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ERIC Number: EJ987076
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 26
ISSN: ISSN-0729-4360
Student Voice as a Methodological Issue in Academic Literacies Research
Paxton, Moragh
Higher Education Research and Development, v31 n3 p381-391 2012
Academic literacies research has been identified as an emerging but significant field in higher education. This article extends the discussions around methodology in academic literacies research by drawing on the current text and context debates in sociolinguistics and linguistic ethnography. It uses illustrations from a recent academic literacies research project to reflect on methodology and to emphasise the importance of a prolonged engagement with participants' writing practices and experiences as well as the collection and analysis of a range of types of data to allow the researcher to become more familiar with the context. Methods such as allowing students to interpret their own writing, classroom observation and students' written literacy histories gave the researcher real insights into the way students made connections to their own familiar contexts in order to learn. The research also highlighted the manner in which communication between students and teaching staff can break down because teachers misinterpret student utterances when they do not understand or know the contexts that the students are drawing on. At the same time, however, the researcher sounds some caution about the use of dialogue in ethnographic methodologies because communication is a two-way process and allocation of linguistic resources has been unequal. Therefore, where students' resources do not match the context, they may struggle to communicate with the interviewer and to interpret their written texts. In these cases, interviewees who are first language speakers from privileged schooling backgrounds may be able to contextualise and interpret their writing more fully than interviewees who are speakers of English as a second or foreign language and who come from poorer rural schools. (Contains 3 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa