learn spelling conventions. The predominant practice that characterized her alternative spellings was her use of conventional English sound-to-letter relationships to create a written echo of the speech patterns of her home, school, and community. When her alternative spelling did not reflect these Englishes, they typically illustrated her familiarity with the normative spelling of particular words. Yet the practices that characterized her spelling meant that they strayed from accepted conventions (e.g., transposition/omission/insertion of letters). The focal student's alternative spelling practices illustrated her familiarity with the English writing system and the depth of her knowledge of multiple Englishes.
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California (Los Angeles)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A