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ERIC Number: EJ820368
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0898-5898
The Messiness of Language Socialization in Reading Groups: Participation in and Resistance to the Values of Essayist Literacy
Poole, Deborah
Linguistics and Education: An International Research Journal, v19 n4 p378-403 2008
This paper focuses on the process of literacy socialization in several 5th grade reading groups. Through close analysis of spoken interaction, which centers on a heavily illustrated, non-fiction text, the paper proposes that these reading groups can be seen as complex sites of socialization to the values associated with essayist literacy (i.e., the type of written language often associated with school literacy and characterized by an impersonal, "de-contextualized" presentation of factual information). Through a qualitative focus on the interaction of novice, expert, and text, children in the data are shown to participate in spoken displays that highlight the impersonal, factual content of the written text. These displays of the sort of language associated with essayist literacy are achieved primarily through read-aloud episodes and follow-up question-answer sequences in which the teacher and student co-construct text-based propositions. However, a competing perspective emerges when interaction focuses on the illustrations. In such sequences, the children seem eager to engage in a more contextualized and personal use of language. In the illustration-oriented interaction, they not only employ more explicitly context-dependent linguistic forms; they also produce more full clauses, engage in more interaction outside of traditional tripartite (IRE) classroom interaction, and display higher levels of affective engagement. This interaction is also marked by a complex interplay of contextualized and decontextualized language, sometimes within the same utterance or turn, pointing to a multifaceted relationship between the two. The paper proposes that although the values associated with essayist literacy are dominant, the participants' apparent interactional resistance to these values points to a complex socialization context of competing underlying orientations. It also argues for the need to clarify and reconsider the widespread emphasis on decontextualization in instructional contexts. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 5
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A