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ERIC Number: EJ905528
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 19
ISSN: ISSN-0039-8322
Onwards and Upwards: Space, Placement, and Liminality in Adult ESOL Classes
Baynham, Mike; Simpson, James
TESOL Quarterly: A Journal for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages and of Standard English as a Second Dialect, v44 n3 p420-440 Sep 2010
The extensive literature on classroom-based second language learning makes little attempt to situate the classroom itself in social and multilingual sociolinguistic space, in the complex and iterative networks of encounters and interactions that make up daily life. Daily life is routinely evoked and "brought into" the classroom as a pedagogic and testing strategy, but how can we understand the classroom as just one of the sites in which daily life, including language learning and use, is played out? In this article we outline an approach to researching the spaces of language learning, and the identity positions that are routinely made available to English speakers of other languages (ESOL) learners, drawing on approaches from cultural geography and linguistic ethnography. We illustrate the discussion with data from a study investigating the placement practices by which ESOL students in England are placed and place themselves in particular types of educational provision (Simpson, Cooke, & Baynham, 2008), investigating why some may choose the identity of "second language learner" and others orient toward mainstream education opportunities. We conclude with a discussion of new identity positions, understood as "spaces of becoming" created by the levels and progressions of curriculum frameworks, drawing on Bernstein's (1999) notion of vertical and horizontal discourses. (Contains 1 footnote.)
Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. 1925 Ballenger Avenue Suite 550, Alexandria, VA 22314. Tel: 888-547-3369; Tel: 703-836-0774; Fax: 703-836-7864; Fax: 703-836-6447; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)