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ERIC Number: EJ922096
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0898-5898
The Text, Dead or Alive: Expanding Textual Repertoires in the Adult ESOL Classroom
Wallace, Catherine
Linguistics and Education: An International Research Journal, v17 n1 p74-90 Spr 2006
The paper explores the manner in which written texts are selected and used in the adult English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) classroom. Taking a sociocultural view of the reading process and of the nature of text, it argues that ESOL students have potentially rich textual resources, which are typically not acknowledged in the classroom: in particular, the textual options embodied by the published textbook or the worksheet do not do justice to the rich and diverse textual worlds which adult ESOL learners inhabit. Drawing on Goffman's notion of "authoring", the paper argues that ESOL students can be encouraged to reposition themselves as expert interpreters of classroom texts rather than passive consumers. Reading can be seen as the creation of new texts, as the interpreters rearticulate orthodox textual meaning to their own ends, in shared talk around the text. Included, by way of illustration, are transcripts of interactions from two adult ESOL classrooms, vignettes from fieldnotes and interviews with teachers, which demonstrate contrasting ways in which texts are selected and exploited in the ESOL classroom. The paper concludes by proposing that classroom texts be seen by teachers and students as opportunities for textual authoring, where what is brought to texts is as important as any specific linguistic or content knowledge derived from them.
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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