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ERIC Number: EJ906287
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 10
ISSN: ISSN-0013-8274
Navigating through Social Norms, Negotiating Place: How "American Born Chinese" Motivates Struggling Learners
Gomes, Cheryl
English Journal, v100 n2 p68-76 Nov 2010
The authors, a ninth-grade teacher in a Special Education English class (Cheryl) and a teacher educator (Bucky), know of each other's work through a mutual interest in graphic novels. This article describes what happened in Cheryl's class when her students read "American Born Chinese" and discussed that text in a blog with its author, Gene Luen Yang. The message of the story--the age-old adage to "be yourself"--remains as true and powerful as ever. In a world where students feel pressured to do the complete opposite, it is inspiring to have a text that communicates this idea in a way students will appreciate and enjoy. The text and the blog helped these adolescents consider their own identities in an inviting social space, sharing that space with a generous author with whom they could personally connect. This built motivation and sense of self. It was an authentic writing task that provided social interaction beyond physical walls, and it helped challenge compartmentalizing preconceptions of identity. (Contains 4 figures and 2 notes.) ["Navigating through Social Norms, Negotiating Place: How "American Born Chinese" Motivates Struggling Learners" was written with James Bucky Carter.]
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 9; Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A