ERIC Number: EJ880910
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Apr
Reference Count: 50
English(es) in Urban Contexts: Politics, Pluralism, and Possibilities
Kirkland, David E.
English Education, v42 n3 p293-306 Apr 2010
English as taught in city schools does not always reflect the Englishes city students travel with. Their urban English landscape is enriched by a procession of many voices that march in various directions in, around, and through the monuments of the city. These languages--Englishes, in this case--which have been traded on through various public and private transactions, have constructed a world of their own, governed by what Bakhtin calls "new socially typifying languages." In this article, the author draws on data taken from his two original research studies conducted on literacy and urban youth--"Boys in the Hood" and "Literacies in Online Social Communities" projects. In the "Boys in the Hood" project, the author examined how six young Black men practiced literacy from 2003 to 2006. In the "Literacies in Online Social Communities" project, his most recent study spanning more than two years, the author examined the discourses of urban youth in online social communities. Using these studies, the author seeks to answer the question: How do urban youth use languages for social, cultural, and political purposes? The author analyzed data, using ethnographic and critical discourse approaches. Blending the two approaches, he explored emergent patterns in the data to chart the expansion and intensification of variance in the youths' language practices. Implications for English education research, policy, and practice are presented.
Descriptors: Urban Schools, Urban Youth, Males, English Instruction, Language Arts, Social Influences, Computer Mediated Communication, Language Usage, African Americans, Dialects, Poetry
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
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