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ERIC Number: EJ915684
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0898-5898
Telling Tales: Discursive Space and Narratives in ESOL Classrooms
Simpson, James
Linguistics and Education: An International Research Journal, v22 n1 p10-22 Mar 2011
This paper is about narrative and identity in classes of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). ESOL students, adult migrants to the English-dominant West, are positioned by policy and by their institutions primarily as potential employees and as test-takers. The paper considers ways in which ESOL students negotiate and perhaps resist the identity positions offered to them in policy and institutional discourse. I adopt a broadly constructivist approach to identity in narrative in my analysis of interaction in one ESOL lesson. The analysis advances a current theme in research into the language learning of minority language adults in migration contexts: "bringing the outside in." Drawing on notions of positioning in interaction (Davies & Harre, 1990) and in narrative tellings (Bamberg & Georgakopoulou, 2008) I demonstrate how, by claiming discursive space in ongoing classroom discourse, students can introduce into the talk aspects of their life story narratives. The analysis suggests that claiming space to do so extends students' options for the bringing in of a range of identity positions--and of opportunities for learning--as they open up, through narrative, aspects of their identities that remain under-explored when classroom talk is limited to instrumental concerns.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A