ERIC Number: EJ722438
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Reference Count: 69
Sociolinguistic Challenges to Minority Collegiate Success: Entering the Discourse Community of the College
White, John Wesley
Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice, v6 n4 p369-393 2004-2005
A significant body of research has examined the reasons behind high minority collegiate attrition. All of this work has contributed to our understanding of the unique challenges minority and first generation college students face in the difficult transition to the often new culture that is the college experience. One area that has gone virtually ignored in the literature, however, is the relationship of language, discourse, and literacy to collegiate success. Because the university comprises its own "discourse community"--with its own "ways with words"--those wishing to help minority students in their transition to college should not ignore students' levels of academic literacy. Rather, differences in language use contribute to many students' feelings of alienation from the academic and social culture of the academy. Fortunately, results from this study support the thesis that students lacking academic literacy may be able to learn it--and have a better chance at academic success--through the efforts of college-preparatory programs, college-level student academic services programs, pre-collegiate "bridge" programs, and college mentoring programs.
Descriptors: Minority Groups, Discourse Communities, First Generation College Students, Alienation, Student Attitudes, Sociolinguistics, Student Attrition, Literacy, Sociolinguistics, College Preparation, Study Skills, Language Skills
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colorado